How to make older women look better on video?

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by Burt Johnson, Aug 22, 2003.

  1. Burt Johnson

    Burt Johnson Guest

    I met with a client today, finalizing the script for a corporate video I
    am doing for them. The CEO is a woman about to retire, in her late 60's.
    She is reasonably attractive, but there is no doubt about her age when
    you meet her.

    One of the things that came up in the discussion was a suggestion from
    one of her people to use clips from another corporate video done earlier
    (by someone else). The CEO said she hated that video and did not want
    it used because it made her look so bad.

    Behind the scenes I find that the real problem is that she thinks it
    makes her look old -- even though the video is actually quite good.

    I have to interview her on-camera next Monday. I am using a Sony VX2000
    camera for the shoot, and will be doing the editing on Final Cut Pro.

    Are there any tricks and/or techniques I can use to make her look
    "better than she is"? I know how I'd approach this for a still shot in
    Photoshop, but I haven't really given much thought to this in video
    before...
     
    Burt Johnson, Aug 22, 2003
    #1
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  2. Lighting and makeup are key. Compliment her complexion and hair
    color with an outfit that "blends" so that her face in particular
    is not immediately the center of attention visually.

    Use soft, deflected light, avoiding shadows where possible and
    have her wear makeup that compliments, rather than contrasts, her
    skin color and outfit.

    During the time when you encode the video, you may want to tinker
    with "filtering" options that can smooth or sharpen the video.
    Find the best combination of factors, and also work on brightness
    and contrast, to see if any adjustments help.

    Try not to focus only on close-up head shots but shoot enough so
    that her arms in their entirety can be seen, usually about
    half-way up between the knee and the waist.

    This level of distance may necessitate a mike attached to her
    person so sound is properly captured, should that be important.

    That is about all I can recommend. Good luck to you.
     
    Paul D. Sullivan, Aug 22, 2003
    #2
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  3. Burt Johnson

    Gary P Guest

    One common way to do this is to use a circular around the lens light, of the
    type regularly used in rock videos. They tend to give you a fairly flat
    frontal lighting and - if you're not careful - ring-like reflections in
    people's pupils, but they do tend to work better than filters. You see these
    ring lights in the eyeballs of a lot of lady singers, and pretty-boy ones.

    Alternatively use either a soft light as frontally as you can, or bounce
    light off a good diffusing reflector. Polystyrene can be good. You can even
    put the light through silks. More fill light and less key light will tend to
    erase blemishes and wrinkles.

    Some people would choose to filter it, but unless you're subtle that looks
    too obvious. I'd prefer to use softening lighting, and then - if I still
    need to filter - add a softening effect in post, that can, if used well,
    look almost like a pro-mist. Vegas, in particular, has a good glow effect
    that does this well when used in moderation. Maybe some here would advise a
    subtle on-camera filter anyway. I'd rather have a clean well lit image, and
    have the choice of adjusting the degree of diffusion later.

    Gary.
     
    Gary P, Aug 22, 2003
    #3
  4. Burt Johnson

    Enough Guest

    A brown paper bag? Or if she's REALLY bad, double bag her.
     
    Enough, Aug 22, 2003
    #4
  5. Burt Johnson

    nappy Guest

    a true professional... That's why we relish your every post here.. we can
    all benefit from your vast experience and professionalism.
     
    nappy, Aug 22, 2003
    #5
  6. Burt Johnson

    Chris F Guest

    Yeah, but he's obviously a different kind of professional ;)
     
    Chris F, Aug 22, 2003
    #6
  7. Burt Johnson

    scylla Guest

    have you tried a "soft focus" lens attachment?
    Obviously no stark closeups and good makeup.

    many of the same techniques that work in still photography. Look at
    professional stills of older women and you'll get some ideas.
     
    scylla, Aug 22, 2003
    #7
  8. Burt Johnson

    GoCycle Guest

    Tiffen Warm Black Pro-Mist 1 will work fine. Also set the Skin Detail
    ON in the camera menu.

    Lou Bruno
     
    GoCycle, Aug 22, 2003
    #8
  9. Burt Johnson

    Ken P. Guest

    I worked with a CFO who was, well, aesthetically challenged, and the shader
    would turn the detail to near zero. She loved our shoots.

    The OP should study Barbara Walters interviews to see the effect, as well as
    soft lighting and background selection.

    Ken P.
     
    Ken P., Aug 22, 2003
    #9
  10. Shoot a young beautiful model who can lip sync to the interview of the old
    bird.

    --
    Best regards,
    Craig Scheiner
    Executive Producer
    CPS Associates
    Video Production and Publication
    www.cpsvideo.net
     
    Craig Scheiner, Aug 22, 2003
    #10
  11. Burt Johnson

    AnthonyR Guest

    Couldn't you rotoscope some photoshop filters on just her face?
    It would take a lot of work, but you can do it on extreme closeups only.

    It would be a little easier than creating a custom avatar of her. :)

    AnthonyR.
     
    AnthonyR, Aug 23, 2003
    #11
  12. Burt Johnson

    Burt Johnson Guest

    Skin Detail?? Are you sure you are talking about a Sony VX2000? I don't
    see any such mode in the menu...?
     
    Burt Johnson, Aug 23, 2003
    #12
  13. Burt Johnson

    Burt Johnson Guest

    I don't find any "detail setting" on a Sony VX2000. Am I missing
    something, or are you talking about a different camera?
     
    Burt Johnson, Aug 23, 2003
    #13
  14. Burt Johnson

    Alan Lloyd Guest

    There is, in the "custom preset" menu. No skin detail, though, that's
    still reserved for the higher end models.
     
    Alan Lloyd, Aug 23, 2003
    #14
  15. Burt Johnson

    Burt Johnson Guest

    Thanks! I had to hunt for awhile to find that function, but with your
    prodding I finally did (just got the camera 2 days ago and am still
    learning some parts of it).

    I'll go our and shoot some test shots of my wife this afternoon,
    experimenting with that function and some of the other ideas talked
    about here, and see how it all works.
     
    Burt Johnson, Aug 23, 2003
    #15
  16. Better not tell her why you're doing it if you want to preserve domestic
    tranquility.

    --
    Best regards,
    Craig Scheiner
    Executive Producer
    CPS Associates
    Video Production and Publication
    www.cpsvideo.net
     
    Craig Scheiner, Aug 23, 2003
    #16
  17. Burt Johnson

    Guy Guest

    A close source to Sony told me that the VX3000 will have an advanced
    dermo-filter. Automatically removing wrinkles amd blemishes from your
    subject.. This feature will be biasable and fully auto-matic so it will be
    of interest to David Reuther.
     
    Guy, Aug 23, 2003
    #17
  18. Burt Johnson

    videoken Guest

    On a serious note, I understand an old school trick is to stretch a sheer
    pantyhose over the lens. I've never tried it but I heard that your needs is
    exactly what it is meant for.

    Videoken

    --
     
    videoken, Aug 24, 2003
    #18
  19. How about stretching it over her face?

    --
    Best regards,
    Craig Scheiner
    Executive Producer
    CPS Associates
    Video Production and Publication
    www.cpsvideo.net
     
    Craig Scheiner, Aug 24, 2003
    #19
  20. Burt Johnson

    Alan Lloyd Guest

    And if you stretch it over the back flange of the lens, you'll get the
    same amount of diffusion without regard to your focal length. Sadly,
    again, not an option on the smaller cameras, with non-removable glass.
     
    Alan Lloyd, Aug 24, 2003
    #20
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