I'm a long time reader and a first time poster and student.
I'll be shooting a shooting a short film in about two months from now which calls for "a bar lit with neon signs". Think of the Bud Light and Heineken signs many bars have as reference. Obviously we won't be able to use any brand signs because of legal issues but I've been thinking of several alternative ways to achieve the same mood. Also real neon signs are expensive and a serious safety hazard.
Also keep in mind that the bar will be filled with fog similar to heavy tobacco smoke you see in many movies.
The director wants to have neon looking practicals as much as possible. I have two 4 foot quasar LEDs that could potentially be gelled and placed around the background but I feel as if only two tubes wouldn't be enough.
1) Has anyone had any experience shooting and sleeving (hard coloured tubes that fit snugly around the bulb) cheap fluorescent units? Do they have a chance of flickering? What about noise? Is there a way of powering them with unaltered wall power or do they require a ballast? If so can they be powered in a way that wouldn't require a housing frame around them?
2) Has anyone had experience with cheap neon LED signs? They basically look like neon signs without actually being neon? I'm afraid of cheap LED units because of potential flickering.
3) This piggybacks off the last one. Has anyone had good experiences with colour shifting LED stripes or ropes?
4) I have tungsten lights ranging from 250W to a 2k baby and a set of 2 4' Kinos (tungsten and daylight) at my disposal as well. I'd be using the previous the push the lights. Are there any particular theatrical gels that you have found similar to the hue of neon lights? Green, blue, red, pink etc.
Thank you for reading and also thank you in advance for answering!
Edited by Anselm Havu, 24 April 2018 - 10:46 PM.