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Light setup and advice


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#1 Joe Sexton

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 01:45 PM

I'm shooting a scene this weekend that will involve a couple of actors staring out a four inch opening in a boarded-up window watching a sunset. The room these characters are in is not supposed to have any power therefore it would be dark. My hope is to have the room under exposed but not black. The light coming through the window to be properly exposed on the actors faces, and the windows completely blown out. The room is 25' by 22' and I'm shooting this on S16 with 7217 stock.
Here's how I'm planning to light this, but I would welcome any suggestions any of you may have. I am going to create a low ambient light throughout the room with a few Chinese lanterns with a 1/4 CTB gel. I'm planning on the ambient light be two stops under key. I'll be gelling the windows with full CTO and positioning a 500w tungsten spotlight outside the window. I will also have two 600w Arris outside the window for additional fill. The spotlight will be aimed directly at the actors. My choice of tungsten lights outside the widow with the gel is so that they cast a gold light on the actors faces much like what the light from a sunset would look like. If I shoot on a sunny day I think I'm about five to six stops over key so the windows should completely blow out, but the weather report says it is going to be mostly cloudy with a few showers, so I don't know what I'm going to be looking at. I figure that I need the windows to be at least three stops over key for them to blow out. If I don't end up with enough natural light I have been entertaining the notion of using a white back drop and lighting that with some Flos. Finally I am going to add a little bit of fog so that we can see the light streaming though the room. I have a standard party for fog machine I can use: will this work or should I rent a professional unit?
Anyway I would appreciate any feedback or suggestions that you may have.
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#2 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 05:52 AM

i'm a little confused. blown out windows doesn't sound like sunset at all to me. anyway if you do want them blown out you need more than three stops over. smooth white objects three stops over will blow out but if you have detail it will most likely show. the easiest way of ensuring that they turn white is to put diffusion outside, or a white curtain that you light to the desired level. if you don't put the diffusion directly on the window you'll have space to shine that 600 next to it onto the faces. but i'm not sure what look you're after by doing that. it sounds like you need to think it through.

/matt
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#3 Joe Sexton

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 10:31 AM

Thanks Matt, I'm sorry I should have been a little bit clearer The reason that the window needs to completely blow out is that the window is boarded but except for a small section. Any time the camera sees the window the camera would theoretically be looking directly in to the sun.
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#4 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 10:35 AM

in that case i would put it 5 stops over so it blooms a bit.

/matt
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