Jump to content


Photo

HMI or KINO?


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 Bo Mirosseni

Bo Mirosseni

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 01 September 2007 - 11:13 PM

So this may be really a true beginer question. I come from a directing background and really want to understand cinematography. I am a director and there is to many incompetent directors out there that just dont get it.

So my question is...

When a DP goes to light a scene, is it really up to him/her to decied what lights to use, kino's, hmi's, open face etc? How do you know what type of light to put somewhere? Is it just an artistic decision or is there a rule like the key light always has to be a kino? How do you know what wattage to use for setting up?

These may sound very 1st timer but like I said, I never studied film in undergrad and have always been a director so I want to learn the craft of cinemtography, I have a passion and respect for the art.

Thanks,
Bo M
  • 0

#2 Kevin Zanit

Kevin Zanit
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1223 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • LA

Posted 01 September 2007 - 11:17 PM

You just answered your own question with ". . . respect for the art . . .", the lighting choices are driven by creativity not rules. It absolutely is the DPs choice as to what units to use, though some DPs may decide to let their gaffers make specific choices.
  • 0

#3 Michael Nash

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

Posted 02 September 2007 - 04:46 AM

Agreeing with Kevin;

Lights are just tools, and a craftsman decides for himself which tool to use and when. Sometimes a DP will defer to his gaffer as to which light to use, since the gaffer is usually in a better position to manage the logistics of equipment, as long as he can provide what the DP is asking for.

The quality of light for a given setup usually guides the choice of tool, and that quality is an artistic choice. As such, the director and the DP should be in agreement about the quality of light for certain setups. But many different units can provide the same quality of light, if they're controlled correctly.
  • 0

#4 Adam Frisch FSF

Adam Frisch FSF
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2009 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, USA

Posted 02 September 2007 - 05:40 AM

It's all about personal taste in the end. Many lights can do the job, but often DP's develop a style and have preferences. I might choose not to use HMI's and Kino's as much as another DP, but that doesn't mean I'm doing it right and he/she isn't. It's just taste and both wasy are equally good.
  • 0

#5 Alessandro Machi

Alessandro Machi
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3318 posts
  • Other
  • California

Posted 02 September 2007 - 07:54 AM

These may sound very 1st timer but like I said, I never studied film in undergrad and have always been a director so I want to learn the craft of cinemtography, I have a passion and respect for the art.

Thanks,
Bo M


A simplified way to look at it. The bigger the actual source of light is in diameter, the softer the light will be. The bigger the actual source of light is the more crew it takes to place the lights and then sculpt it with cutters and scrims to the DP's desires.

As your light sources get smaller in diameter....lol, I'm having trouble explaining that aspect of it. Anyone else?
  • 0

#6 Robert Hughes

Robert Hughes
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 873 posts
  • Sound Department
  • Minneapolis

Posted 05 September 2007 - 01:34 PM

First of all, beginners don't work with HMI's or Kinoflo lights; they're just too damn expensive. You'll start off using tungsten lights like in live theater: Fresnels, Scoops, Leico's, PAR's. These all (with the exception of scoops) are called "hard lights"; they leave a definate, well defined shadow. You can also use standard fluorescent lights, which are "soft lights" in that their shadow is diffuse. You will find that different kind of lights have different "color temperature", meaning some (tungsten) are orangish, others (fluorescents) are greenish, and diffused daylight is bluish white. Lighting for cinema is a deep subject, and there are tons of books written about it; look at the recommended reading list at the top of this forum topic for reference.
  • 0

#7 Michael Collier

Michael Collier
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1262 posts
  • Gaffer
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 05 September 2007 - 01:56 PM

Yup. As was said before let the DP choose lighting instruments. Its best if its a budgetary question to hammer it out in pre-production. If your planning on having both HMIs and Kinos on hand, then no worries. Let the DP sort out what light works best for the look and space avalible (and sometimes power).

Most DP lighting is a bit of reverse engeneering, at least thats my approach to it. I look at the scene, take stock of what light is coming from where naturally and work around that (or try killing some of the natural and augmenting my own sources) Basicly we look at the path actors will be moving through and plan out how we want the light falling, quality as was mentioned before. Is the light soft? Does it need to be sourcy with lots of fall off or more ambient in nature? Is a light going up considered key or fill (or otherwise) will determine how that unit is treated (as well as the wattage, type and filtering/diffusion issues)

There is so much involved that really as a director all you should worry about is feeling. You may not micro manage when your actors give a certain facial experession or give them line readings, but you will discuss the feeling and aim of the scene and let them perform. Same goes for DP.

But like I said, if its budgetary talk before hand about what will work best for the scene. I have been on shows that can only afford HMIs or Kinos, never both, so I have worked with the director to determine what works best for me accross the whole day or whole shoot. But that decision is built on so many competeing needs that its a tough call and one left best to the DP.

If you want to work more closely with the DP (and I imagine you do by your words) learn the language of film look. Look at films and mark in your head if you feel the scene is lo-con/hi-con, lo-key/hi-key, sourcey/ambient, desaturated, etc.
  • 0


The Slider

rebotnix Technologies

CineTape

Aerial Filmworks

CineLab

Willys Widgets

FJS International, LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Metropolis Post

Opal

Ritter Battery

Visual Products

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Wooden Camera

Tai Audio

Paralinx LLC

Technodolly

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Glidecam

Abel Cine

Metropolis Post

Ritter Battery

CineTape

The Slider

Opal

Technodolly

Glidecam

Tai Audio

Visual Products

Willys Widgets

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Aerial Filmworks

Paralinx LLC

Abel Cine

CineLab

Wooden Camera

Rig Wheels Passport

rebotnix Technologies

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

FJS International, LLC