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Shooting a forest at night


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#1 Franz TIF

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 06:04 AM

As it is my first post, allow me to introduce myself. I'm a 21 y.o. frenchman. I just finished a cinematography school (EICAR cherbourg) and the Metropolitan film school in London. I shot a number of student short films in DV/HDV as a DP during my scholarship. I'll setup a website with my showreel asap.

I'm now shooting a 'medieval' medium-sized film as a DP, in the south of France. I came across a big issue... I have to shoot a forest at night. I've not yet rented the lights, but I should have (for the need of the rest of the shoot) :
-1 HMI Fresnel 18kW (or 12kW cinepar)
-1 HMI cinepar 6kW
-a couple of Joker/Bug 800
-some Lucioles (cubic 1kW chinese balls, easier to use)
-2x 4x1,20 Kinoflo
-2x 4x0,60 Kinoflo
-3x 2x0,60 Kinoflo

As you can see, there's nothing really useful for this application.

I was considering a helium balloon (airstar - solarc), but as I'm shooting in the south of France, it seems to expensive. I'm waiting for the producer to allow a budget for this.

Maybe I could use a couple of 2kw cinepar to light up trees from behind with a light lavender gel, but I don't know what to do next. I don't have any tower to put my lights on.

Do you have any experience or ideas lighting a forest at night ?

One last thing, we are shooting with a Panasonic HVX200

Here's a pic of the forest.

Night_Forest.png
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#2 Daniel Carruthers

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 07:50 PM

As it is my first post, allow me to introduce myself. I'm a 21 y.o. frenchman. I just finished a cinematography school (EICAR cherbourg) and the Metropolitan film school in London. I shot a number of student short films in DV/HDV as a DP during my scholarship. I'll setup a website with my showreel asap.

I'm now shooting a 'medieval' medium-sized film as a DP, in the south of France. I came across a big issue... I have to shoot a forest at night. I've not yet rented the lights, but I should have (for the need of the rest of the shoot) :
-1 HMI Fresnel 18kW (or 12kW cinepar)
-1 HMI cinepar 6kW
-a couple of Joker/Bug 800
-some Lucioles (cubic 1kW chinese balls, easier to use)
-2x 4x1,20 Kinoflo
-2x 4x0,60 Kinoflo
-3x 2x0,60 Kinoflo

As you can see, there's nothing really useful for this application.

I was considering a helium balloon (airstar - solarc), but as I'm shooting in the south of France, it seems to expensive. I'm waiting for the producer to allow a budget for this.

Maybe I could use a couple of 2kw cinepar to light up trees from behind with a light lavender gel, but I don't know what to do next. I don't have any tower to put my lights on.

Do you have any experience or ideas lighting a forest at night ?

One last thing, we are shooting with a Panasonic HVX200

Here's a pic of the forest.

Night_Forest.png

some smaller tungsten lights like 650k, hide them behind the trees put them in bushes.I wouldent bother with the balloon, i fing they give off too much light and since your shooting on an hvx it would seem unnesisary to me. I would try to get more tungsten sources at least for the night work. like a T12 or a brute.
HMI will only slow you down
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#3 Charlie Hohenshilt

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 08:43 PM

Having not gone on the scout it's hard to really judge the best route to take.

A cheep route would be a 2 or 3 12K maxi brutes. Put them on 4 riser avenger cranks and space them to put slashes Thur the woods aimed right to left. Put a frame of full blue in front and WaLa. If you could get a couple of condor lifts that would be better then the avenger stands. They can get much higher and are safer. I am assuming their is room in the woods to get the units in place.

You could just use the 6k and 18k as well (get the 12K cinepar if you can. Its easy to reduce light but hard to squeeze more out of a small light not that the 18K is small). Using the avenger cranks or the condors do the same thing as you would with the maxis. Now you don't need blue, but you only get 2 slashes instead of 3 thou.

If you want an ominous look put the 6k way down the path and off to one side or the other shine it right into the lens. It puts a neet affect on all the branches and is motivation for any other back light you may use in the sequence.

The HVX likes a lot of light. If you want to reduce the intensity in post its easier that bring the level up in post.

Talk to your Gaffer. He/She may have a way that looks great and is logistically easy as well. Use a Seasoned Gaffer and Seasoned Key Grip rather than a school chum. This is not simple and it will take time to set up and keep SAFE. Bring your chum along for the show :)
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#4 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 07:38 AM

i did something similar a while ago, and i must say those jokers worked wonderfully. i put four of them in chimera lanterns, on 6 meter stands hidden behind trees. great "sourceless" moon ambiance.

/matt
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#5 Franz TIF

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Posted 06 November 2006 - 01:16 AM

Thank you all for your great help.

I've rented a cinepar 12kW, 3x 6kW cinepar,3x joker 800W and 4x maxi brutes.

I've seen a shooting (rush hour 3) where they put +green on 6kw to light trees. I guess that might be an idea as well.

Do any of you know the name of the grip device that can fit on trees, from matthews ? I can't find it in the catalog.

Franz
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#6 Franz TIF

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Posted 31 March 2007 - 07:41 AM

Here's the results:

Posted Image
· 3x maxi brutes in backlight with green+ gel
· fog machine (viper or so)

Posted Image
· 3x maxi brutes with moonlight blue gel on a cliff (15+ meters high)

you can check the showreel of this shoot here.



Hope you'll like it !

Edited by Franz TIF, 31 March 2007 - 07:43 AM.

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#7 David Auner aac

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 04:22 AM

Hope you'll like it !


Hi Franz,
these are nice!

Cheers, Dave
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 10:06 AM

Yes, they look great.
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#9 Rodrigo Llano

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 07:26 PM

great solutions!!..


cheers
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