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Rays of Light in a Dark Room


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#1 Brandon McCormick

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 08:04 PM

I will be shooting in an abandoned hospital this month, and I really want to haze the room and get those rays of light. We'll be shooting there for two days.

The Problem:
I know the best call would be to shoot at night with a HUGE HMI or something, barfing light into the room so i can have a consistent source of light.
BUT
Our location isn't necessarily safe (drug dealers, vandals, and gangs) at night, and even though we'll be renting police assistance, the housing authority wont let us have the place at night, only during daylight hours.
The lighting looks great during the day, but obviously it moves with the sun and I wont get that single ray of light.

Is there a way to get this during the day (bounce)? Or am I just going to have to live with it?

Thanks for your thoughts.

Brandon
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 08:50 PM

You need a hard, projected light through smoke to get a beam. If not real sunlight, then some other hard source like a big HMI, or some HMI PAR's with narrow lenses, or a Xenon lamp, etc. Or mirror boards to reflect the sun into the room.
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#3 Chris Keth

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 08:50 PM

I will be shooting in an abandoned hospital this month, and I really want to haze the room and get those rays of light. We'll be shooting there for two days.

The Problem:
I know the best call would be to shoot at night with a HUGE HMI or something, barfing light into the room so i can have a consistent source of light.
BUT
Our location isn't necessarily safe (drug dealers, vandals, and gangs) at night, and even though we'll be renting police assistance, the housing authority wont let us have the place at night, only during daylight hours.
The lighting looks great during the day, but obviously it moves with the sun and I wont get that single ray of light.

Is there a way to get this during the day (bounce)? Or am I just going to have to live with it?

Thanks for your thoughts.

Brandon


Flag the sunlight from the window and still use the HMI. Problem solved.
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#4 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 12:18 AM

If the sunlight isn't shining in the direction you need, and if there's another building adjacent to your location, you can set up some reflectors/mirrors on the roof and beam that sunlight right in there.

I've done it on a couple of occasions, it really does work great (providing it's a clear day). Just be sure you take proper safety precautions, plenty of sandbags and some strong Grips with good balance to keep those reflectors up there if it's a windy day.
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#5 Shane Bartlett

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 09:09 AM

For my first film, we used two Altman 1k PAR 64's (with VNSP bulbs, ellipsoidal) and some smoke to do the same thing. You can also, of course, use set pieces to help shape the light--like curtains, etc.

If you're on a budget, the Altman cans are very cheap (search eBay). Soemtimes you can find Mole Richardson PARs for a reasonable price, too.

They probably are not the most elegant lights, but when you're on a budget. . . .
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#6 Greg Gross

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 11:00 AM

You might want to take a look at "Kingdom Hospital" for some ideas on lighting.
I was thinking in the back of my mind about lights(positioned appropriately) with
snoots to create beams,bars of light. I believe an effect by lighting through a blind
could achieve a similar effect and might be enhanced with smoke. This may be of
some help if you are budget strapped.

Greg Gross
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#7 Greg Gross

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 11:17 AM

I just set up an experiment here in my studio. I'm using a large Mag-Lite(flashlight)
through a blind and I lit up a cigar for some smoke. I'm getting a real interesting
effect. You might want to try this out,see if you like.

Greg Gross
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#8 Brandon McCormick

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 12:30 PM

Excellent thoughts guys, thanks.

Would using an HMI during the day not look strange, or be ineffective? For some reason I have the image of turning on a flashlight during the daytime, it doesn't really do anything.
Maybe if the beam was focused enough, it could do the trick?
Flagging it would probably be a good call.

How would I flag a window on the second story?

Thanks guys.
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#9 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 31 December 2006 - 03:19 AM

Could tape up some thick black plastic onto the windows to "flag" them, I suppose.

HMI's are used during the day all the time, just don't assume that the color temperature is going to be the exact same as the daylight outside, daylight's color temp can vary.

A focused beam from a maglite could probably work for ya, but more commonly people use xenon flashlights. However, using a tungsten flashlight in contrast to your daylight sources could make for some good color temp. contrast.
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#10 Dan Stone

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 01:40 AM

We shot a short on an empty floor of a hospital and did a similar thing. We were on the 9th floor, so there was no way to put a light outside. We set the scene right outside of a locker/break room which was next to the main nurses' station. The locker/break room had a window with blinds, which was perfect.

Here's how we lit it:
We blocked all exterior windows. We put an Arri 1K Fresnel in the locker room shining through the blinds towards the nurses' station. Since we were shooting on video, this was a tremendous amount of light. It actually made the station and hallway look like day. Then we opened all of the hospital room doors (8 of them down the hallway) and put a Lowel open face Omni in each room shining out into the hallway. We used barndoors to narrow the beam. This created beams and pools of light which looked amazing and gave the shot great depth. We put another Arri 1K Fresnel behind the doors at the end of the hall. When our 'doctor' walked through, it gave a cool look.

We then lit our talent with honey-combed 500W softbanks -- one overhead and one from the side.

We were ecstatic with the outcome.
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