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Suggestions for off-camera explosion lighting?


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#1 Shyaporn

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 06:58 AM

Any suggestions on how to light an off-camera explosion flash?

Fellow is walking towards a rooftop-doorway and the building across the street explodes. We never see the actual explosion (ah, low budget...), just the light effect on his rooftop.

Thanks.
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#2 Michael Morlan

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 11:06 AM

We pulled this off on a low-budget feature recently.

Our super spy (played by Pepe Serna) watches from across a street as the explosion he set in the villian's lair goes off.

recipe:

1x Medium on Pepe.
2x 1K fresnel on hand squeezers.
1x 2x3 flag.

Pulse the lights to taste.
Whiff the flag out of frame to create a "concussion" on talent.

Also consider:
bits of paper "debris" dropped in front of the flag just before the "whiff."

Enjoy,
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 11:55 AM

How bright the light from the explosion should be depends on whether it is a night or day scene and how far away / how big the explosion is.

If it's a big fireball effect at night, I'd probably get some big orange-gelled lights behind a frame of light diffusion (to blend them a little), put them on dimmers. 10K's or 9-lights, etc. For the initial flash, I might just flag the lights and have the flags quickly dropped, or use metal blinds, and then use the dimmers to pulse the light and then fade them down (or use the metal blinds to create that effect.)

If you use enough multi-bank lights like a row of 12-lights, and a big enough dimmer board, you can probably get away with not using a diffusion frame because that many lights will produce a semi-soft shadow.

I've augmented the lighting effect in post by burning-out a few frames for the initial blast in the color-correction, a quick ramp-up and out of overexposure.
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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Aerial Filmworks

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The Slider

Wooden Camera

Willys Widgets

Glidecam

CineTape

rebotnix Technologies

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Tai Audio

Abel Cine

Visual Products

Metropolis Post

FJS International, LLC

Technodolly

Broadcast Solutions Inc