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INT. APARTMENT - night - WHITE WALLS!!


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#1 Matt Cabinum

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 01:52 PM

I am shooting for an entire weekend that takes place mostly at night inside an apartment with white walls. I am mainly lighting directly from practicals. (Hiking up the fixture so that it will expose my subjects) I'm also shooting Fuji Eterna 250T (8653). Any ideas on how to keep that bounce down? I'm at a loss and the location is locked and cannot be changed because of a varitey of reasons. Please help!

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#2 Evan Phan

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 03:01 PM

I am shooting for an entire weekend that takes place mostly at night inside an apartment with white walls. I am mainly lighting directly from practicals. (Hiking up the fixture so that it will expose my subjects) I'm also shooting Fuji Eterna 250T (8653). Any ideas on how to keep that bounce down? I'm at a loss and the location is locked and cannot be changed because of a varitey of reasons. Please help!

-Matt




Duvetyne or Blackwrap gaffed up inside the practical lamp fixtures on the sides closest to the walls/corners can help, being careful to conceal it from the camera. Ain't perfect, but you should be able to knock the light striking the walls down by a couple of stops by doing this.

Optimally you would want to find some kind of environmental objects to place in the shot to create some color contrast out of the bland room.
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#3 John Hall

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 06:08 PM

If you're really in a bind, ask the art director (if you have one) if theres anything they can put on the wall to help at least break up the white a bit. A painting, some shear or a curtain perhaps. Your situation will dictate what might be appropriate.

But you've got the idea, keep as much light off the wall as possible, picking up small elements, such as pictures, on the wall with very controlled lights (snooted fresnel, or perhaps a source 4).

If you can light with diffuse sources like a china ball, lower their intensity, but keep them close to the talent, the quick fall off of the light will help keep light off the wall.
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#4 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 06:49 PM

Mmm, negative fill is your friend :)

Try and get your hands on plenty of duvetyne or any similar black material to really cut down the bounce.
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#5 A. Whitehouse

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 08:46 PM

I am shooting for an entire weekend that takes place mostly at night inside an apartment with white walls. I am mainly lighting directly from practicals. (Hiking up the fixture so that it will expose my subjects) I'm also shooting Fuji Eterna 250T (8653). Any ideas on how to keep that bounce down? I'm at a loss and the location is locked and cannot be changed because of a varitey of reasons. Please help!

-Matt


As others have suggested use of blacks but may I also suggest pulling the performers away from the walls and if you use additional lighting then using them close and controlled. Also for your practicals look into getting the bulbs with a reflective opaque top as this will prevent light shooting out of the top of your lamps or fixtures. They are a bit more expesive but I have always found them very useful. I hope this helps...

Sasha
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#6 Paul Bruening

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 10:10 PM

This is a situation where the inverse square law can be your friend. Keep the light close to your subject, the subjects far from the wall and the fall-off of light will keep those walls from blowing out. The compromise to this is that subject placement and movement will be limited. As well, you have to jamb the camera back against the wall, use short lenses and frame tighter on your subjects. This approach usually miffs the director... but it willl automatically solve the white walls. Like these guys said- negative fill and flagging would be better.
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#7 J. Lamar King

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 01:53 PM

You could also not use a practical as the key light. Use a movie light as if it were the lamp light and set it so you can stop down for the skin tones. Thus pushing the walls down. Tighter shots and avoiding silly wide masters that do nothing but emphasize the white walls also helps.

When you use practicals as the only light sources in your scenes you give up a lot of control of the foreground/background balance.
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#8 chris kempinski

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 02:09 PM

I like Evan's idea with the blackwrap.
I would only add the idea of using controlled lights
like liekos,dedos and snoots on smaller sources.
Keep your sources high, pointed down and off the
wall. Perhaps look at getting a wall spreader or two.

there's my two cents.

good luck
Chris
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#9 John Carreon

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 01:36 AM

I think John Hall had a good recommendation (and not just becasue we share the same name) about dressing up the walls themselves...even on a low budget you can scrounge up a few bucks for some pictures or even some cloth material to hang...

Hell, go steal a rug from your Grandma's house for the weekend.

One thing you can do...which is horribly immoral and wrong (but has worked on many occasions for me is to go to IKEA buy some stuff...treat it very gently like a newborn baby...or a sweet, sweet woman...and then disassemble it when you're done and return it to IKEA, explaining...it didn't fit...or your girlfriend hates your taste...

But just remember..."you break, you buy!!!"

John Carreon
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#10 John Hall

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 09:33 AM

One thing you can do...which is horribly immoral and wrong (but has worked on many occasions for me is to go to IKEA buy some stuff...treat it very gently like a newborn baby...or a sweet, sweet woman...and then disassemble it when you're done and return it to IKEA, explaining...it didn't fit...or your girlfriend hates your taste...

But just remember..."you break, you buy!!!"

John Carreon


I don't think that's horribly immoral at all. It's a very common thing for art directors to do on commercials. Wardrobe people do it often as well (more so on 'style' shoots where they want new, trendy looking clothes.)
I've seen these guys keep tax files full of tags and stickers and what article of clothing it came off of.

I think these companies, Ikea, Gap etc, all turn a blind eye to it. It's free advertising for them. So long as the furniture, clothes, electronics or what ever don't get damaged, they don't seem to care why you are returning it.

I just want to point out that I don't know what these stores' official policy might be, and I am not opining that anyone should contravene that policy. I'm only stating what seems to be commonplace in the industry.

Edited by John Hall, 08 February 2007 - 09:33 AM.

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