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lighting in a nightclub


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#1 E Mantle

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 07:54 PM

I've been asked by a DJ friend of mine to produce a short advert for a night he promotes to send out to labels in order to help bring in bigger names. I'm also filming a promo "documentary" (very loosest sense of the word!) with a few interviews, stop motion stuff, experiments etc. That side of things i'm comfortable playing around with, there's no immediate deadline, but the advert is going to require footage shot in a crowded (hopefully!) nightclub at which i have two possible chances to film...

i'm using an XL2 but i also have a canon mvx3i if that'd be any use...

basically i'm wondering if anyone has any experience doing similar work. There are not any particular people i need lit, (the DJ booth has its own very maleable spotlight should i require it...) so it's really just shots of the dancefloor....
any tips on filters, settings, movement etc?

i know it's not a very specific request, but any help would be appreciated...
Thankyou

Ed
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#2 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 01:32 AM

Just because I thought it would be a cool idea. It'd be interesting if you got an attractive young woman you could focus on for the ad, and follow her around the dance floor, intercutting that with the DJ footage and wide shots of the place. The Tokyo club scene from "Babel" would be a cool one to look at for inspiration.
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#3 E Mantle

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Posted 09 September 2007 - 10:37 AM

The Tokyo club scene from "Babel" would be a cool one to look at for inspiration.

Great movie, I'll go back and watch it again, thanks...
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#4 E Mantle

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 11:16 AM

Another thing that's just popped into my head: what about humidity in the club and how it affects my camera...? Does the XL2 react badly to humid environments?
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#5 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 11:35 AM

Just don't let sweaty people hug it or lick it
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#6 E Mantle

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 02:07 PM

ha! I'll do my best :) thanks
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#7 Bill Totolo

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Posted 17 September 2007 - 08:13 PM

For better or worse I've shot in quite a few nightclubs. There are several factors which I find they all have in common. Here are some thoughts.

1) Pre arrange VIP Parking for easy entrance, exit, access, and safety. Make sure all parking fees are paid.
2) Arrive early, introduce yourself to security, making sure you will have all-access and easy enter/exit.
3) Lighting can be as low as less than 1 footcandle. Your eye can register this once it adjusts but your camera can't.
You'll need gain, accept it. People in clubs DO NOT appreciate Sun Guns. Best on camera light: LitePanels dimmable LCD.
4) Use your on camera light pointed at the floor to clear a path for yourself. People are kind enough to get out of your way when you respect their privacy.
5) Wear ear plugs for protection.
6) Carry a flashlight.
7) Post a sign saying "You're granting us the right to use your image, blah, blah, blah" and video tape people looking at this sign to cover yourself for clearance issues.
8) Keep a close eye on your audio meters.

I'm sure I could go on but you get the idea. Shooting in clubs seems pretty common so I'm sure there will be more good ideas to follow.
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#8 Michael Nash

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 03:42 PM

In clubs the lighting that looks really cool by eye can actually fall flat on camera. Try to compose shots that have layers of light and dark for depth. Black areas lose their depth on screen and just end up looking flat and two-dimensional. Backlighting is an easy way to give depth and dimension to a dark are while still keeping it dark. Talk to the person doing the event lighting ahead of time and see what lights he's got rigged. Try to figure out a couple basic lighting setups that you can request for certain shots if need be.
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#9 dan brockett

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 12:31 AM

Hi Ed:

You have probably already done your shoot but in case you have time, check out this guy's stills for some inspiration. His name is Daniel Diaz and I really like his club stills, some of the best I have seen. Translating this look to motion would be difficult but if you could, it would look awesome. http://www.danielsdi.../clublife2.html

Good luck,

Dan Brockett

I've been asked by a DJ friend of mine to produce a short advert for a night he promotes to send out to labels in order to help bring in bigger names. I'm also filming a promo "documentary" (very loosest sense of the word!) with a few interviews, stop motion stuff, experiments etc. That side of things i'm comfortable playing around with, there's no immediate deadline, but the advert is going to require footage shot in a crowded (hopefully!) nightclub at which i have two possible chances to film...

i'm using an XL2 but i also have a canon mvx3i if that'd be any use...

basically i'm wondering if anyone has any experience doing similar work. There are not any particular people i need lit, (the DJ booth has its own very maleable spotlight should i require it...) so it's really just shots of the dancefloor....
any tips on filters, settings, movement etc?

i know it's not a very specific request, but any help would be appreciated...
Thankyou

Ed


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Visual Products

Aerial Filmworks

Broadcast Solutions Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Abel Cine

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Ritter Battery

Technodolly

Glidecam

The Slider

CineTape

Willys Widgets

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Tai Audio

Rig Wheels Passport

FJS International, LLC

Metropolis Post

Wooden Camera

CineLab

Paralinx LLC