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Which light?


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#1 LondonFilmMan

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Posted 24 November 2005 - 03:04 AM

I'd like to shoot a scene, but I have to say that light is not my calling in life. I want it to be...and I'd like to have a light man around, but can't.

Therefore, I have to get a light and I'd only, probably be able to afford one, and I want to buy new. So far Arri have quoted me about $4000 for a pocket par (including all filters, batteries etc etc....powerful little bugger it is) ......it's a daylight light.

Guys, would one of these be enough for 1) a daytime scene 2) an evening scene 3) a night scene (not trying to make it look like day, just see their faces)

Any thoughts or recommendations?
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#2 Laurent Andrieux

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Posted 24 November 2005 - 08:27 AM

What exactly is your project (size of the set and shots, number of talents, shots) ?
I guess you want to shoot video ? Can you confirm that ?

If you need someone to do your lightings, I'm sure you could find a student or a young DP if you search... Did you try film and video schools ?

Usually, we rather rent. You should make sure it's worth buying. Arri in general is expensive... What power is the pocket par you are talking about ? 125, 200 or 400 W ?

If you shoot at night, indoors, a Tungsten light could be just as good, and much cheaper to buy.

indoors and outdoors are different situations. Indoor with natural light is a different situation etc.

As for lighting kits, I'm pretty sure you should find topics here. Make a research.
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#3 Jonathan Spear

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Posted 24 November 2005 - 09:18 AM

:blink:

So you'd shoot as what? Director? Producer? Screenwriter?

This seems like yet another "i'm too lazy to do my homework about lighting and exposure technique" type of post.

What makes the concept of light any different than the type film you put in your camera, the lens and filters you shoot through, or the camera itself? You've posted lots of threads regarding the purchase of a 35mm movie camera and yet:

"I'd like to shoot a scene, but I have to say that light is not my calling in life. I want it to be...and I'd like to have a light man around, but can't."

Sounds like someone should be learning their ABC's of exposure before making a big mistake.. :unsure:

(unless of course you're loaded)
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 24 November 2005 - 10:20 AM

One light can't do everything you need so the question is unanswerable. Plus I'm not sure if you have a couple of thousands of dollars, the best use is to buy one brand-new Arri HMI rather than a couple of cheaper, used lamps.
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#5 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 24 November 2005 - 10:07 PM

i've recently started using jokerbugs and they are way more versatile than pocket pars in my opinion -- if you do decide to buy expensive hmi's rather than renting or investing in a bunch of cheaper used lights.

/matt
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#6 Mitch Gross

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 07:03 AM

This makes no sense to me. You just want to shoot "a scene" yet you have multiple lighting requirements (it sounded like three scenes). You are not that into lighting yet you are researching buying a light? And you want to buy new? If you have $4000 to spend on a single Pocket Par, how about hiring a Gaffer with an entire 5-ton truck full of lighting and grip equipment (oh yeah, grip equipment...) plus an assistant or two for an entire week?

People just can't see the forest for the trees sometimes.
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#7 LondonFilmMan

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 12:09 PM

Thanks to all of you for your feedback.

1. I want to shoot on film and shoot also the same scenes on video to help me edit.

2. I?d rather buy lights rather than renting them so I could use them on other scenes & projects.

3. I am thinking of a daylight light rather than tungsten as most filming will be outdoors in daytime and some evening time, all close-up of 2 people talking. (I liked the fact that the Pocket Par came with everything from chargers and batteries to a very good stand, grips and filters. I remember when they demonstrated one 125 pocket par to me. Wow.

4. One scene will be at night looking up at the stars through the snow in Eastern Europe. I need to see his eyes and face. Close-up shot. There will also be a tracking shot of him holding her in the evening before the night scene. I need to see their eyes very clearly.

5. One scene will be shot in Tibet in winter (January). Two men lost in the snow desperately trying to re-locate each other whilst in fear of falling 1 km down a cliff to their deaths. Problem I have here in the Public Security bureau (P.S.B.) I don?t want to get wrapped up in beaucracy. I just want to get in quick, shoot, and out, so that?s why I want to keep my team/talent and equipment down to bare bones. That's 3 people.

6. The last scene (for now) will be in central London. Two men talking on a park bench. Filmed from behind the bench. You just hear them and see their backs. Filmed from about 10 metres away in the daytime in Summer.

7. My budget is $4K max for lights and I don?t mind buying 3 lights, if it is possible, for that price. Yes, I need to learn more about lighting before I begin. Thanks for all that you may suggest though and all you have suggested thus far..
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#8 Jonathan Spear

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 01:02 PM

With that budget wouldn't renting an assortment of lights be better than buying one? 4K can probably get you some good deals out there and you'd have far more creative freedom. As for buying equipment so you can use it for future projects.. well, you can always rent again and it will probably still be cheaper.

Also, if only one source is used, your lighting may eventually become 'repetetive' even to the untrained eye(unless that's what you're aiming for). If you use several sources and mix tungsten + daylight, soft + hard, etc your images might look more assorted and interesting (or ironically, more natural and organic).

You could always hook up with a pro in your area, pay them part of the 4K and use the rest to rent lights... then your picture may look incredible. It could also be a learning experience to work closely with a professional/mentor and probably a lot less stressful than doing everything yourself. That itself would be worth at least 4k wouldn't it?

-Jonathan
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#9 LondonFilmMan

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 02:33 PM

Yes, fair point Jonathan, that I will bear in mind. Thanks.
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#10 Chris Cooke

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 06:16 PM

I just bought five used Tungsten 2K Strand Fresnels for $2000.00 (CAD). You could go with 5 of these and then spend the rest on stands and grip equipment. With tungsten lights, buying used isn't that big of a deal unless they're really beat up. Also, if you go any bigger than 2K, you'll need an electric on set and most likely a generator.
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#11 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 06:17 PM

Split the difference: buy some cheaper tungsten lamps and then rent one HMI (like a 575w or 1200w HMI PAR) as needed, until you can afford one.

I also recommend, in addition to renting the HMI, buying, renting, or making some multi-tube 4-foot fluorescent units and using daylight Kino tubes (Kino 55's) in them if you need more daylight-balanced lighting units. You can make the fluorescent unit if you want to, but buy the 4' Kino tubes for it. If those are too expensive, you can settle for something cheaper like Optima 50's.
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#12 LondonFilmMan

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Posted 27 November 2005 - 11:17 AM

Ok both David and Chris, I'll look into those ideas you've suggested. Thanks, once again to all. It has helped me.
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Aerial Filmworks

Tai Audio

The Slider

Wooden Camera