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Lighting a room by a single night light?


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#1 DougINTfsu

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 01:10 PM

I'm in pre-production for a film that I am gaffing in two weeks. The director has asked that we light a bedroom scene with our practicle source, being a single night light that will give enough ambience to fill the small room. For the camera test we used an inkie with a snoot to re-create the small source. However, this was not what the director was looking for. My question is how to create a nice light that fills the room from such a small source?
Thanks in advance and I look forward to your suggestions.
Doug
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 02:10 PM

I'm in pre-production for a film that I am gaffing in two weeks. The director has asked that we light a bedroom scene with our practicle source, being a single night light that will give enough ambience to fill the small room. For the camera test we used an inkie with a snoot to re-create the small source. However, this was not what the director was looking for. My question is how to create a nice light that fills the room from such a small source?
Thanks in advance and I look forward to your suggestions.
Doug


Do you mean a small nightlight like the ones that plug into the wall outlet? Or do you mean a bedside practical lamp?

I'd start out taking a long exposure still photo of the room lit by the real source to show the director, with the qualification that you'll never get a real wall plug-in nightlight to look as bright as that. But you can see how the light feels in the room (generally dim & soft except near the light.)

It may not actually look realistic to suggest that everything can be seen by this tiny nightlight -- what I mean is that even if you can fake it realistically, it wouldn't look logical that you could see so much by this source.

If you're talking about a bedside lamp, that's different.
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#3 Doug Interrante

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 02:38 AM

Yes, a small night light! I agree with you that a light like that would never look logical. We're just going to try and motivate it as much as possible and use a china ball on a dimmer for a soft light. Thank you much for the reply.

Doug
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#4 Tim J Durham

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 07:50 AM

Yes, a small night light! I agree with you that a light like that would never look logical. We're just going to try and motivate it as much as possible and use a china ball on a dimmer for a soft light. Thank you much for the reply.

Doug

You could do what many other films have done- moonlight spilling in through the window. That could then reflect off of the wall or bedspread and provide whatever level of illumination to the room you want without overpowering your nightlight.
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#5 shahji

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 09:18 AM

You could do what many other films have done- moonlight spilling in through the window. That could then reflect off of the wall or bedspread and provide whatever level of illumination to the room you want without overpowering your nightlight.



Yes exactly this is the right way to shoot and i am experienced such type of step in my last television serial.
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#6 Sam Wells

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 10:45 AM

Yes, a small night light! I agree with you that a light like that would never look logical.


Well even if it did look logical (it might) you'd have the classic problem of a so-called practical; a small source in the shot glowing like a furnace itself but not spreading much light around.

-Sam
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#7 Dan Goulder

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 11:37 AM

Are you trying to light the entire room, or primarily a person that's in the room? (I presume they would be lying in bed, although not necessarily.) If the focus is on a person within the room, they could be filmed with a wide open superspeed lens (T1.3) illuminated with a night light from a few feet away. It doesn't need to be in the frame. On the other hand, if you're trying to light a wider space, you'll probably need augmentation.
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#8 Mario C. Jackson

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 05:39 PM

I shot a movie last fall and the director asked for the exact same thing. I shot that whole seen at T 1.3. I shot a baby through a 4x4 silk right in front of the door. So the silk was right up against the door and I shot the 1k through it. I also added 1/4 blue to the 1k. Then I cut the practical light on. Then we made our shots so that you would not know that it was another light in the room, it looked as if it all came from one light. I recently saw a rough cut of the footage and the scene looked good. I have been trying to get some frames so I can post them but no luck just of yet.
Hope this helps
Mario Concepcion Jackson
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