how to augment practicals with a single lighting set-up
Posted 22 February 2007 - 05:33 PM
Posted 22 February 2007 - 08:40 PM
You'll still want to augment the light from the practicals though, as they're likely to burn out, especially on video. Small fixtures like clamplights and chinaballs above frame line can help beef up strategic areas. Put them all on dimmers to find the right balance with the practicals.
If it's single camera, it's not difficult to have someone float a chinaball near the camera for added fill. Again use a dimmer; the idea is to fill, not key with it.
Posted 22 February 2007 - 10:14 PM
Posted 23 February 2007 - 03:42 PM
Posted 23 February 2007 - 06:46 PM
The problem here is that you want to be able to more freely around the room, potentially seeing where your movie lights need to be. So you've got to hide supplemental sources somewhere. Above frame line is generally easiest for a camera that needs to see 360 degrees, although it's a bit of a cheat for the lighting.
The other solution (and best, IMO) is to carefully block each shot, finding where you can hide lights behind furniture and such, so that the light comes from more realistic angles.
Practicals don't burn out on video because of higher-wattage bulbs; they burn out because of exposure. The idea is a brighter bulb gives you more light to work with for exposure, then you ND or diffuse any spill that's objectionable. If you're shooting with the HVX (320-ish ASA), you're going to need a little more oomf out of the practicals if you want any natural exposure from them. Otherwise, all your key light is going to come from your supplemental sources, which are in "cheated" positions. You're trying to balance a mix of light from your practicals and supplemental sources, so that the practicals don't completely burn out or the key light be totally cheated.
Chinaballs don't have to give "flat" light. All they are is a lightweight soft source. You can dim them up or down to taste, so they don't have to wash out the whole room -- they can be just bright enough to augment the glow of a table lamp when a character comes close to it, without throwing light all the way across the room. And you can make them as directional as you want by wrapping the backside with duvetyn or blackwrap. Chimera even makes a model with a pre-fitted black shroud for this purpose. I also recommended them because they are lightweight enough to clamp in various places with a minimum of rigging and support.
Bounce can be useful, but keep in mind that a bounce takes up more space because you've got an stand or rigging for the light, and the bounce, and the space between them. One bounce trick that's good for interiors is to use a Source 4 bounced into a card across the room (shooting over the actors' heads), or placed low behind furniture and aimed up at a bounce that's above frameline.
Small lights like small Kinoflos and household clamplights (with diffusion) can be hidden behind lampshades and such. Inkies, Peppers, Tweenies, Dedos are also easier to hide. Make sure you have plenty of clamps, Mafers, Cardelinis, and other such grip widgets available to rig all these units in small spaces.
Whatever rigs you use, creating a "natural" and not flat look is by using multiple sources, giving more strategic pools of directional light with quick falloff, and not having the light sources so bright or soft that they just wash the whole room.
Posted 24 February 2007 - 12:47 PM