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lighting a very cramped set


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#1 Micah Kovacs

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 08:27 PM

Hi everyone,

I need some advice on lighting a night interior of a bathroom for a shoot in two weeks. I have no idea how to deal with this limited space and I'm getting worried.

The bathroom is very small with just a shower/bathtub, a toilet and a sink with a mirror. I have one shot of an actor taking a shower, and another wider shot of the bathroom that closes on the actor's reflection in the mirror.

It's being shot with a dvx100b and I only have a decent sized kit of lowel lights. The tone should be dark and contrasty and I'm planning on correcting it to a strong blue tint. So I'm guessing I should keep the set-up simple but what can I do?

Here's a diagram of the bathroom with camera positions:
Posted Image

Thanks in advance
-Eric
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#2 robert duke

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 09:53 PM

try increasing the house practical with a 150 or 200w bulb. that or clamp a 500w dp to the over head fixture and using it a down light.

use a 500w dp and bounce it off the ceiling.

use a tota door hanger mount and bounce a tota off the ceiling.

there are a billion ways to do this. mess around in the bathroom and find something you like.





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#3 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 10:08 PM

Is there a window in the bathroom at all that you didn't mention? If so, hopefully there's a way to blast some light in from outdoors.

I assume the room is basically almost all white? If so, you're really not going to need that much light. On a recent shoot we had a bathroom of the same size, and it was all lit with some 65w photofloods in the practicals above the mirror and a 500w china lantern suspended in the middle of the room.

We also had a 300w fresnel rigged in the bathroom behind the curtain, just to show the actor's silhouette against the shower curtain.

What's in your Lowel kit, specifically?
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#4 Micah Kovacs

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 10:47 PM

Is there a window in the bathroom at all that you didn't mention? If so, hopefully there's a way to blast some light in from outdoors.

I assume the room is basically almost all white? If so, you're really not going to need that much light. On a recent shoot we had a bathroom of the same size, and it was all lit with some 65w photofloods in the practicals above the mirror and a 500w china lantern suspended in the middle of the room.

We also had a 300w fresnel rigged in the bathroom behind the curtain, just to show the actor's silhouette against the shower curtain.

What's in your Lowel kit, specifically?


well, the lowel kit has a tota, omni, and a pro light, plus a small rifa-lite. And it comes with all barn doors and stands and such.

As far as the room goes, it has no windows and has plain ugly white walls so it's pretty difficult to work with. The only practicals in the room are two recessed lights that make me cringe so it'd be nice to avoid them.

I like the idea of a light behind the shower curtain for a silhouette effect, but I don't know about lighting the close up. How could I safely get a nice diffuse light from above when I have the shower running? Would aiming a spot at a bounce board above give a nice contrasted look, or would it bounce around too much?

I'll keep trying to find an example of the kind of light I'm looking for
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#5 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 11:30 PM

Using bounced light will most likely give you a very flat look, not necessarily a contrasty look...especially with the walls being white.

That small Rifa Lite should work really well. Just rig it on a c-stand over your actor and enjoy! And to prevent too much spill, consider the eggcrate which should come with it.

If you're going to have the water running, you might wanna scratch the "light behind the shower curtain" idea, for safety sake.





OK fine...here's what I would do. Put the Rifa-Lite at the end of a C-Stand and suspend it high up in the middle of the bathroom (probably over the shower curtain, out of frame). Then rig up another C-stand with the Tota and suspend it above the sink, pointed straight down at the mirror & sink (and with some cinefoil to prevent too much spill in the shower area).

The Rifa can be your actor's key as he exits the shower, or whatever, then the tota can be a nice hard (possibly a little hot) key for when he walks up to the look in the mirror.

I'm just throwin' ideas out there.

Edited by Jonathan Bowerbank, 22 February 2007 - 11:30 PM.

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#6 Kevin Zanit

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 03:47 AM

Here is a link to a production journal I did for a feature I shot a while back. I had a few scenes in bathrooms, maybe the pictures in the thread can help you with some ideas:

http://www.cinematog...n...ic=7823&hl=


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#7 Mike Williamson

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 05:00 PM

I don't know if anyone has mentioned this yet, but if you're using lights in close proximity to running water (in the shower for example), you need to have GFCI devices on the lights so that nobody gets electrocuted in case of an accident. Often there will be GFCI's installed in the outlets in bathrooms (probably part of the building code for bathrooms), so only plugging into those outlets might be an option if you're just using house power.
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#8 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 05:23 PM

Good idear Mike :)

Hopefully the plug won't have to be in the shot though.
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#9 Micah Kovacs

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Posted 23 February 2007 - 06:01 PM

thanks a lot for the ideas everyone, I think I have a decent amount of things to try now.

And the GFCI is a very good idea, I'm glad you thought of that Mike. I think I might be able to get my hands on a heavier duty GFCI that I can use on a stinger, that way I won't have to worry about cords cluttering the outlets by the sink.

Thanks again,
-Eric
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