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#1 G McMahon

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 10:34 AM

Hello all,

Doing a shot that overlooks a carnival that has fireworks (No, it?s not for our production, we just happen to orchestrate our shoot to coincide). The actors are standing on top of a helicopter pad on top of a hospital (No, we didn?t hire the location, the director happens to work there). Question, It?s been a while since I have seen fireworks, do they throw enough light to been seen on peoples faces as they explode if the people are already standing in a somewhat well lit area?
And if I was to take license and do so, any suggestion to achieve the affect, baring in mind it?s only for the reverses of the face looking up at the fireworks. I was thinking coloured Christmas lights on dimmers to bring up now and then to see lots of coloured highlights in the eyes. Would the different colours not give me the desired effect on the skin tones though? Any suggestions for BG as well?
I don?t know if people overseas call them fireworks, I know there called fire crackers as well, just to aid if there were any confusion.

Thanks all.
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#2 Mike Panczenko

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 01:01 PM

For Brokeback Mountain, they aimed gelled lights at helium balloons, flicking them on and off, to get a fireworks effect.
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#3 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 11 July 2006 - 02:48 PM

Hello all,

Doing a shot that overlooks a carnival that has fireworks (No, it?s not for our production, we just happen to orchestrate our shoot to coincide). The actors are standing on top of a helicopter pad on top of a hospital (No, we didn?t hire the location, the director happens to work there). Question, It?s been a while since I have seen fireworks, do they throw enough light to been seen on peoples faces as they explode if the people are already standing in a somewhat well lit area?
And if I was to take license and do so, any suggestion to achieve the affect, baring in mind it?s only for the reverses of the face looking up at the fireworks. I was thinking coloured Christmas lights on dimmers to bring up now and then to see lots of coloured highlights in the eyes. Would the different colours not give me the desired effect on the skin tones though? Any suggestions for BG as well?
I don?t know if people overseas call them fireworks, I know there called fire crackers as well, just to aid if there were any confusion.

Thanks all.


Unless the people were quite close to the fireworks as they exploded, the light from the fireworks on their faces would likely be too low to give the effect you want. Your idea of colored lights on a dimmer should work. In general, the fireworks that go "bang" give off short, bright white flashes, much like flashbulbs. The colored displays often start off moderately bright, and take a few seconds to fade. You might try to simulate this in your dimming technique.

Try some POV shots, shooting the fireworks from behind your subjects, putting them into silhouette.

When you are syncing sound or Foley, remember that there is usually a slight delay between the flash and the bang, since the subjects are not right next to the explosion, and the "bang" takes some time to reach them.
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The Slider

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