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#1 Michael Dean Gibbs

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 12:35 PM

I was watching "Casino" last night and came away with a few questions...

There have been wonderful discussions in this forum on the lighting techniques of Robert Richardson's, and I, like many of you am a huge fan.

In "Casino" he combines xenon lighting and his signature harsh top-light effect in the same shot (eg. wide angle shots inside a dingy bar).

Why is it that xenon rays show up on film as a ray of light and his harsh overhead lighting (4-6 stops overexposed) doesn't? Is it simple a matter of strength...wattage? If so, is there a rule of thumb as to what will show up and what won't?


Thanks for your help!
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#2 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 02:23 PM

I don't know what shot you're talking about, but I'm assuming the subject is backlit by either a Xenon or HMI, while top light by another source.

It's not a characteristic of the light to see the beam unless the set has been smoked, which is probably the case here. But you're right about the lights wattage making a difference. To get a really good shaft of light you really need that light to be bright, at least a few stops over key.
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#3 Kim Sargenius

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Posted 25 December 2006 - 09:13 PM

It's not a characteristic of the light to see the beam unless the set has been smoked, which is probably the case here.



Actually, it's a combination of the 'optics' of the source, the atmosphere (smoke) and overexposure.

A light source such as a search light, beam projector or a Dedo collimates the light - most of the light follows the path of the 'beam', very little stray light. Most xenon lights are of this type.

A light source with less precise optics (think redhead etc) will scatter the light more and so doesn't produce a distinct 'beam'.

Of course, to get that hot white beam you also need a certain amount of atmosphere to 'display' the beam and a few stops overexposure, preferrably against a darker background (try creating a beam in a white cyc!)



cheers,

Kim
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