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Lightin in the London underground...


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#1 Vincent De Paula

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 02:41 AM

Hi guys,
I have a shoot at the end of this month in the London Underground with 2 HDCam cameras. The majority of the filming will be in two carriages as well as the cabin of the london tube. This will be moving at all times. The style will be close to the series "24".
I'm wondering if you guys have any experience shooting in the london tube, particularly in the carriages. I think We'll be relying heavily on Kinos for this, and I'll try to figure out where to place them. Also, does any of you guys know what CRI and temperature have those lights present in the carriages?
Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks
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#2 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 03:22 AM

I know nothing of the London tube. But Kinoflo's sounds like a good idea, stick with those :)

Also, have a look at the film "Kontroll", brilliant film that takes place completely in an underground
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#3 Michael Nash

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 10:07 AM

How are you going to power your lights on the train? Is there "courtesy" power of the right voltage on board?

I've never been to London so I don't know the lighting in the Underground. But from shooting on the Metrorail here in LA and having visited other cities' train systems, you usually have a big mix of different discharge type lamps -- mercury vapor, sodium vapor, HID, flourescent, daylight spill -- you name it. Sometimes the platform will be one color temperature and the train another.

In those cases I pick a camera white balance that gets me close (3200, 4300; whatever) and just "go with it." If you're supplementing the lighting, you'll need to find the type of lamps that will be in your shooting areas so that you can get matching tubes and/or gels for those color temperatures. Take digital stills on your recce as a reference, noting the camera white balance you use.
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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 10:49 AM

Hi,

In the trains is as far as I can recall exclusively fluorescent, but of course with the usual selection of tubes as they've been replaced over the years. The way they restart after crossing a break in the live rail suggests they're HF driven, but I wouldn't swear to it, nor is it likely to be consistent. There's a very wide variety of rolling stock on the tube, mainly segregated by line. The livery changes per line as well, which may be a production design consideration - central line has red trim, circle line is yellow, victoria line is blue, etc. They're also different sizes - the central line is probably the smallest and is decidedly pokey.

The stations which are actually underground also tend to be fluorescent. I suspect, as with the trains, that it's the cheapest available. Much of it is actually above ground and they're the usual selection of discharge lighting.

If there's anything I can usefully take photos of, or whatever, let me know.

Phil
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#5 Rupe Whiteman

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 03:23 AM

The colour temp is going to vary pretty wildly from station to station depending on which line you're shooting on and how recently the station has been modified... some stations will have a pretty greenish spike to the the overhead 'flos and some will be warmish tungsten. A lot of the lines have been modified in recent years through a constant process of rebuilding and maintanence. I would suspect that the newer extension of the jubilee line for example would have a cooler/whitish col.temp than say the old and tired Northern line... I've shot (though not recently) in a couple of the Northern line stations and found the tunnel platforms generally a murky greenish cast but this will vary wildly depending on the condition of the overheads... The train interiors are warmish but again will vary depending on the age of the rolling stock... You'll have to shoot some digital stills and test with a col. temp meter...

I'd really doubt if you'll get power from the trains themselves and even if you could the voltage would be constantly changing so battery/alternate power is a must, and for ease of use kinos will be the best bet... London Underground have to be delt with properly/informed at all times and should now have a film office to help...

Good luck!
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#6 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 07:56 AM

Hi,

> should now have a film office to help

Oh, they do. Its function is to receive and process extremely large cheques.

If you're shooting anywhere on their property, it'll be costing the production a fortune. If you're shooting on a train, even worse.

Phil
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#7 Vincent De Paula

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 07:48 AM

Thank you guys for your feedback.
We will definitely have a generator with us to provide the power. I will know more information tomorrow, since I'll hear from the producers. I know they have a specific area in Aldwych where they do all their filming. I'm hoping to go to locations pretty soon and I will taking some digital pictures with my Nikon D200 so I'll be able to check the color temperature. I'll post the information once I know more.

Thanks again
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#8 Rupe Whiteman

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 10:00 AM

Phil,

... negative negative negative...
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#9 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 11:24 AM

Tell me I'm wrong.
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#10 Mark Williams

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 03:32 PM

Hi some pics taken today

Picture_012.jpg

Picture_013.jpg

Picture_016.jpg

Picture_057.jpg
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#11 Matthew Buick

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 06:10 PM

I know they have a specific area in Aldwych where they do all their filming.


Did you know that Aldwych starion is haunted. :P
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#12 Vincent De Paula

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 09:09 AM

Thanks guys for your feedback,
The filming will happen at the end of September now, since the producer wants to wait for me to come back from other commitments, which is always nice and appreciated, and will be filming on the F900 or the HDW 750P. We considered S16mm as well, but in the end we'll go for a HD approach.

I'm pretty sure we'll be filming in the Aldwych area as well as a couple of sets. We'll be taking gennies with us and mainly rely on Kinos. I took my Nikon D200 the other day and the colour temp varied from 3900K to 4500K depending on line.
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#13 Rolfe Klement

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 02:38 PM

I was in Waterloo when Bourne Ultimatum was being filmed and they used no lighting for either the above (South West Trains) or below (tube) ground shots. It looks OK but they cut so fast since they were not using extras but real people and didn't want to get into release document problems. There was a tiny crew - like 7 people!

I have shot with 5218 test rolls and it looks OK

Clsong Doors was filmed on the tube but they used the filming station - the old station that is used for filming since they cannot and will not allow film crews to interfere with operational usage
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#14 banba ban

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 02:47 PM

Hi guys,
I have a shoot at the end of this month in the London Underground with 2 HDCam cameras. The majority of the filming will be in two carriages as well as the cabin of the london tube. This will be moving at all times. The style will be close to the series "24".
I'm wondering if you guys have any experience shooting in the london tube, particularly in the carriages. I think We'll be relying heavily on Kinos for this, and I'll try to figure out where to place them. Also, does any of you guys know what CRI and temperature have those lights present in the carriages?
Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks


I've shot both tape and film on the London Underground.
I metered most of the carriages at about 32 footcandles, and platforms at about 8 footcandles - just a guide of course, but fairly low light. We telecined the 7218 I shot and had no problems getting a decent exposure with available light. HD material needed to be "pushed" a little in the grade. Hope this helps.
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Abel Cine

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The Slider

Paralinx LLC

rebotnix Technologies

Aerial Filmworks

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Rig Wheels Passport

Willys Widgets

Opal

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Glidecam

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Visual Products

Wooden Camera

Metropolis Post

Technodolly