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Lighting an Int. office - night


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#1 David Sweetman

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 04:46 PM

I'm putting together a short where we'll see an office building interior at night. All the scenes in the script are after office hours. I'll be shooting on regular 16mm, and I'm trying to figure out how to motivate the light.

Using the practical flourescents, I don't mind any nasty colors, but I'm afraid of flicker. Would this be an issue? If so, it's not something I'll solve, I'll just circumvent it by motivating from exterior lights and desk lamps, which could give a nice low-key feel and some sweet oblong shadows. But I would like to have the flourescents on if possible, not for the whole thing, but for part of it.

...Any thoughts?

edit -
oops, should have checked the archives first; this thread pretty well answers my question.

http://www.cinematog...n...&hl=flicker

Guess I'll have to finally stop procrastinating and install that Tobin crystal sync.

Edited by David Sweetman, 12 April 2007 - 04:47 PM.

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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 12 April 2007 - 04:50 PM

Yes, you need to shoot crystal-sync at HMI "safe" speeds (24 fps being one of them.)

Otherwise, a few random overhead flos that are cool white (cyan) for a few dim soft toplit areas mixed with a few tungsten desk lamps for a low key (pun intended) look might be nice.
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#3 David Sweetman

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 02:19 AM

Otherwise, a few random overhead flos that are cool white (cyan) for a few dim soft toplit areas mixed with a few tungsten desk lamps for a low key (pun intended) look might be nice.

I like that idea, if I can get just a few of the flo's on, less than half. I'm pretty sure of the location we'll be using but I'm not sure if they'll be too keen on me pulling tubes out of the fixtures...

In this scene, the first time we see the actor he's Holofernes in Judith Beheading Holofernes (if he was turned upright and not being beheaded), especially since I want to somehow get some deep reds in frame like in that painting. But the light on Holofernes? face, it looks about the angle a desk lamp would come from; I really like the way it makes his features look. Then other room lights come on after that, now that I know I'll be able to use the flos.

Any tips on reproducing the look of that painting? Seems daunting even in its single-source simplicity...
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#4 Jeff Webster

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Posted 29 April 2007 - 03:28 AM

For regular office fluorescent fixtures, how easy/hard is it to replace them with kino tubes?

I know I could buy some from different stores that are the correct color temp but I'm wondering if regular 4' kino tubes would work to replace the office ones.
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#5 James Brown

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Posted 29 April 2007 - 05:16 AM

For regular office fluorescent fixtures, how easy/hard is it to replace them with kino tubes?

Easy as changing any fluorescent tube. The only difference is that the Kino tube is larger.
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#6 Jeff Webster

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Posted 29 April 2007 - 11:51 PM

Coming up here I am doing a student film and we will be shooting in an office with fluorescents.

I have three options:

1. Gel the inside of the lightpanels with minus-green.
2. Replace office fluorescents with kino tubes.
3. Rig a lightstand with knuckle and arm with kino 4' 4-bank above actor and just gel other lights.

Which is most common and/or the best solution for a low-budget student film?

Thanks.

Jeff
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#7 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 01:17 AM

1. Gel the inside of the lightpanels with minus-green.
2. Replace office fluorescents with kino tubes.
3. Rig a lightstand with knuckle and arm with kino 4' 4-bank above actor and just gel other lights.


1. Pretty common, so long as you do the research to gel those fluorescents with the right color correcting gels. By gelling the lights, you probably won't want to use those practicals as your main source, so knowing how to balance them to your main lighting sources could be crucial.

2. Can be quite expensive considering the price of each bulb. But if you have the budget and crew for it, sure!

3. Refer to #1 :)
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#8 James Brown

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 05:29 AM

It is hard to actually know how much green is in these tubes...

? You can replace the tubes with either daylight or tungsten tubes from home a home depot store which is considerably cheaper then Kino's.
? Put the sufficient lighting gel on your film lamps and correct the whole scenes colour in post.
? You could gel all the tubes but this is time consuming and can be expensive.
? Sometimes it looks nice with a Fluorescent Top light and your key or fill a different colour.
You may want to motivate a nice big soft daylight source or some tungsten bouncing off a desk, this, contrasted with the fluorescent top light can look quite interesting.

James.
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