Archive | November, 2011

What’s a Lighting “Gobo” & How to Make One in 5 Simple Steps

27 Nov

How to light an interview (specifically background lighting)

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First of all, for those who don’t know… what the hell’s a Gobo?! Gobo stands for ‘Go-Between’. It’s basically a stencil or cut out that you position ‘between’ a lamp and the area you want to light. The resulting shadows create an artistic effect, simple.

If you’re shooting an interview at an interior location, say a room for example, the background can sometimes look really boring. I’m sure you’ll agree a plain white wall looks pretty unexciting (snore).

How do you get round this one? Easy! You need a Gobo!

You’ll need 3 lamps in total to light the interview (full post on that one to come!), and we’ll be using one of those to create the nice background.

So here’s how to produce a great background lighting effect…

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Story #1 – “On The Run!”

25 Nov

If you have read any of my other posts you will know that I’m constantly badgering the sound department. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against sound, it’s obviously a vital part of producing films and TV shows. I secretly have the upmost respect for all in the sound department, and people who know me in the industry know this already… but generally I try to keep that one under wraps – after all we don’t want these chaps to get above their station now do we!

Anyway having said that here’s a true story that I hope you enjoy. As you might expect it involves poking fun at a soundman so I guess it’s got to be good! (Sorry old habits die hard). I will change the poor chap’s identity to preserve his dignity so if you are the soundman in question reading this blog, don’t worry your secret’s safe with me… but you know who you are!!!

Let’s call him Monty – the perfect English Gentleman (picture C3pO with headphones and a boom mic). A good friend of mine and one heck of a soundman…

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30 Tips for being an Outstanding Camera Assistant

23 Nov

How to become a great Camera Assistant:

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Being a professional Camera Assistant can be the hardest job on the crew. It carries more responsibility than most people think and even worse… while everyone else is on a tea break, the Camera Assistant is usually working, loading magazines, filling out Camera Report Sheets or organizing the camera equipment for the next set-up.

The stuff I’ve written here is based on film camera assistants but the rules apply for video assistants too. So, without further ado… let us begin!

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What’s This All About?!

15 Nov

Hi I’m Chris Weaver, welcome to ‘Through The Lens’.

I’ve been doing talks all round the country and it’s become apparent that it can be very hard for people to get good solid advice from industry professionals who have experience in film & tv.

So, in this blog I will present how-to information, tips and tricks on the Film and TV industry along with stories from ‘Behind the Scenes’.

I hope the information will help you, provide practical advice, hints and tips that you can use immediately in your own work. I also hope along the way you’ll find it entertaining, after all there’s no point in being too serious about this stuff – it’s not exactly brain surgery.

"Point and look serious!"..."Uh... Ok"

The thing is, I’ve got lots of experience and knowledge and I’m keen to share it with you – I’ve been working in the film and TV industry for over 30 years, first as a film cameraman, then a director, then director of photography and more recently as a producer running the UK based production company Free Spirit Film & TV.

So, as you can imagine, I’ve been around the block a bit! Despite that I hope you will follow my posts and take advantage of the all the stuff on offer before I lose my memory altogether! I hope you enjoy this stuff, if not then so be it, but at least give me some credit for making the effort. After all I could be out filming, drinking tea or when I’m not working watching some mundane daytime TV show like ‘Cash in the Attic’, (for those of you fortunate enough to live outside of the UK please let me briefly explain. ‘Cash in the Attic’ is a TV show which is basically designed to keep the criminally insane occupied. It consists of crusty old antiques dealers rummaging around some poor unfortunates attic in the hope of finding a long lost Picasso. Sadly in reality all they ever seem to ever find is junk like a broken food blender circa 1963 and sometimes, if they’re really lucky they might dig up something from the Victorian era like a rusty moustache trimmer- not that I watch it of course..I only know because I’ve had the unfortunate experience of working on the show!)

Anyway enough said. The bottom line is, if nothing else just drop by when you’ve got nothing better to do and have fun!


p.s. I also run a selection of training courses – check out the menu for more info.

And now… Here are some photos of me “in action” over the years haha.

Free Spirit Film & TV
Film, TV & Online Video Production.