Shooting at night
Posted 22 February 2006 - 06:03 AM
Im currently in the pre-production phase for a short 5 minute student film and am having trouble planning one scene that will need to be shot outside in a feild at night with very little lighting equipment.
I was wondering if anyone had any tips for how a nightime scene can be shot with an XL1, or if a night time effect can be created in a daytime enviroment?
Thanks in advance for any advice,
Posted 22 February 2006 - 11:44 AM
First of all, what access to power to you have? What size generator can you afford if there is no power? Do you have to record sound for your scene, requiring a silent generator? Are there any other sources of light in the scene other than "moonlight"? (Car headlamps, flashlights, torches, etc.) Is it possible to pick a field next to a power supply?
Posted 22 February 2006 - 12:48 PM
I wish that I could have had some fresnel lights because when we would strike those 1K open faced lights they would just throw light everywhere we would have to flag them off big time.
What sort of lights do you have access to. Is there a rental house in your town you could get some from? It's possible that you may be able improvise some lights as well.
On my film we used two opened faced 1K, 3 open-faced 650's, every flag, silk, net and bounce board we could get our hands on. I also had a china ball, a few clip lights and a couple of 100-watt copy stand lamps on an articulated arm. We ended up needing every light. I was lucky that we were shooting at an outdoor theatre, which had a ton of power going to it because of the two huge 35mm projectors in the booth.
Give us more info and I bet that we can figure out what you need, when are you shooting? Do you have to go out and pre-light? Night for night is very challenging, but it can be very fun and certainly VERY instructive.
You must light through the scene as best as you can. Don't let you actors fall off into a black void. That's why you might want a lot of little "improv" fixtures to throw a little behind people, just enough so the background reads.
Posted 22 February 2006 - 01:05 PM
Posted 22 February 2006 - 02:57 PM
Posted 22 February 2006 - 04:12 PM
The standard tricks for day-for-night are:
Shoot in backlight or whatever creates the most shadows as possible. Avoid the sky. Darken the sky (when unavoidable) with ND grads & Polas. Underexpose. Add more light (like from reflectors) to faces, shadows, etc. where you want detail after underexposure. Shift the image towards the blue. Avoid deep focus.
Day-for-night can also be done in overcast light for more of a dim soft light, like on a cloudy moonlit night. Dusk-for-night is similar except that it allows you to have practicals look realistically bright, but it is too short-lived for more than one or two shots.
Which brings up a couple of the problems of day-for-night: (1) It's hard to avoid the sky often; (2) Practicals expose too dim to be realistic when they would probably be the brightest source in the frame; (3) It looks best the darker you make it, but then it looks too dark for TV viewing or to see what's going on.
Posted 23 February 2006 - 03:26 AM
Edited by BilliamFilms, 23 February 2006 - 03:28 AM.