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What is "soft enough"?


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#1 Riku Naskali

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 01:23 PM

Hi,

I'm gaffing a short this fall that involves quite a bit of soft lighting. However I don't have too much experience with soft sources. The scene I'm most concerned is going to be shot against black background in studio so it doesn't have to look realistic, per se. Both of the actors will be nude so I think going with a big source from the side is a good bet. I'm concerned about the size of our studio, it's roughly 33 feet long x 21 feet wide and has a couple of pillars in the way.

I was thinking of using a couple of 5K's with a 12' x 12' 1/2 grid cloth to sidelight our actors. They are facing each other, standard conversation scene with one wide shot from the side, cu's and reverse cu's from 3/4 angle. Am I going to screw myself using a 12' x 12' in a studio this small? Would a smaller frame be "soft enough" roughly from 10 - 15 feet from our actors? I'm also going to hit them with 3/4 backlights in the cu's, probably with 2K's through 4' x 4' 216 or something like that.

I'm concerned about the spill since the background must be black. And I'm also afraid I don't have enough control due to space issues. All input is appreciated. Obviously it's a vague question, but I'm more interested in opinions and lighting philosophies than facts.
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#2 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 02:49 PM

What is the maximum distance you can leave between the actors and the black wall.

Where are the pillars in relation to the rest of the space?
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#3 Rolfe Klement

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 04:18 PM

In my view you do not need such a large source - you can be fine using a 220 briese light or one of the large chimeras - you could even use a 6ft x 6ft book light.

I am slowly going anti flo - but a blanket light from kino is great and light and with an eggcrate even better

thanks

Rolfe
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#4 Riku Naskali

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 03:29 PM

I haven't measured the studio yet, as this is really preliminary at this point. I'll post the plan after I have the correct measurements. I'd say I can get our actors least 10 feet from the bg...

Gotta try it with a 6' x 6' frame, that would save me a lot of space hassles...Brieses and such are out of the question due to our budget, and I don't think we even have them in Finland...? I would love to get my hands on them, they look so freaky.
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#5 Tony Brown

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 03:41 PM

Big source, deep (doubled up) eggcrates
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#6 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 03:42 PM

If you do a wide shot from the side (both actors in profile) and side light them, then one will shadow the other.

I'd suggest a back crosslight setup with harder sources for the wide shot, then soften everything as you move in for the CUs.
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#7 Michael Nash

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 04:35 PM

The larger the source the larger your flags will have to be to keep the spill off the black wall. Eggcrates help, but usually don't do the job all on their own.

A 6x6' is plenty for this type of scene; I used a Kino blanket light (6x6') with an eggcrate a bit on the last feature I gaffed. It was never "too hard" ;)

Of course it's always relative to what/how you're shooting. You can get beautiful soft, directional light from a 12x12' or a small chimera, depending on your setup.
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#8 Greg Gross

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Posted 29 July 2007 - 12:44 PM

Can you light from the ceiling of the studio(shooting down through diffusion)? Can you light up from the floor through
diffusion? Of course I guess you could also find another studio. I believe you said that you wanted to sidelight though.

Greg Gross
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#9 Riku Naskali

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Posted 31 July 2007 - 05:55 AM

Yeah, my plan actually is to crosslight them in the profile and then sidelight them from the "big" source when we move to CU's. Is there any other way to light two people in profile standing against each other than crosslighting them ;)? I'm starting to feel I always do that. I guess there's no need to "change it if it works".

Thanks for the suggestions, I think I'm going to get a couple of big chimeras so I can move them around fast and with minimal crew. Not 6' x 6' but I think they'll suffice.
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