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The greatest love scene from the greatest love story ever told


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#1 Evan Winter

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 09:50 PM

Despite having come from the camera dept. and now lighting all of my own work I feel like I don't have as strong a handle as I'd like on the different degrees (levels) of soft-light. Which is to say, I'm interested in how you would rank light sources and their 'accessories' from hard to soft?

Of course, everything in lighting is very situation dependent, so let's create a hypothetical scenario:

It's the last scene of your magnum opus - you have a stunningly beautiful actress and an uncannily handsome leading man standing on a beach facing the ocean and a large glowing full moon. The war for the planet, humanity, and for one another has just ended - they whisper the ever-important 'I love you' to one another and then the woman faces the water and the moon. The man, standing behind her, wraps his arms around her and faces forwards also. The camera begins to pull back slowly, luxuriously, and we fade out...

We start looking at a head-on medium shot of the couple. From hard to soft what are our options?
note - the camera doesn't pull back more than a foot or two before we fade to black.

i.e. -

(a fakey list from hard to soft)
1. Full spot Light
2. Defocused Light
3. Kino
4. Defocused Light + Chimera
5. Defocused Light + Framed 216
6. Defocused Light + Framed Muslin
7. Defocused Light + Framed Bleached Muslin
8. Defocused Light bounced off Card
9. Big ole light balloon in the sky

Bonus - what's the absolute softest, most wrapping, beauty style of light you could get on this couple.
Superbonus - how would you actually light this scene in an ideal world (might be fun to think of a wide, med, and tight scenario - all from a full frontal camera position)

p.s - I am not now nor will I in the near future be shooting this scene. :)
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 10:11 PM

Well, if the only light source was the moon and they were looking at it, you actually wouldn't have a super soft key light to simulate it -- real moonlight on a clear night produces rather sharp shadows actually. If I actually had to work near the water and have a soft light coming from the water's direction, above the water, I may go with a spherical HMI lighting balloon. Then the reflection in the water on the reverse angle may look correct too.
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#3 Evan Winter

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Posted 11 February 2007 - 10:23 PM

Darn, foiled again! ;)

Thanks David for the response. And now, to maintain the integrity of the soft-lighting question, let us suppose that the scene is meant to play as a dramatically cloudy evening with diffuse moonlight as the key (in which case a Spherical HMI Lighting Balloon sounds perfect). :) :) :)

Edited by Evan Winter, 11 February 2007 - 10:23 PM.

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