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right film for torches?


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#1 william everett

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 01:48 PM

What would be a proper film for shooting a scene at night, or in a dark room, lit with torches? (The scene is set in and near a stone prison)
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#2 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 02:55 PM

What would be a proper film for shooting a scene at night, or in a dark room, lit with torches? (The scene is set in and near a stone prison)


Probably a high speed tungsten balance film like KODAK VISION2 500T Color Negative Film 5218/7218 will be the best choice. If you don't have enough light and have to underexpose, a push-1 process can help. Can you supplement the lighting?
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#3 Chris Keth

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 04:02 PM

Probably a high speed tungsten balance film like KODAK VISION2 500T Color Negative Film 5218/7218 will be the best choice. If don't have enough light and have to underexpose, a push-1 process can help. Can you supplement the lighting?


John's right on. Are you actually going to light the scene with torches, or use torch practicals and light with tungsten fixtures? You do realize that firelight on tungsten film will look VERY red/orange, right? It's not necessarily unpleasant (see the indoor candlelight scenes in "Barry Lyndon"), just something to be aware of.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 04:19 PM

John's right on. Are you actually going to light the scene with torches, or use torch practicals and light with tungsten fixtures? You do realize that firelight on tungsten film will look VERY red/orange, right?


Well, it would even more red/orange on daylight-balanced film...

I did a 16mm student film with a lot of torch scenes and I was able to shoot with torchlight alone on 500T stock and torchlight mixed with artificial light on 200T film. I'm talking about shooting at an f/2.8 in most cases.

But there's a difference between a torch lighting someone's face who is holding the torch, versus it lighting the whole room where the torch is farther away. With a torch right up to someone's face, even 200T is bright enough.

And I'm talking about a torch at its peak -- they tend to dwindle quickly in brightness as the kerosene burns off.

Which reminds me -- you need a space that can be ventilated as necessary, and you need to follow all the fire laws and safety requirements.

As for augmenting torchlight, I used different techniques depending on the shot - sometimes I used 2K Zips with Full CTO, and randomly waved my hands and fingers in front to create flicker. Today I'd probably use a couple of orange-gelled lights on a flicker box.
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#5 Laurent Andrieux

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 06:01 AM

5218 ! :)
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#6 william everett

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 10:16 AM

Actually, I didn't think of fire laws. It's a public museum so the idea of torches inside is probably nix right there. However, the scene would be set in ancient Troy so I want to have a realistic feel. A prisoner kidnapped and taken away by night, that sort of thing.

David, do you mean a Zippo lighter? That's interesting!

Edited by williameverett, 22 June 2006 - 10:17 AM.

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