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renaissance lighting ideas


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#1 Oscar Godfrey

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Posted 03 September 2006 - 08:55 AM

Hello everyone,
I am currently in the early stages of making a film based on an old testament story. I would to achieve a look that resembles renaissance painting, (titian, veronese, reni, raphael [and carravaggio but not that harshly lit] and more modern - delacroix, gericault). Another influence is the photography of Julia Margaret Cameron.
I got good results in black and white still photographs by using long lenses, very long exposure times, slow film and lit using just candles out of shot.
I can't do the long exposures in motion film cameras and as i will have to use shorter exposures i can't light with just candles. I also want to shoot it in colour so the candles would make everything too orange. I want warm colours with particularly rich reds and blues.
I don't have any experience with film lights, I have read about the various types in the book "cinematography" but i don't have any idea what sort would be best for what i want to achieve.
I will be shooting outside mostly. I have not decided whether to shoot in daylight, around dusk. Or another idea i had was that i might be able to shoot at night but make it look like daylight through the lighting, this would give me the very rich areas of darkness similar to those in the paintings. However i think this idea is a bit too extravagant.
So I would very much appreciate any ideas or advice any of you have to help me out with this.
Thank you,
Oscar.

Edited by Oscar Godfrey, 03 September 2006 - 08:59 AM.

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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 September 2006 - 09:40 AM

You're mainly taalking about a big soft source for the subject, often warmer than the background in daytime paintings -- Italian painters tended to exaggerate the blue shift of aerial perspective, and the foreground subjects were painted in a studio lit with window light.

If it were possible to use very large frames of diffusion outdoors in the sunlight, over the subject, and somehow dye the diffusion material a little on the warm side, that would help.

If you are shooting in overcast or dusk, then a large diffusion frame off to one side with some big lights behind it would create that look, maybe (in overcast) with another large frame with a net of solid to darken the top light while you are lighting more from the side.

How large these frames are depend on the size of the area you are lighting. But you're going to need some big lights, a generator, large frames of diffusion, etc.

If you are shooting at dusk, then the lights don't have to be as powerful behind the diffusion frame, but then you have a limited time to shoot the shot.
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#3 Oscar Godfrey

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 03:29 PM

Thank you David,
I think i will have to shoot at dusk or evening to get the blue skies. What sort of big lights should i think about using? HMI? Tungsten?...
What sort of colour temperature difference is there between different types of light?
I don't think i will be able to use computer colour correction on the film. I will obviously do some tests of my own but does anyone have any suggestions for stock that might help me achieve richer blues and reds than greens. Kind of similar to technicolour but not that extreme.
Does anyone know the stock and lighting used in Barry Lyndon. This is not exactly the look i want but the flesh in that film is lovely.
Thank you.
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#4 Shane Bartlett

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 05:23 PM

Does anyone know the stock and lighting used in Barry Lyndon. This is not exactly the look i want but the flesh in that film is lovely.
Thank you.



They used 5254 stock, with a Tiffen #3 low contrast filter. Everything was pushed one stop in processing. Lenses were fast, a lot of the exteriors on a 1.2 and the famous candlelit scene with a 0.7.

Lighting was made to look as natural as possible, with a lot of reflectors, maxi brutes and lowells (with umbrellas for fill), often shot through windows to mimic sunlight. The windows were sometimes covered in a plastic tracing material, or tracing paper.

Makeup played a large part in the way flesh looked and photographed.
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#5 David Sweetman

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 05:32 PM

Are you shooting on film or video? I saw someone in a similar scenario use two 10k lights side-by-side through a diffusion frame
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#6 Oscar Godfrey

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 09:10 AM

Thank you guys.
Shane, where did you find out all that information, it is most helpful thank you. Do you know of a good resource or book on makeup for films?
David, i am shooting on 16mm.
Thanks again,
Oscar.
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#7 Shane Bartlett

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 02:20 PM

Thank you guys.
Shane, where did you find out all that information, it is most helpful thank you. Do you know of a good resource or book on makeup for films?
David, i am shooting on 16mm.
Thanks again,
Oscar.



Oscar,

Most of it is in a very nice book called "The Stanley Kubrick Archives".

Regarding makeup, there is no information in the "Archives", and I don't know offhand of any other books. However, I did read an article online some time ago that mentioned a certain type of makeup used (I believe for a still photography shoot) that gave a very similar effect to that seen in Barry Lyndon. I can't remember where I read the article, but a google search ought to turn up something.

If you are pretty sure of the look you want, a good makeup artist will know how to make it happen for you.

Good luck with everything.
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#8 Oscar Godfrey

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 02:17 PM

Thank you.
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