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Lighting setup for this film


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#1 Tiago Pimentel

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 04:09 PM

Hi guys,

 

I was hoping to get a bit of help. I'll be shooting a short film next month, that takes place entirely inside a room. In short, the lighting, the mood, the colors that we are trying to achieve are very similar to the room scene of Leaving Las Vegas. Here is the video for those who didn't see / remember:

 

https://youtu.be/mjAJBaW7T4g

 

We have a room with one or two practicals (haven't decided on that yet), and that will be the main motivation for the lighting (big practicals with a big shade). I was wondering what kind of lights and grips would you take to achieve that kind of lighting and mood. Our short film will also star one actor and one actress. I was thinking on painting our room with the same color (dark red) as the one in the clip above and getting some light brown furniture. Not just because we want to follow that look, but mainly because that look makes all the sense for our film.

Our actress has red hair, so not sure if that will be a problem with dark red walls...

 

You can see a photo of the room (completely raw) here:

 

87d8aa9722387f77754b2e5f759e0d30.jpg

 

So the walls will be painted the same way as in the clip of Leaving Las Vegas and we will place some curtains to isolate the windows completely. Furniture will be replaced with something lighter in color. This will be a night scene. 

 

Let me know what your lighting setup, grips and general approach would be. Hoping to get some refreshing ideas. I think controlling light spill will be the order of the day, so I'm counting on a lot of egg crates.

 

Thanks !


Edited by Tiago Pimentel, 08 October 2018 - 04:10 PM.

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#2 charles pappas

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 05:53 PM

for what it's worth, probably nothing, it seems a pity to cover the windows (speaking of egg crates).


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#3 JB Earl

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 09:50 AM

well, clearly there's something mounted up high motivated by the lamp at the liquor bottles.  so a polecat or wall spreader (unless you can tape led mats up).  Then you could use a 4x4/softbox/kino/ to move around for fill on each shot.  the bathroom doorway light is the 3rd player, but is something like that in your scene?   you could play streetlight or moonlight through one of those windows....


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#4 Giacomo Girolamo

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 11:13 AM

Why not paint with blue or pale green the walls. That colors works better with the red of gingers. She has the hair kinda red, or kinda orange?

 

What lens are you planning to use? The room looks small.

 

 

P.S.: I just watched the clip. Look that the red wall and the yellow from the bathroom (and the prop lights) play with her blonde hair. You can achieve something similar but playing with the ginger her of the talent.


Edited by Giacomo Girolamo, 09 October 2018 - 11:15 AM.

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#5 Tiago Pimentel

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 11:58 AM

@Giacomo

I believe you're right. Blue would probably work better with her red hair. Great tip! What about the furniture? Would you use light or dark brown? This is supposed to be an intense scene, with two characters not comfortable with each other. Very moody.

@JB Earl

The only lights in my scene will be the two practicals, but I'm very tempted to simulate cool moonlight. The problem is, I would have to shoot during the night.

Breaking the light scheme, what lights (watts and fixture) would you take with you for this shoot? I like the idea of using kinos. They are really soft. But maybe I could do the same with tungsten fresnels and softboxes with eggcrates?

Thanks!!
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#6 JB Earl

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 12:18 PM

tungsten softboxes are great, but they'll eat up space in a small room like that.  4' kino, or big led mats, or Quasar tubes, will be your friend.   you won't need many footcandles if there's no dayight to fight.

 

you don't have to shoot at night, just black out the windows.  if you have good Karma, the windows face north-ish and you might get away with just hanging some Duve outside  ; )


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#7 Tiago Pimentel

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 03:09 PM

tungsten softboxes are great, but they'll eat up space in a small room like that.  4' kino, or big led mats, or Quasar tubes, will be your friend.   you won't need many footcandles if there's no dayight to fight.

 

you don't have to shoot at night, just black out the windows.  if you have good Karma, the windows face north-ish and you might get away with just hanging some Duve outside  ; )

 

I only mentioned tungsten softboxes because they are usually more budget friendly. But you have to love Kinos... I know I do. I'm still deciding on the type of lighting. All I know is that it needs to be low key. So maybe using Kinos as backlights and then a bounce to fill one side of the faces. If was using tungsten softboxes, I know I would have them all with eggcrates. When shooting the wide shot, with the practicals in the frame, would you add artificial light, at least on the actors? I know the answer, but I need ideas on how to rig them :)

 

Just one more question, regarding the street light. I hadn't thought about this. Let's say I'll keep both windows closed, but I want some motivating light from the moon. I could use the window on the left for that. On a room with most of the light coming from the practicals, how would you use the street light to be noticeable but without lighting up too much and ruining the moody look?

 

Thanks!


Edited by Tiago Pimentel, 09 October 2018 - 03:11 PM.

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#8 JB Earl

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 05:18 PM

Kino will spill just as much as a soft box, you need grids on either, or toppers and siders. But tungsten works great, just that the boxes take up so much volume in a small space.

Sometimes simple is better, but if you go with the moonlight or street light, keep it subtle.

You need your lights for all of the shots, if you expose for the lamps, then you underexpose the scene. If you expose for the scene then the lamps will be overexposed. Thats why in your sample scene there was a film light rigged above the lamp with the liquor bottles

Edited by JB Earl, 09 October 2018 - 05:19 PM.

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#9 Tiago Pimentel

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 11:26 AM

Thanks JB. Yeah, I know with practicals it's crucial to have artificial light to be able to get good overall exposure. What would be the cheapest way to rig lights up high, without tripods? I think I won't be doing moonlight. I think this scene needs to stay in the bedroom, almost as if that bedroom was the entire universe of that film. So practicals will be the only "real" lighting.


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#10 JB Earl

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 11:31 AM

depends on which lights.  tripods, do you mean light stands?     I think the only thing you should hang would be led mats unless you have a gaffer and key grip.


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#11 Tiago Pimentel

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 12:50 PM

I never used led mats. Are they directional? To light this shot I basically need a backlight and a very soft key. Backlights are always the problem because to work, if they are in light stands they tend to appear in the frame. That's why I was mentioning rigging one of them on the ceiling to get nice backlight. Is a Led Mat able to do this and control spill?

 

Thanks


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#12 Tiago Pimentel

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 10:07 AM

Sorry guys, just one more question. For that kind of space, how much wattage would take per light? Assuming I'll be diffusing it to be really soft on the skin, at least for close ups. I was even thinking of bouncing and diffusing the bounced light. So a lot of power lost in that.

 

Thanks


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#13 Giacomo Girolamo

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 10:13 AM

Sorry guys, just one more question. For that kind of space, how much wattage would take per light? Assuming I'll be diffusing it to be really soft on the skin, at least for close ups. I was even thinking of bouncing and diffusing the bounced light. So a lot of power lost in that.

 

Thanks

 

The cieling is white? Because you can use that on your favor and use it like a big reflective panel to soft and increase the light ambience of the room.


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#14 Tiago Pimentel

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 10:46 AM

Hey Giacomo! I had a talk with the art director and, since we are painting and placing furniture from scratch, he suggested we'd fake the room in the living room, because it's bigger. I liked the idea and so we're doing that. More space for rigging stuff! :) So in the living room, pretty much everything is white. We'll be painting everything dark (not very dark) blue. My problem with white ceiling might be the excessive bouncing and spill. This is should be a very controlled lighting scene. I'm afraid I might loose the entire mood if I let light bounce off the ceiling. What do you think?

 

Thanks!


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#15 Giacomo Girolamo

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 11:15 AM

Hey Giacomo! I had a talk with the art director and, since we are painting and placing furniture from scratch, he suggested we'd fake the room in the living room, because it's bigger. I liked the idea and so we're doing that. More space for rigging stuff! :) So in the living room, pretty much everything is white. We'll be painting everything dark (not very dark) blue. My problem with white ceiling might be the excessive bouncing and spill. This is should be a very controlled lighting scene. I'm afraid I might loose the entire mood if I let light bounce off the ceiling. What do you think?

 

Thanks!

 

I understand what you mean, but you can try with a dimmeable light so you get the amount of ambient light you need, or use diffusion in the middle of the light and the ceiling, kinda like a reverse book light.

You also could use "curtains", don't know how they call it in english, is when you put some black cloth in the ceiling, that prevents spill of the light in, for example, the walls.

If the room is square or rectangular, and the ceiling is not too low, is easy to do.

 

 

Hope you find it useful, and best your luck with you work. Hope you can share it here too, because I saw here some of your previous work and was amazing.

 

 

P.S.: What I find useful of higher the amount of ambient light is because you are looking forward an lighting approach where the practicals lights are the one that matters, so if you high the ambient light, you are not going to be so dependent to the practicals for the actual lighting, and you can move it more around in the place, and use it for tint and shape with color, and not for the actual lighting.


Edited by Giacomo Girolamo, 11 October 2018 - 11:27 AM.

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#16 Tiago Pimentel

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 12:00 PM

Giacomo, you gave me an idea on that PS you wrote. I could probably send a scrimmed fresnel with full ctb against the ceiling. That would probably give me a good blueish moon light from the windows.

What do you guys think? I wanted to end the short with the actor standing against one of the practicals and then turning it off, revealing the blue tone. Even better, if I do a close up, I could use a dedo for some shaping...
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#17 Tiago Pimentel

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Posted 21 October 2018 - 09:33 AM

Guys, need help with one more thing. This is the house (room) where we'll be filming:

 

44c03796_z.jpg

 

So blue will be the dominant color that will contrast beautifully with the red hair of our actress. Scene will be very moody and is supposed to take place at night. So I'm thinking on blocking windows and throwing a bit of blue light into the curtains from the inside (cant place lights on the outside).

 

My question is, I think what will look best and serve the story will be to balance every light to be slightly yellow. Do you guys think it will work when it comes to overall white balance? I-m thinking it will because the overall tone of the room is blue but I was wondering about your opinion.

 

Here's my setup:

 

camera: Arri Alexa XT

lenses: Cooke S4

lights: still unsure. Kinos with grids would probably be a life saver when it comes to space. Led Mats or Quasar tubes for augmenting practicals and lighting specific parts of the room.


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#18 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 October 2018 - 10:46 AM

Blue walls in warm light go a bit grey-cyan, if that's what you want.


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#19 Tiago Pimentel

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Posted 21 October 2018 - 11:06 AM

David, well I wasn't thinking on warming it too much. Maybe balacing camera to 3200k and lights at 3000k. From your experience, how would balance color between lights and camera to make it look good and still retain a bit of intimicy (not necessarily warmth).

Thanks!

Edited by Tiago Pimentel, 21 October 2018 - 11:07 AM.

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#20 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 October 2018 - 12:14 PM

Sounds good, 3200K on the camera and practicals around 3000K.


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