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Rural Nighttime Exterior (moonlight)


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#1 Zoe Van Brunt

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Posted 14 March 2006 - 05:29 PM

So I'm shooting a nighttime exterior with the Varicam on a farm with very few practical motivated light sources other than the moon and a car's headlights that wouldn't really motivate any light for the majority of the shoot.

So nearly all of my lights are going to be emulating moonlight. I did some lighting tests and HMI's with an 1/8th Plus Green had the kind of effect I wanted.

At the moment my lightting package includes two 6k and one 4k Arrisun Pars which I plan to use for my primary moonlight, with the 1/8th Plus Green and a sheet of opal to even out the light. The problem is my Gaffer and I are concerned about our options for getting a light high enough to light the 35ft high two story farm house. In the case that it's not possible, I have contingentcy plans, but I'd like some opinions on my options for height.

Everybody asks me if I have a condor, and having never worked with one, I don't know if I can afford it in my budget or where to go to rent it. I asked for a quote from united rentals for a Genie 45 straight mast boom and a Scisor Lift, but they haven't gotten back to me yet. LA411 is not really being helpful for finding places that rent that kind of equipment.
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#2 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 02:47 PM

Have you considered hiring a largish white helium weather balloon and bouncing one or more of the pars off it? Or do you want your 'moonlight' more directional?
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#3 Michael Collier

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 03:19 PM

I have never had the pleasure of working with one of these, but in the fight club and several other movies, I have seen in behind the scene pics what looks like a helium balloon anchored to the ground, with what seems to be an HMI fixture WITHIN the balloon. So instead of bouncing light (which I think would take a lot of light, since it has to travel from ground to bounce and then back to ground, not to mention what happens if the ballon sways outside of the lights path.) It shines through the balloon, softening the light about as much as bounce would. If you look at the night scenes at the paperstreet house, you can see what I am talking about. (I assume they used the balloon for general fill, and maybe a few HMIs to edgelight the charecters, look at the scene where they are hitting golfballs into the dark)
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#4 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 03:27 PM

Airstar (airstar-light.com) are one manufacturer of these balloons. They come in varying sizes and are available with tungsten or hmi lamps in them. Lee Lighting have their own version, called the Leelium balloon. I'm sure there are others as well.

They're not cheap, that why I suggested bouncing light off a weather balloon as a budget alternative, however, stacked up against the cost of hiring a condor, they might be a viable alternative.
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#5 Zoe Van Brunt

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 01:56 PM

Thanks everybody. Turns out a condor costs about a quarter of what the balloon lights cost, because the balloon lights require us to hire a specialized technician from the balloon company, and the daily quote was averaging $1200/day which was stupid. I found a 60' straight mast boom lift for only $300/day plus $55 delivery and pickup (pre-negotiations) at NES, so we're going with that.
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#6 janusz sikora

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 01:52 AM

You can try it the Hollywood way and go broke (if you are low budget), or you can do it "old fashion way" shooting Day for Night.
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#7 Cannonfodder

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 02:25 PM

Although you have tested in the moonlight, do you know exactly what day you are shooting on? What if there is no moon on that day? something to consider
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#8 Zoe Van Brunt

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 01:47 PM

Although you have tested in the moonlight, do you know exactly what day you are shooting on? What if there is no moon on that day? something to consider


It wasn't real moon light I tested. I tested an HMI with 1/8th Plus Green as a backlight, and it gave the effect I wanted. Thanks anyway.
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