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#1 Daniel Carruthers

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 09:42 PM

Hey I got a shoot coming up in about 2 weeks. And theres a camera move where we dolly around an actor 360 degrees, kind of like the opening of scarface. the dolly works great its just the lighting Im worried about.
The scene is at night in a bedroom, the director wants it to be dark, We have low ceilings, so nothing to hang lights from. and we cant use any stands of coarse.
This is what im thinking, for set dec I'll get the art department to load up on practical lamps and place them around the room, lighting some of the set, as for the actor, this is where im kind of not to sure of what to do?
Im thinking of having a lamp op hold a diffused light, preferibly a china ball if I can get them, and walk with the dolly, keeping the light moving with the camera. light will be soft enough and since its at the same axis as the camera you wont beable to see that the light is moving.
I guess im just wondering if any of you had any simular experiances, or tried that technique I just mentioned, or if you have a better idea?
I just want some more options in case that one looks like crap.
thanks

Edited by Daniel Carruthers, 05 July 2007 - 09:43 PM.

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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 09:55 PM

You're on the right track (no pun intended) with the hand-held china ball idea. I've used that technique before, although usually only as a fill light and not a key. Sometimes you can sneak a key light or two above the frame line, and keep the camera low enough so it doesn't cast a shadow on your subject as you dolly through it. Needless to say, the tighter the lens the more room you have to hide lights and rigs. You can sometimes strategically hide stands behind curtains or furniture, and use a little art direction to disguise them. Tall bookcases can be used to sneak in small units mounted up high on beaver boards.

Dolly moves like this also usually require some coordinated dimming of lights, usually so that a key light can be dimmed down as it becomes a backlight, and the fill level brought up simultaneously.
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#3 David Regan

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 09:58 PM

My friend had a circular dolly shot lit with a china ball hung from the ceiling, which worked well for a fairly flat, diffused scene at a kitchen table. For your night time setting, be careful with the practicals, as you move around the subject, lights behind the camera can cast shadows, so watch your framing, and how the lights are aimed/positioned. I'm not sure about the moving china ball, in my head I feel like you would see the light moving around his face like a moving key light, even though its diffused. However not have tried it I can't say for sure. I'm sure other people have advice on the moving light issue.

Good Luck
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#4 Daniel Carruthers

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Posted 05 July 2007 - 10:11 PM

Thanks for your replies
Im sure the china ball will work, Ive done simple tests, using a beat up work light with parchmnet paper clamped on it ;) and just used my eye, i did not have my camera with me at the time, but Im fairly certain it will work.
Thats a good idea about dimming lights michael, The set has not been decorated its just a big empty room right now with reddish brown walls. So I should definetly talk to the art department about bookshelves or whatever to hide light on.
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#5 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 03:28 AM

Couldn't you get a megaboom in there? That's like a single extendable arm that you can attach a light to at one end and stick on a stand at the other. That would get you pretty close
to 360 degrees. If not, attach to ceiling or walk the lights as suggested.
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#6 Jamie Lewis

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 08:36 AM

What about laying multiple Chinas on the ground with light shooting up? One to the left, right, front and back.
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#7 Daniel Carruthers

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 02:22 PM

What about laying multiple Chinas on the ground with light shooting up? One to the left, right, front and back.


I would rather not, beacause I want to make the actors look good. but that would be an easy way to light the scene
Im gonna go with my idea, Im still gonna hold a china ball moving with the camera. Im gonna make sure the art department decorates the set in a way I can hide set lights and key lights behind or on top of.
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#8 Jon Rosenbloom

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 04:51 PM

If the production designer can work in some hollow jogs or pillars in the room, maybe you can set up a little pipe rig in the cieling, no? If it's just china balls you're going to light w/, then the grid could even be made from batten wood. Something that's great to have for this is one of those little twelve slider portable dimmer boards. Of course, I have no idea who makes it.
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#9 Hal Smith

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Posted 07 July 2007 - 08:40 AM

Something that's great to have for this is one of those little twelve slider portable dimmer boards.

Strand makes professional quality small control boards, ETC also has small pro dimmer consoles. They're DMX output and you use them with dimmer packs. If you only need 4 or 6 channels of dimming, Lightronics makes some pretty decent small (1200 watt per channel) DMX packs, models AS-42D and AS-62D. They have Edison plug input and output. I have an AS-42D I use quite a bit and never have had any problems with it, but my main squeeze for dimmers is the three 12 X 2.4KW Strand CD-80's I own.

If you know a theatre lighting designer, you could use a computer based controller like one of the Hog's and set up a timed sequence that would do all the dimming automatically. You'll probably time the 360 pan anyway and that way the lights would be predictable and exactly repeatable. Changing the pan speed would only require tweaking a couple of parameters in the lighting program to change it to match.
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#10 Rajavel Olhiveeran

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 02:20 PM

hey
i have done a similar shot in my recent film....i had used a what we call here as the boom rod....that has a pipe within a pipe that can extended and clamped whichever length u want and can be firmly tightened agaisnt the walls close to the ceiling.(wall to wall fixture) the room i had shot had a false cieling so...that wudnt have taken the weight of lights....
once u rig up this...the choice of lighting is immense.....right from dedo spot lights to par cans to 10 bank kinoflos.....and of-course ur chinese lanterns....
u will have to overlap the wiring which goes up there along with some door curtains or pillars....or any other wall hanging....
when u rig it up this way....u are not restricted ...interms of camera levels and lenses (wide).....and u give lot of freedom to the actors to perform....
thanks
cheeers!
rajavel
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#11 Gus Sacks

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Posted 08 July 2007 - 04:22 PM

What about placing a diffed Lite Panel on the dolly, running off of battery? The directional nature of it could be reduced.
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