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how to light this Hroom


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#1 Nathaniel Brunt

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 02:40 AM

Hi, I will be shooting my first S16 short film next week and would like some advice and opinions about lighting some of the locations I will be using.

The film is about a girl who gets caught up in translating documents for a terrorist, and much of the action for this location happens around a computer in the room. The director wants a very low key and threatening look about it, and I anticipate light sources (defiantly during the night scenes) being from practical lamps, though I wouldn't mind parts of the frame being lit by moonlight as a source.

The majority of the scenes in this location will be at nighttime though there will be a couple of day time ones as well. We have to shoot during the day so will have to black out.

Really I'm wondering how others would light this room given this information if they could use any tools they wanted, and also after taking a look at the lighting kit I currently have how they would light it.

Here's our kit at the moment.

2x4ft Kino - tungsten
2x300w arri
2x600w arri
1x150w dedo kit
2x1k pups
1x575 HMI
2x1.2K HMI
and a selection of Chinese lanterns

Thanks....

the first three pictures are the same room and the fourth is a room that joins the first. The last is the hallway from the front door.

SSCN0088.JPG SSCN0089.JPG

Edited by Nat Brunt, 09 May 2007 - 02:42 AM.

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#2 Nathaniel Brunt

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 02:46 AM

SSCN0090.JPG
SSCN0087.JPG
This one has a window that is just right of frame.
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#3 Nathaniel Brunt

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 02:48 AM

SSCN0086.JPG
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#4 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 05:42 AM

A lot depends on how the director wants to stage the action, but given a free hand, I would black out all the windows except the french doors. I would place the desk with the computer on it against those doors, facing into the room. If you want a moonlight effect, use the 1.2 hmi through a frame from outside the french doors, then perhaps add some nets to the windows to break up the light even more. This would give you some interesting patterns of light on the walls, and backlight your actress nicely. Add some 1/2ctb and 1/4 plus green to the hmi for a nice moonlight color, or leave it blue if that's what you want.

The monitor screen could be her key light, boosted a bit with some miniflos, or you could place a small anglepoise lamp on the desk to bounce some light up into her face.

Placing other practicals around the room will create pools of light to break up the darkness a little. Keep them low level so they don't reveal too much.

Less is definitely more. You've got a good selection of lamps, but don't feel that you have to use them all. Keep it simple, and let strategically placed practicals do the work.
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#5 Ram Shani

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 05:47 AM

first let me say that you have great set and the wood walls will make your life easier

from the pic its look like you have a lot of framing options which is very good you can built composition that trap the actress

i think for the night you think right going with practical

i would add same light just a little to the background and let here play in the shadows and the light(if she moves)

ma by you can find interested practical and give it a little cold felling against the worm walls

i think if you leave the set almost with no dressing it will add to the contrast between the set and what he suppose to be to what he is ( i hope i am clear about this)

ma by you can play with your kino as the screen source with flickering the light (i do that by switch of and of the bulbs giving every one different color(1-cto 1-ctb 1-minus green 1-+green))

then you can add like if its on screen saver mode it goes to black and she in the dark

hope this help

good luck
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#6 Nathaniel Brunt

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 01:11 AM

great suggestions guys, really helping.

One problem I have is that the whole shoot is during the daytime and we are going to have to black out all the windows, so I'm feeling like I can't shoot with the windows in shot, though i would really love to be able to. Does anyone have idea's about how to approach that problem too?
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#7 David Regan

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 08:21 AM

great suggestions guys, really helping.

One problem I have is that the whole shoot is during the daytime and we are going to have to black out all the windows, so I'm feeling like I can't shoot with the windows in shot, though i would really love to be able to. Does anyone have idea's about how to approach that problem too?


That is annoying, and more work. You can probably get away with the same HMI Idea just be sure to have plenty of diffusion and silks on hand. As for showing the windows, whenever I've blacked out windows they had blinds/curtains so it wasn't an issue, so if you were looking to invest in some art direction than maybe, but then you'd lose the nice wood feel the doors have. So its a toss up, curtians and blinds will give you more to play with in terms of shot selection, but may take away from the overall feel.

Good Luck
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#8 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 12:18 PM

Instead of blacking out those windows, I'd just demand a night shoot...unless you have the budget for setting up dark tents outside the windows to keep the daylight out.

Otherwise, you can just use black trash bags or black plastic, cover up the windows and make sure they're always out of your depth of field so they're not a total giveaway. Cover them up good though, the slightest light leak from those windows will totally ruin the illusion that it's night time.

Your daytime scenes should turn out nice though :)
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#9 Matthew Buick

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 05:11 PM

Nat, that's a great idea, showing photos of the rooms you are filming in. I'll have to steal it.

Although I can't offer any technical support I can offer some pep:

Good luck, mate. ;)
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#10 Nathaniel Brunt

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 10:21 PM

Instead of blacking out those windows, I'd just demand a night shoot...unless you have the budget for setting up dark tents outside the windows to keep the daylight out.

Otherwise, you can just use black trash bags or black plastic, cover up the windows and make sure they're always out of your depth of field so they're not a total giveaway. Cover them up good though, the slightest light leak from those windows will totally ruin the illusion that it's night time.

Your daytime scenes should turn out nice though :)


I imagine I am going to have to black out the windows... so If I black it out really well and there is no light leakage then I would be able to shoot the windows if I keep them somewhat out of focus?

Also, If I have blacked out the windows how will I be able to use the HMI as moonlight from outside the windows?
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#11 David Regan

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Posted 11 May 2007 - 12:48 AM

I imagine I am going to have to black out the windows... so If I black it out really well and there is no light leakage then I would be able to shoot the windows if I keep them somewhat out of focus?

Also, If I have blacked out the windows how will I be able to use the HMI as moonlight from outside the windows?


You can still use the HMI set up inside the room, just be careful with it, and have a variety of diffusion/silks. If this turns out to be too much, you could always gel tungstun lights, but I think the HMI might be actually easier. Obviously, having the HMI in the room will make shooting more of a pain as you will have switch setups for an reversals, but it's still feasable. Honestly though, Jonathon had the best suggestion, that you demand a night shoot.

Good Luck
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