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Need advice... Night shoot


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#1 Benjamin_Lussier

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 06:58 PM

Hi everyone,

I'm shooting a night scene in 2 weeks, in Montreal.

I've never worked with the vision 2 500T

How much can I rely on lamp posts as a source of light ?
I can add maybe 1 or 2 Arri 1.2K spots and a kicker but that's all.

What kind of gel should I use to match the color temparature?

Are lamp-posts flicker-free ? What are they, halogen, fluo ?


The night shots in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind were pretty cool... does anyone know how they achieved this ?

Thank you so much guys!

Ben
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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 09:22 PM

500 ASA is barely enough to get a "normal" looking exposure with available light in urban environments. My rule of thumb for that type of thing is T1.4 at 640 ASA -- so that means T2.0 with 500 ASA will be about one stop underexposed, or more. This can work for a dark, dim look right under a streetlight, but anything in the shadows is going to look pretty muddy.

Most street lights these days are sodium vapor, which are kind of pinkish-orange. We discussed them at length in this thread here. They do flicker with the power cycle, but as long as you shoot 24fps with a crystal-controlled motor you're at "safe" frame rate.

If you're limited on the number of lights you can bring in, you might make best use of two lights by using one as a back/edge light to define subjects against the dark background, and the other for some soft fill wherever you feel you need it. Don't be tempted to overlight the scene if you're trying to expose mostly for available light. Just a gentle *kiss* of light blends much better with the ambient light. To that end you could place the backlight w-a-y back for maximum spread, and soften your fill light enough to make it seem more like ambience than a specifically motivated light.

As for gels, just decide what you want the light to be motivated by. Sodium is at the opposite end of the spectrum from HMI's, so you'll lose a lot of stop gelling it to match. You might be better off gelling it to 3200 or 4300, and just let it play a little "cool." The nice thing about urban night exteriors is that there are usually a lot of different colored light sources around that can be "justified."
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#3 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 11:56 PM

Since you mentioned Eternal Sunshine, you might wanna try some of the things Ellen Kuras was trying out. Such as pushing the film and lighting to balance with the streetlamps.

From the article on "Eternal Sunshine..." in the AC Mag: http://www.theasc.co...over/index.html

Ellen Kuras, ASC: "Although cyan in the blacks is perhaps not 'traditionally accepted,' I actually built additional cyan into the shadows at the post stage, because I really liked the look and color palette created by warm sodium-vapor yellow in conjunction with cyan green and cyan blue," she says. She made maximum use of the Reala by pushing it one stop and eschewing correction filters on her Zeiss Superspeed lenses.
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#4 Xavier Plaza

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 10:48 AM

The article in ASC magazine is great, you can read more on MARCH 2004 International Cinematographers Guild Magazine a review about the movie. With both articles perhaps you have a better view about how achieve this kind of night scenes... good luck


http://www.cameragui.../index2004.html


Xavier Plaza
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#5 Benjamin_Lussier

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Posted 04 September 2007 - 07:53 PM

THANK U SO MUCH guys!!!!!
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CineTape

CineLab

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Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Willys Widgets

The Slider

Visual Products

Wooden Camera

Technodolly

Abel Cine

Opal

Glidecam

rebotnix Technologies

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Tai Audio

Aerial Filmworks

Rig Wheels Passport

Metropolis Post

FJS International, LLC