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#1 Alberto Díaz

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 09:44 AM

Hi , I'm Alberto , a cinematography student from Spain. My English isn't good, so I beg you patience.
I'm going to be DP in a short that is going to be shooted in 16 mm Arri SR3 advanced in Madrid next Tuesday and Wednesday indoor . I have choose Kodak Vision2 500T 7218.

The short is about a christmas story that happens inside a Christmas present ( box ). So there are 4 walls with a window (it's snowing outside) ,a door, gift presents and a christmas tree ( at first is off, later on), but there isn´t any lamp that justify the lighting. So I have to invent the lighting.
On the one hand I want to light backgrounds and on the other hand the characters.
The backgrounds are painted with vertical lines maroon and red, the atmosphere must to be magical and I 'm going to use tiffen filter Black promist.
My question is how to light the backgrounds, because there isnt´any element over the walls, so the walls are only painted.
I hope that you give me a hand. Thank you about your time.
All the best,
Alberto
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 10:36 AM

Is it supposed to be moonlit only? If not, why not add some practicals in the background? Why just have a blank wall? Is it meant to be an abstract space?
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#3 Alberto Díaz

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 08:08 PM

Hi David. It's an honour that you answer me, I'm very pleased.
Yes the short is abstract, is a magical story. I'll try to explain you.

The short has two parts : -First part : Outside is dark and is snowing. We can see this trough a window. And inside there is light but it isn't justified because there isn't any element ( like lamps or candles) in the scene.
And the walls are blank because the short happens in a box ( christmas present ).

-Second part : the light turn off and a christmas tree turn on, so we have the light from the tree and from the window ( moonlight ).
I can´t understand this word : practical. Could you explain it?
Thank you very much and contact me if you come to Spain, Madrid.
By the way, are you DP in "Akeelah and the Bee"?
All the best,
Alberto
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#4 JA Tadena

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 04:49 AM

Outside is dark and is snowing. We can see this trough a window. And inside there is light but it isn't justified because there isn't any element ( like lamps or candles) in the scene.
And the walls are blank because the short happens in a box ( christmas present ).


I think it depends how you talk about this with your director. If he is strict enough not to allow any practical lights in the box then the best you can do is to use a moonlight. Probably you can create a patern on the wall. The light bouncing on the walls can be your ambient source inside the box (probably side lit or under lit depending on the direction of your moonlight). A great sample of this again would be Rembrandts paintings where you have one source. If your going for a more fictional, abstract etc feel then maybe you can check out Robert Richardsons lighting in Bringing Out the Dead(just check out the overexposed whites and use of diffusion filters). You can maybe cheat the moonlight/ or maybe an unestablished light source outside the window to enter the room and be a little overexposed with the use of some Promist filters/Soft classics etc. Make that as a source through out your entire space.
I shot a film before and used warm sources outside the windows. I was trying to make it look like sodium vapors outside but without it being shown( because there were really not existing outside). I guess thats the magic of making movies. Just make sure your director doesnt establish too much outside.

Edited by jatadena, 14 May 2006 - 04:50 AM.

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#5 Alberto Díaz

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 07:49 AM

Thank you very much Jatadena!!! I'll try to explain you in my bad English.
My director wants nothing outside, only snow !! I wanted any bushes (pine), but he wants nothing.
So I 'm going to light the snow with blue lights. And he doesn't want nothing over the walls because the short happens in a christmas present(box) and the walls are painted with maroon and red lines.

At first, there is light inside ( without justification, there is no lamps but there is light ), and outside we only can see the snow through a window. so the blue light is only outside and in the characters when they are close to the window. Later the lights turn off and a christmas tree turn on. So we have two lights from here to the end of the short : one from the christmas tree and the other from the window ( magical moonlight)
So my question is How to light the backgrounds at first, when the inside light is on?
I hope that you understand me
Thank you!!!!
Alberto.
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 10:00 AM

If the moonlight is shining through the window in the shot, backlighting the actor/room, then the only light on the wall in the background would be very dim and soft, maybe just a bounce from the floor, underexposed. Then when the Christmas Tree lights up, you can justify more light hitting the wall.
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#7 JA Tadena

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 12:14 PM

I guess that leaves you with nothing but moonlight. I think David's suggestion is the best you can do. I suggest you go research on paintings, photographs, and films if your having a hard time imagining the light. Im sure you'll find numerous moonlit scenes from older films too. Good luck
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#8 Chris Pritzlaff

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 05:13 PM

As you say, the film style is abstract and magical. Since you have that visual theme, you may be able to get away with lighting that does not need to be justified. Since they are inside a Christmas present, you can create your own isperation for the lighting. Do what feels best to you, don't worry about justification all the time. Thats just my thoughts though - good luck.
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#9 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 05:19 PM

yes, i would probably paint the background with light, creating some sort of pattern. perhaps a soft edge spot that leaves the corners dark or a hard light reflected through water? just a few ideas.

/matt
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#10 Alberto Díaz

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 06:38 AM

Thank you Chris,David,Jatadena and Mattias !! I'm very happy to have found this forum : It's great.
With your words, I'm more calm.

MATTIAS I think It's a very interesting idea to reflect light through water. How can I do it? Could you explain it? The set is small, and to light one wall, I have to do it from ceiling.
Thanks again for your wise words.
Alberto.
Student from Madrid.
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#11 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 07:57 AM

i've simply put a mirror in an aquarium tank and aimed a light straight down into it, then you can create as much ripple as you want and add any objects or tints to the water. but i guess there's some special equipment you can rent too since it's a rather commonly used effect.

/matt
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#12 Alberto Díaz

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 08:12 AM

Thanks man.
Question is that walls are blanks and are painted with maroon and red lines (christmas present box).
So , Do you think I can use this effect over the walls? Wich effect create?.
Best,
Alberto
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