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How to light for a car without overdoing it and losing texture


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#1 Zalfa Chamoun

Zalfa Chamoun

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Posted 18 November 2006 - 07:42 PM

I'm getting ready to light a short film that takes place entirely in a car. The lights that r available to me are the whole kino range available for lighting in a car, a 2k and a set of 800W.

I've already used such a kit and although the result wasn't displeasing, I found it lacked texture. Which at the time fitted the context.

This time round I'm going for a more gritty look, less smooth, clean and clinical.

Any suggestions? Are there any filters I could use? Any films that could serve as a reference?

I would appreciate advice from ppl that don't overlight cars and still maintain a satisfying/natural amount of daylight in the scene.

Thx.
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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 18 November 2006 - 07:49 PM

I think we need a little more information about your shoot -- day or night? Is the car always in motion? Camera angles? Do you have a process trailer? Are the actors actually driving the car? What are the locations? How much contrast can you live with between interior and exterior for day scenes?
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#3 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 04:44 AM

When you say you want a "gritty look," what do you mean exactly? Can you describe the mood you want to create for the scene?

Once you know the mood, then you can interpret that in your own way in terms of look: color scheme, more grain or less, more contrast or less, more color saturation or less, focal length of the lens, lens flares, more or less depth of field, camera movement, framing, and so on.

Then you can determine what lighting tools (if any) you need to accomplish the look you want.

Personally, a "gritty" look for me would be one that went to the extremes in terms of grain, contrast, color, etc. For example, there's this driving scene in "Se7en" which is naturalistic, low key, and monochromatic. Then the sun bursts out from behind a highrise and creates a brief, overexposed, backlight on the character, Detective Mills, and flares out the lens. Mills is telling a story about watching a fellow cop die - the mood of the scene is "brooding" and "grim." The lighting accomplishes this.

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