Jump to content


Photo

Lighting in an Office


  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 Sean Conaty

Sean Conaty
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 48 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 02 August 2007 - 11:16 AM

Here's my dilemma:

I'm shooting an office comedy (think Office Space meets The Apartment meets All The Presidents Men). Acres of cubicles, overhead fluorescents, etc. Trouble is, I want to shoot on a slower stock: 7217 (200T) or ideally 7212 (100T). I don't have the luxury of going in beforehand and prerigging the overhead units (although I don't think Kinos would give off enough regardless). My concerns are twofold:

1) Do I have to sacrifice the slower stock and shoot on 7218 (500T) and use the available overhead light? I really want it to look slick and low on grain (very important!).

2) What do I do about the color shift of the existing flos? I'm predicting my crew won't have the time to get in there beforehand and Minus Green the overheads so do I just accept it and color it correctly in post?

What do legit, big budget movies that shoot in an office do? I know Conrad Hall had the luxury of a built set in which he could shine whatever he wanted through the overheads. Is that even how it's done?

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you,

-Sean Conaty
  • 0

#2 robert duke

robert duke
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 438 posts
  • Grip
  • southeast USA

Posted 02 August 2007 - 12:06 PM

big budgets switch the tubes. chroma 50's. it doesnt take too long to switch tubes. depending on the size of the area to change. It take 3-4 hours to switch out a large office with four guys working in two teams. one guys handing and recieving tubes the other guy snapping them in.

The other option is to color correct in post and gel all your film lights to match. do another scout count the fixtures and meter their output. you can always lamp kinos with the same lamp as the overheads. An image 80 does nicely with cool whites.
  • 0

#3 Sean Conaty

Sean Conaty
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 48 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 02 August 2007 - 12:15 PM

big budgets switch the tubes. chroma 50's. it doesnt take too long to switch tubes. depending on the size of the area to change. It take 3-4 hours to switch out a large office with four guys working in two teams. one guys handing and recieving tubes the other guy snapping them in.

The other option is to color correct in post and gel all your film lights to match. do another scout count the fixtures and meter their output. you can always lamp kinos with the same lamp as the overheads. An image 80 does nicely with cool whites.


Robert, thank you for your response. Switching out the tubes does seem like a viable option, however, my concern is that I still won't get enough output to shoot at ASA 200. What do you suggest? Is there a type of super-bright tubes that I'm not aware of?
  • 0

#4 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19759 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 02 August 2007 - 01:23 PM

Just depends on the location -- I've been in flourescent-lit offices and convenience stores where I could shoot at f/2.8 on 200 ASA film easily. You just need to take your light meter to the location and find out before you procede any further.

If they are cool white tubes, you may be better off using 250D stock, which is a closer match in terms of color temp and fairly forgiving in terms of the green spike.
  • 0

#5 Jon Rosenbloom

Jon Rosenbloom
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 713 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 02 August 2007 - 01:45 PM

Sorry to sound like a scold, but: You want it to look really slick, but your crew won't have the chance to change any bulbs, or put in any gels ahead of time, so what do you expect is going to happen? 90% of this job is logistics. Get the logistics right, the photography is easy. You have to scout, and make bring a color temp meter, and a little gel-book, and based on what that tells you, you have to at least try to have some kind of a rig.

You can leave the overheads uncorrected, but all the other lights will have to match them, or else some things are going to look very purple or very green.

What's the final product? If it's anything other than a 35mm print projection, I'd say shoot on the 250d rated at 200asa, or the 500t rated at 400asa.

Good luck!
  • 0

#6 Michael Nash

Michael Nash
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3330 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Pasadena, CA

Posted 02 August 2007 - 04:14 PM

Agreeing with what everyone has said here...

After years of doing corporate video (cubicles, minimal lighting, need for a polished look), I can tell you you should be able to work with what's there. You should be able to get around a 2.8 on 200ASA film in most cases. If you really can't afford the money or time to switch out the tubes, gel up your tungsten/HMI units to match the predominant color temperature, and globe up some kino units with tubes that match whatever is in the ceiling. Use these lights to shape and supplement what the practicals give you; don't try to outright overpower them. Often times you'll have to slow down or turn off a fixture that's directly over the actors' heads, and bring in a little something from the side to keep the exposure consistent.

Your biggest problem will be mismatched color temperatures if there are a lot of windows. After you balance the green out of the image, incoming daylight and the view out the windows will go magenta. You might choose to gel the windows, or at least figure how much of an issue they're going to be for your camera angles.
  • 0


Willys Widgets

CineTape

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Glidecam

Tai Audio

Abel Cine

Paralinx LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

CineLab

Ritter Battery

Wooden Camera

rebotnix Technologies

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Visual Products

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Opal

Metropolis Post

The Slider

Technodolly

Aerial Filmworks

FJS International, LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

FJS International, LLC

Ritter Battery

CineTape

Paralinx LLC

Tai Audio

Willys Widgets

rebotnix Technologies

CineLab

The Slider

Metropolis Post

Glidecam

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Opal

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Aerial Filmworks

Rig Wheels Passport

Visual Products

Technodolly

Wooden Camera

Abel Cine