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gels for neon using tungsten lights


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#1 tommy holman

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 09:12 AM

hey everyone,
i am shooting a short on super 16 soon, and want to imitate green and red neon lights coming in from the exterior to an interior office set, i want to use tungsten lights, so what would be the best combination of gels to use to give the effect of green and red neon lights come through the window, from a flashing neon sign etc.

any help would be greatly appreciated,

many thanks,
tommy holman
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#2 John Hall

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 06:59 PM

It is most important that the colours you choose look right in your scene, which I have no idea of knowing.
If I told you that I once used 138 Pale Green & 778 Millennium Gold, that doesn't mean it will give you the look you want.
Neons are sometimes used to portray a location as a seedy underbelly of a city.
Or maybe they could be on a marquee, or in a night club, meant to portray a glamourous effect.
Needless to say, these are two entirely different situations where you want the colour of the light to have a different emotional impact.

I would use equal parts personal taste and whatever-is-available.
What do you have access to? Any plus-green gel? Maybe doubling it up will give you the desired effect.

Let's say you have no coloured gels (or you only have basic CTOs and CTBs)
Get your hands on a colour gel sample book from Lee Filters. If your school doesn't have them, you could write to Lee, or visit them (they are only an hour away from Bournemouth, in Andover).
Try to get your hands on the larger Cinematographer Editions, which are 90mm x 70mm, but make sure to grab one of each of their different product lines.

Are you shooting an establishing shot of the exterior with a real neon sign? See if you can find a pair of gels that look close. If you aren't, see if there are any you imagine the sign looking like.
Then I'd find a patient friend, sit them down and shine a flashlight through some different gels onto their face and see what you like.
Failing all that, check out Lee's great section of their website site called 'Art of Light' http://www.leefilter...1.asp?PageID=21, which has a catalog of their products as well as suggestions as to what look they might help achieve.
Buy a bunch of different gels for each colour and any other colours you might find interesting. A collection has to start somewhere. You can always get a more intense colour by doubling up the gel.

Go walk downtown and find a real neon sign, look at the effect it has on peoples faces, what do you think it looks like?
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#3 tommy holman

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 07:31 AM

hey thanks for all you're help. very helpful.

have a good day,
tommy
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Ritter Battery

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineTape

Willys Widgets

Visual Products

rebotnix Technologies

Tai Audio

Abel Cine

Rig Wheels Passport

Glidecam

Technodolly

CineLab

Aerial Filmworks

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Wooden Camera