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Foreboding lighting


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#1 Ashley Barron

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 12:52 AM

Hello,
I need to light a night scene with an undertone of foreboding. I have some ideas already but wanted to see what others' opinions were.
It's supposed to have a foreboding feel throughout the film, as in 'something is supposed to happen soon to change the lives of these people' and/or 'a child's innocence is to be taken away'.
Hope that's not too vague. Looking forward to hearing some ideas.
Thanks!
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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 04:26 AM

Is it just me, or do these questions sound a bit like someone asking you to do their homework for them? Or maybe cheating on a test -- "Psst... what did you get for question #6?"

I don't mean any offense, but these things are the work of a DP. What does foreboding look like to you? Isn't that more important to the film, and your work on it, than what we think?

You'd probably do better to look at other movies, photographs, and art to find references. If you don't have a solid library of reference images in your head, no amount of suggestions from others will help you implement them in any convincing or compelling way. Talk to your director about reference images that might be appropriate. Dissect those images to understand what makes them work, aesthetically and psychologically. Repeat over a lifetime ;) .
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#3 Ashley Barron

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 08:29 AM

[quote name='Michael Nash' date='Aug 29 2007, 05:26 PM' post='190440']
Is it just me, or do these questions sound a bit like someone asking you to do their homework for them? Or maybe cheating on a test -- "Psst... what did you get for question #6?"

I know it may seem that way but I'm a first time DP so I thought it would be a good idea to get some experienced points of view on their approaches etc. :)
I definitely agree that references are really important, but my director doesn't know any herself at the moment. So I thought maybe someone here could point me in a direction that at least they are familiar with, even if its not my idea of a certain look. :)

But thank you for the prompt reply!

ps
excuse all the smilies - i'm trying to avoid coming off as angry.
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#4 Ashley Barron

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 08:30 AM

[quote name='Michael Nash' date='Aug 29 2007, 05:26 PM' post='190440']
Is it just me, or do these questions sound a bit like someone asking you to do their homework for them? Or maybe cheating on a test -- "Psst... what did you get for question #6?"

I know it may seem that way but I'm a first time DP so I thought it would be a good idea to get some experienced points of view on their approaches etc. :)
I definitely agree that references are really important, but my director doesn't know any herself at the moment. So I thought maybe someone here could point me in a direction that at least they are familiar with, even if its not my idea of a certain look. :)

But thank you for the prompt reply!

ps
excuse all the smilies - i'm trying to avoid misinterpretations of my tone as being defensive or angry.
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#5 David Eger

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 09:33 AM

Ashley,

Why don't you ask the director what they see in their head when they read the scenes... OR ask yourself the same and go from there.. Maybe you two can find 3-5 films that have a feel like what you are trying to do and then watch those and go from there..

Straight up look at some Photography for inspiration.. there are a ton of Photot sites out there... or go through some of the video sites out there and look at what people are doing.. sometimes even the most crappy short will have some small inspiration for you or lead you down the path to what you want..
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#6 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 11:58 AM

...What does foreboding look like to you? Isn't that more important to the film, and your work on it, than what we think?


Yeah, I addressed this in one of his previous postings. He reminds me of many stories that colorists have told about DP's or Directors sitting in on the grading of their film and using descriptions like "I want it to look more Italian" or "Let's make it look more mysterious." Which means what!?

Everybody has their own vision of what "foreboding" could look like. Which is why some visual references would definitely help if you're fishing for advice.
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#7 Kieran Scannell

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Posted 29 August 2007 - 02:48 PM

Anxiety, apprehension, apprehensiveness, augury, bad omen, bad vibes, chill, dread, fear, foreshadowing, foretoken, forewarning, funny feeling, good vibes, portent, prediction, premonition, prenotion, presage, presentiment, prognostic, prophecy, sinking feeling, warning, wind change.

Pick one of these and light how you think that looks. Michael and Jonathan are spot on, no one can tell you how to light this only how THEY
would light it, is that what your looking for?

Reference some films, that's your best source.

Good luck!

Kieran.
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#8 Chris Keth

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 07:47 PM

Find some movies with something awful. A murder, for example, to choose a common movie disaster. What does it look like at the beginning of Capote? What about just before marion crane is killed in Psycho? Try horror movies, too. They're full of foreshadowing through light and camera.
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#9 Ashley Barron

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Posted 03 September 2007 - 07:37 AM

Thanks everyone - muchly appreciated! :)
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