Learning Event 3:
FILMING FOR TELEVISION
A majority of all film documentation will be used on television.
includes but is not limited to field training and evaluation, combat
actualities, medical, psychological operations, military police, public
construction affairs events, and other military operations in peacetime and
There are special camera techniques which are used when filming for
These techniques should be followed when practical.
You may not be able to follow them under combat conditions.
a. Sets and backgrounds.
(1) Wherever possible, avoid pure whites and pure blacks in your scene.
TV receivers are not capable of reproducing extreme contrasts, be they color or
black and white. Stay away from high and low key in the same scene.
(2) The maximum contrast ratio for TV is 20 to 1. Try to avoid broad
areas of the same tonal value. Bold patterns are better than intricate detail.
Avoid cutting back and forth between angles where the background is alternately
light and dark. Finally, avoid large areas with bright color.
(1) The ratio of key-to-fill light should be a maximum of 2 to 1 for
color and 3 to 1 for black and white.
A somewhat high key with strong
backlighting gives the best results.
from scene to scene should remain relatively constant.
conditions, lights and reflections cannot, nor should they, be used. The only
exception would be indoors where the light cannot be seen outside.
example, if a key light is 400 foot candles, a back light should be 200 foot
candles for color, or about 150 for black and white.
(2) Television has a built-in method of adding contrast to all films
shown. For this reason, it is necessary to hold the contrast down when making
films for TV. Although films can be printed with less contrast, it is best to
film with less contrast from the beginning.
Remember, the maximum contrast
that TV is capable of presenting is 20 to 1. Most stations want to keep the
ratio below 10 to 1. Basically, contrast ratio means that the lightest part of
a picture is 30 times brighter than the darkest part, or 10 times brighter in a
10 to 1 ratio.
As with filming for theater
projection, avoid mixing light sources within one scene. This is particularly
true when filming in color.
Mixing light sources of different color
temperatures will ruin the color quality and make the film unusable.
documentation cinematographer, you want to keep the subject as close to its
natural color as possible.