– Hey, guys, my name is Matt Johnson and today I want to talk to you about this little guy, a prism. You may have noticed that I have been using this in my wedding films and a lot of you have been asking me two questions. Namely, why are you using that, and also, how are you using it? So today I want to share with you four techniques that you can use with a prism that make it a really awesome 16-ish dollar investment for any filmmaker. First, and this is probably the most common way that I use a prism, and that is to draw attention to the subject that I am filming. For example, let’s say that I am filming a bride getting ready on a wedding day, and there are tons of people using the room. Bridesmaids, hair and makeup people, and they’re all competing for attention in a shot. But I really want my video to focus just on the bride. So, by using a prism and holding it up in front of the camera lens, I can then block out other people in the shot.
Instead of being they’re distracting from the bride, they are now replaced by a pretty, refracted light and you are only seeing the bride in the shot. That’s really cool. The second way that I use a prism is actually very similar to the first. If I’m filing a bride or groom getting ready, I usually have them get ready by a window. So massive light source, the sun, coming in and it looks really, really pretty. The issue that I run into, though, is that if I want to film the bride or the groom at any angle where the window is in the background, what I’m gonna end up with is a silhouette and an overexposed image, and that doesn’t look very good. So to compensate, I can actually hold up my prism to the camera lens and kind of block out the overexposed window portion, so it is just the subject that I am filming.
And what you end up with is a properly exposed image with gorgeous light refraction and it doesn’t look bad. It actually looks creative. Which, hey, that’s a win. The third way that I use a prism is actually as a really cool in-camera transition. When I was filming my friend Noah and Mallorie’s wedding film, which I will to up here in the corner and down in the description, if you wanna watch it, I needed to cut from dancing at the reception to their exit, when they were walking out. And what I had was some awesome shots where I was moving the prism in front of the camera lens while they were dancing. And I was actually able to fade that shot into an exit shot and it looked really, really cool and people were asking me, “How did you do that? “Oh my gosh.” It was all in camera. Well, not completely in camera.
I didn’t actually teleport as soon I moved the prism and went outside, no. I cut it, but, as far as the transition effect goes, that was in camera and it looked really cool. The fourth way that I use a prism is a bit more generic, but the truth is that I honestly just whip this thing to whenever I see any cool lighting. So, if the DJs lights look cool on the dance floor, they’re reflecting, I say, “Oh, gotta bring out the prism.
“Oh my gosh, this is awesome.” I’m really not super picky about whenever I use it. It really comes down to, is there good lighting, and is it going to give me more creative shots than I could get otherwise? That’s four way that I use a prism in film making. And you’re probably thinking, “Okay, fine, Matt, “I’ll buy it. “Only $16, I got it in the cart on Amazon. “I’m about to click buy, “but how do I actually use it?” Well, I have some tips for you. First tip, is I recommend shooting with a lens that is at minimum, F2.0, if not, wider. So, Fis good, Fis even better because you’re gonna want your lens to be open as wide as possible, because whenever you put your prism in front of it, you are going to be able to see the edges of the prism and it’s gonna look weird if your lens is not open wide enough.
Second, I find the prism works best whenever it’s up as close as possible to a manually set camera lens. Don’t try to put autofocus and then wave this thing around in front of your lens. It’s gonna be going all over the place and it’s not gonna know what to focus on. Also, I recommend shooting handheld because you are not going to be able to adjust the focus of your lens while you are also moving the prism and so you’re gonna be relying on your body to go forward and backward to make sure that your subject is in focus.
So, handheld, prism up as close as possible, manual lens. It’s gonna look good. Last thing, I’ve heard some people say, “Matt, why don’t you use a plug-in or an effect? “Why are you going through all the hassle “of holding this prism up in front of your camera “when you could get a similar look using a plug-in “in post?” And to that I would say, it’s usually pretty obvious whenever somebody is using an overlay in their video. It looks fake. With the prism, because you are getting the real light with all of its different colors coming into the prism, as well as the real reflections from the day shooting into and refracting around, it looks significantly better and more realistic than a plug-in ever would.
With that, thank you so much for watching. I hope this video’s been helpful to you and given you some great insight into how you can use a prism to enhance your filmmaking. Incidentally, I do have a link to purchase this beautiful prism. Not this one, this is mine, but a prism like this one down in the description of this video if you want to do that. As always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave one below or get in touch with me through my website, whoismatt.com. It is also a mega gigantizoid help to me if you would consider liking this video and subscribing if you want to see more videos like this in the future.
Also, there are links. So many links down in the description of this video to my Instagram, to my Facebook, to sign up for a one on one consulting with me. To sign up for my newsletter, to check out my wedding filmmaking company. All that is down there. Thank you so much for watching and have a great day. .
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