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#1 Ron Dembowski

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Posted 12 August 2007 - 10:32 PM

Sorry for another newbie question, but I've been searching all week and can't find any great straight forward answers to low budget lighting at night.

Here is what we have:

2x Mole 2k's
2x Arri 650 Fresnels
2x Arri 300 Fresnels

We are shooting on a DVX100B w/Letus35 FE. It is all exteriors; simulated moonlight with very few "sources" (ie. woods, fields, low lit city, etc). Now we don't want this looking low budget so really my questions is can we get by with what we have now or do we have to rent/buy additional lights? Are HMI's necessary?

We'll be buying two of the Honda EU3000 generators to power the kit we have, any objections to that?

Thanks in advance.
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#2 robert duke

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Posted 12 August 2007 - 11:40 PM

Sorry for another newbie question, but I've been searching all week and can't find any great straight forward answers to low budget lighting at night.

Here is what we have:

2x Mole 2k's
2x Arri 650 Fresnels
2x Arri 300 Fresnels

We are shooting on a DVX100B w/Letus35 FE. It is all exteriors; simulated moonlight with very few "sources" (ie. woods, fields, low lit city, etc). Now we don't want this looking low budget so really my questions is can we get by with what we have now or do we have to rent/buy additional lights? Are HMI's necessary?

We'll be buying two of the Honda EU3000 generators to power the kit we have, any objections to that?

Thanks in advance.



I dont think you can avoid looking too low budget. The dvx100 has a hard time in low light. the mole 2ks can light your background but only in a narrow view. you can create the forground with the arri kit.

my best advice is rent more lights or stay on a tight lens.
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#3 Ron Dembowski

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 12:18 AM

I dont think you can avoid looking too low budget. The dvx100 has a hard time in low light. the mole 2ks can light your background but only in a narrow view. you can create the forground with the arri kit.

my best advice is rent more lights or stay on a tight lens.


See I've heard different opinions about the dvx in low light. Some like it, others don't. In all honesty, what would be the minimum kit I would have to get ahold of to make night scenes look good?

Thanks
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#4 robert duke

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 12:38 AM

Ask yourself how wide do you want to be. look at the photometrics tables for your lights. figure thr asa of the camera. FIgure out what areas you want to light at what stop, angle, ability to hide the source, etc. think about how many pools of light you want. Craft your image. Then answer your question yourself. I dont mean to sound snide. I mean it in a way that If I tell you what to use the I might as well light it and get payed for it. You dont learn how to create gear lists and why to use one light over another. you wont learn how to use the tools of preproduction to your advantage. you wont be crafting the image, but finding an acceptable image in a smear of light pointed haphazzardly. you will become one of those DPs everyone hates and doesnt respect.

Check out Photometrics ( a book), also mole website has photometric data.
look at films and images you want to immulate. look at how they are lit. you can figure out angles and sources from stills.

Good luck.
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#5 Michael Nash

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 12:56 AM

For wider shots and shadowy wooded locations, you'll want brighter lights than that. And more of them to, unless you're really strategic with your lighting setups.

And rent -- don't buy -- the equipment you need for the shoot.
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#6 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 01:56 AM

A pair of 2k's? I think you could simulate moonlight in a forest pretty well with 1/2 CTB gels and both of those going if you use them as a backlight. You might wanna consider getting a large frame (10' x 10') with silk (or just a thin white bedsheet if you wanna go ULTRA cheap) diffusion and blasting the light through that to create a broader source that'll also subtly light the trees in the background as well. (This is if you like the idea of a soft moonlight)

The 650's and 300's will work pretty well I think, you'll have to move them around more often though if you really plan on crafting each setup carefully. Just as Robert stated, you really have to craft your image, use what you got and get what you feel you need.

Keep the light soft, your sources broad and subtle for the exteriors, and I think you'll be off to a good start.

Edited by Jonathan Bowerbank, 14 August 2007 - 01:58 AM.

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#7 Ron Dembowski

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 09:59 AM

Thank you all for the advice.
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#8 Timothy Riese

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Posted 20 August 2007 - 04:27 PM

I would definitely recommend doing a test of some sort before you go out, to see if you really have enough light. I was on a shoot with a Z1U and the Lotus 35 Flip and that adapter sucked about 3 stops of light! Crazy I know, I was shocked too...had to adjust my lighting plots because I didn't have enough powerful instruments to use soft-light. We were shooting with a 50mm 1.4 Nikon too!

How do you guys feel about this theory...That to make dramatic night scenes you actually need more light than normal. I say this because if you light to a 5.6 instead of a 1.4 all the extra ambience generated by your key and fill lights doesn't read as well as if you were wide open. Giving you darker blacks and the ability to paint with finer strokes. Does this make sense? Please feel free to correct me on this. Night, I find, is the hardest thing for a lot of people, including myself.

Thanks!
Tim
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#9 Xavier Plaza

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 11:42 AM

I would definitely recommend doing a test of some sort before you go out, to see if you really have enough light. I was on a shoot with a Z1U and the Lotus 35 Flip and that adapter sucked about 3 stops of light! Crazy I know, I was shocked too...had to adjust my lighting plots because I didn't have enough powerful instruments to use soft-light. We were shooting with a 50mm 1.4 Nikon too!



Hi Tim i guess that night was a really nightmare... I shoot with this camera some projects last year, the camera is really slow and needed a lot of light (ASA 125) worst loosing 3 more stops. I think you was working at 64 ASA AT NIGHT!!!!!! :o wow thats a lot of light... I agree with you first TEST always test...

Best

Xavier Plaza
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#10 Timothy Riese

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Posted 22 August 2007 - 04:00 PM

We were shooting in a tight interioir so were in better shape then if we would have been outside BUT...with less than 30 amps of available power it made for a little different lighting approach than I normally would have used. You know you are in trouble and the camera is slow when you have a 1k open face arri 7 feet from your talent as a kicker and you aren't overexposing the skintones, even when shooting at a 1.4 with 6db of gain!

Attached are a few photos...The one with the boy is keyed with a 250 photoflood in a frosted housing right off the edge of frame and a 1k tota as a backlight. THe father is kicked fomr the side with a 1k arri about 4 feet of frame and filled with a 650 fresnel on the nose about 7 feet away. He also had a 250 photoflood above him as a hair/background light (although it didn't do much, lol) I would have used a few additional lights to help bring out the dark background but I ran out of power! Plus the director wanted it dark so thankfully I wasn't put in an impossible position!

Attached Images

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CineLab

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Opal

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