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lighting for shoot involving night, rain, and a car...


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#1 Andrew Jackson

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Posted 15 September 2006 - 03:34 PM

For my student film this year, I'm bumping it up a bit. One of my short film ideals involves two men in a car, while it's lightning, raining, and night outside. The car is sitting outside of a house, and NOT under any lights (like a streetlight for example). The film has to be edited on film (no digital effects), so I'm trying to figure how I could do this....

1) The men in the car: I don't want them normally exposed, but I want the audience to be able to see details. When the lightning flashes, I probably want it a bit overexposed (I'm going to be watching some movies with rain and lightning in them to try to get some ideas how the light/sound/shot composition all works together and different ways to cheat things)

2) The lightning: Just set up a powerful light and either blast it off and on, or hold something in front of it until the lightning is cued.

3) The Rain: in tight shots, maybe use a garden hose or something....for longer shots, a firetruck (that I most likely have access to

4) Night: Do day for night (which I'm not sure how I would do that....someone told me a red filter) or do night for night....probably much harder

The main problem I'm seeing is having lights set up to create enough light for the inside of a car, and for the lighting, and having water coming down at the same time. Anyone have any suggestions?

Oh, by the way, I'll be shooting on a 16mm camera, probably a bolex or an Arri-S, with 500T film (or 200T if you brainiacs think, with a certain combination, it would work better)

thanks!
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#2 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 18 September 2006 - 05:42 AM

You need to justify a source of light. You say there's no streetlight, so the obvious choice is moonlight. Use the biggest lamp you've got as a backlight or kicker. Place it up high, and far enough back to give a even spread of illumination. If it's a tungsten lamp you may want to use 1/4 CTB or something to create a slightly cold look.

Then you'll need something to light the characters faces. Maybe there is light spilling from the house they are outside of. Or you could simulate light from the dash with a Kino car kit or other soft source.

Lightning can be achieved a number of ways. Strobe lights like you find at DJ equipment stores are an easy way to create this effect. You'll need something fairly powerful to cover a wide shot, say a 3k Strobe.

If you have access to a fire truck then you should have no problem with creating rain effects. Remember, rain needs to be backlit to show up on film. Your Moonlight lamp should take care of this nicely, or you can augment the effect with other lamps.

Absolutely avoid Day for Night. It is far easier to create these effects at night. Red filters make things go red, unless you are shooting Black & White. Do not use with colour film unless you want everything red.

500T is the way to go.
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#3 Andrew Jackson

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Posted 21 September 2006 - 08:33 PM

You need to justify a source of light. You say there's no streetlight, so the obvious choice is moonlight. Use the biggest lamp you've got as a backlight or kicker. Place it up high, and far enough back to give a even spread of illumination. If it's a tungsten lamp you may want to use 1/4 CTB or something to create a slightly cold look.

Then you'll need something to light the characters faces. Maybe there is light spilling from the house they are outside of. Or you could simulate light from the dash with a Kino car kit or other soft source.

Lightning can be achieved a number of ways. Strobe lights like you find at DJ equipment stores are an easy way to create this effect. You'll need something fairly powerful to cover a wide shot, say a 3k Strobe.

If you have access to a fire truck then you should have no problem with creating rain effects. Remember, rain needs to be backlit to show up on film. Your Moonlight lamp should take care of this nicely, or you can augment the effect with other lamps.

Absolutely avoid Day for Night. It is far easier to create these effects at night. Red filters make things go red, unless you are shooting Black & White. Do not use with colour film unless you want everything red.

500T is the way to go.



Thanks for the reply. I'll definately keep what you said in mind. I guess the biggest problem I'm facing now is if I want a long shot, how to light it properly while the rain is going.....I won't be using my lights so I don't really want to damage them, and I dont' want to get electrocuted. I might just have to avoid the long shots. This is a student film, and I think the most powerful light I'll have available to me is a 1k (probably have 2 of them, and the rest of the lights are like 750 watts....I'll have about 3 of them)
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