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#1 James knox

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 11:01 AM

Can anytone help me out out, i am shooting my final degree project in febuary, most of the locations are outside at night and i need to shoot it as if it was night. The problem is i want to keep the lighting naturalistic. And it has to be naturalistic because the university has no portable lighting rigs, how can i achieve this? I will be using a sony PD170 to shoot if anyone is familiar with this camera .

Cheers jim

A very stressed out student in sheffield, uk

Edited by James knox, 08 January 2006 - 11:06 AM.

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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 05:54 PM

Can anytone help me out out, i am shooting my final degree project in febuary, most of the locations are outside at night and i need to shoot it as if it was night. The problem is i want to keep the lighting naturalistic. And it has to be naturalistic because the university has no portable lighting rigs, how can i achieve this? I will be using a sony PD170 to shoot if anyone is familiar with this camera .

Cheers jim

A very stressed out student in sheffield, uk


Where are you filming? Is it in the city or the countryside? What do you mean by no portable lights? Do they have Redheads or theatre lights?

You can film using the street lights, take the camera out and test possible locations. Most street lights are sodium and will be an amber colour, there's nothing you can do to correct this. However, you can find locations that are bright enough, I've seen shorts filmed in a bus shelter using it's light.

If you can get Redheads or small theatre lights and you can arrange power at your locations these lights(combined with the street lights) can light a reasonable acting area. You could use some 12 volt lights from a DIY using a car battery or high powered torch by putting diffusion over the torch light to smooth out the light pattern to give yourself some fill into the faces under the street lights. A Chrome Orange or Bastard Amber lighting gel would also help colour match to the sodium street lights.
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#3 Jay Gladwell

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 09:03 AM

James, let me begin by stating what I am about to say is NO reflection upon you, but rather your school.

I can't tell you how many times I've read similar posts in like forums. One would think that if a student were shooting his "final project" for school he would have been taught, somewhere along the way, about lighting technique. Evidently, this is not the case. What a sad commentary it is on the educational institutions that pass themselves off as film schools or offer classes/degrees in filmmaking that are readily taking student's money and giving little or nothing in return.
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#4 James knox

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 09:58 AM

ok let me clear this up guys. My last email was rushed.

The specifics:

-Two men travel across the Yorkshire hills in UK (Heathland, no trees just expansive green rolling hills) there is no civilisation for miles, the two men are lost and the elipsis of time progresses from day to night, there willl be cut aways of landscape shots especially the sky; as these hills have a beautiful sunset. Aswell as close ups of the two men; to try capture and amplify the fear of the being lost.

-The location is acessible but there are no power supplies, I have acess to redhead and daydo lights which require a DC power supply or somekind of battery AC which I do not have. I may be able to get acess to a Halogen light source which attaches to the front of the camera but I have used this before and I know it creates a spotlight on subjects and looks totally artificial, also it only has one battery which lasts ten minutes tops and takes 12 hours to charge (totally unpractible).

I want to able to light my subjects without it looking artificial, I have thought about using blue gels if I can get an external power pack for the lights, to try and create a moonnlight look.

If I cant light my film, what I actually wanted to know are there any things that I should be thinking of when shooting day for night, presets on the camera etc or post production effects and times of shooting for day for night around febuary ( i know it will be different time for some of you but I can work that out.

Too answer the last question my course is a load of rubbish! But this is just me trying to sort out some troubleshooting issues not be judged on my technical abilities, which apart from little niggles like this are otherwise sound.

Cheers jim

Edited by James knox, 09 January 2006 - 09:59 AM.

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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 11:08 AM

My tendency is to say that you're screwed. If the movie were ONLY about two guys walking in the middle of nowhere in the moonlight, I'd say that it was easier to justify a "magic realism" stylized night look by using day-for-night. But in your case, you are seeing the same landscape in day, sunset, twilight, and then night, so it should really look like true night, with black skies, which would mean huge lights on cranes to bath fields in a single source "moonlight" effect. You aren't going to be able to do anything with a redhead and some dedos except light them standing up against a bush.

Which means day-for-night. Dusk-for-night is useful for short transitional shots, not a long scene with coverage.

Hopefully you'll have some ability to add efx in post to the day-for-night image in order to darken the sky further, etc.

In terms of day-for-night, it's about shooting in back or crosslight, or overcast for a softer dusky look, avoiding the sky (shoot them in a valley, not on top of a hill), using a Pola and ND grad filter to darken the sky if it's in the shot, and creating a blue-ish look. The simplest method would be to use the preset white-balance and set it to tungsten (3200K, or "lightbulb"). If that's too blue, you can add a pale orange filter to cancel some of the blue, or instead of using the presets, white balance to a orange-ish paper or with a warming filter on the lens, and pull the filter. You can further adjust the blueness in post. You'll also need to underexpose the image somewhat. Again, you can go further in post color-correction so don't overdo it in-camera.
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#6 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 12:20 PM

A follow on from what David has said. How about they have a torch (I'm thinking Blair Witch here).

You could shoot the wide shots at dusk just before darkness (standing in for night), when you could power a Dedo light from a 12v battery standing in for the torch (or a powerful torch) moving to register them moving in the landscape. You'll just see the light moving, not the figures and the night sky will just have the last register of light ie a very dark blue.

Pick areas close to a road for the close ups, hire a small generator (5K), backlight the guys with some blue light from the redheads (getting the lights as high as possible - make use of any higher ground etc) using full CTB, use the Dedos to pick up some details. You won't get a vast landscape, it'll be a localised effect, but you might get a suggestion of something lying in the blackness.

The generator may have to come out of your own pocket, but talk to your uni about hiring one for a weekend, or perhaps their maintenance department might have one. This is where your producer skills come in - any good wanna be producer could put this together.

You'd have to post sync any sound, but that's part of the fun. Re-record any dialogue after each shot (after switching off the generator), the timing is usually surprisingly close, but will require tweaking in post.

Take a 12v monitor, you can't tell anything with the LCD on those cameras.
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#7 James knox

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 04:06 PM

A follow on from what David has said. How about they have a torch (I'm thinking Blair Witch here).

You could shoot the wide shots at dusk just before darkness (standing in for night), when you could power a Dedo light from a 12v battery standing in for the torch (or a powerful torch) moving to register them moving in the landscape. You'll just see the light moving, not the figures and the night sky will just have the last register of light ie a very dark blue.

Pick areas close to a road for the close ups, hire a small generator (5K), backlight the guys with some blue light from the redheads (getting the lights as high as possible - make use of any higher ground etc) using full CTB, use the Dedos to pick up some details. You won't get a vast landscape, it'll be a localised effect, but you might get a suggestion of something lying in the blackness.

The generator may have to come out of your own pocket, but talk to your uni about hiring one for a weekend, or perhaps their maintenance department might have one. This is where your producer skills come in - any good wanna be producer could put this together.

You'd have to post sync any sound, but that's part of the fun. Re-record any dialogue after each shot (after switching off the generator), the timing is usually surprisingly close, but will require tweaking in post.

Take a 12v monitor, you can't tell anything with the LCD on those cameras.



thankyou, absolutely excellent advice the torch idea is wicked, gona write it into the script soon as

cheers jim
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Broadcast Solutions Inc

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Ritter Battery

The Slider

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Visual Products