Jump to content


Photo

Lighting with red marine safety flares


  • Please log in to reply
27 replies to this topic

#1 Rolfe Klement

Rolfe Klement
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 668 posts
  • Director
  • London | LA

Posted 08 September 2007 - 01:46 AM

We have a scene coming up where we are going to have a red marine saftey flare used.

We will be filming on 35mm with 18.

I have seen that they produce loads of smoke and it seems a good idea to move the flare around.

Posted Image

Any advice or recomendations?
What stop?
Better with smaller shutter?

thanks

Rolfe
  • 0

#2 Jonathan Bowerbank

Jonathan Bowerbank
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2815 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 08 September 2007 - 02:02 AM

Depends on how close to your actor's faces they're going to be and how they're going to be used.

The film "Kontroll" has a gorgeous road flare scene where a girl leads a man down a subway tunnel, with the flare being the only lightsource.
  • 0

#3 timHealy

timHealy
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1252 posts
  • Other
  • New York

Posted 08 September 2007 - 10:52 AM

I believe the English Patient used actual flares for the scene where Juliettte Binoche gets lifted in the air by her Indian lover to view fresco's. Gorgeous scene.

I see if I can find out something from Mo Flam for you.

Best

Tim
  • 0

#4 Paul Nordin

Paul Nordin
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 48 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Emeryville, CA

Posted 08 September 2007 - 03:48 PM

We have a scene coming up where we are going to have a red marine saftey flare used.

We will be filming on 35mm with 18.

I have seen that they produce loads of smoke and it seems a good idea to move the flare around.
Any advice or recomendations?
What stop?
Better with smaller shutter?


Hi Rolfe,
I'm not sure why you think a smaller shutter angle would help with using a flare as your source. Certainly having the talent keep the flare a consistent distance from their face would be important. I've not tried to use flares myself so can't provide any first hand advice. However, there was a film called "The Descent" which came out last year that was written up in AC. The DP use practical flares held by the talent as they moved through the caves, and after a bit of trying ended up using red-gelled lights. I can't remember the exact reason for that (smoke build up was at least a part) but you might try to find that article for more info.
Cheers,
Paul
  • 0

#5 Tim O'Connor

Tim O'Connor
  • Sustaining Members
  • 860 posts
  • Other
  • Boston, Massachusetts

Posted 08 September 2007 - 08:13 PM

I would add that, at least the last time I used red road flares (many years ago) I found that
those things aren't easy to extinguish. Threw them in water, they burned. Stuck them in the
dirt, pulled them out...still going. Whatever tests you do for shooting, I would recommend you
do a safety test too to make sure you know what it takes if you have to extinguish them quickly.
  • 0

#6 timHealy

timHealy
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1252 posts
  • Other
  • New York

Posted 08 September 2007 - 11:06 PM

So I emailed Mo and I had it wrong (it won't be the last time). It sounds like they came to the conclusion that using real flares was too dangerous and utilized a very bright light and added lots of smoke to sell it. He did not specify what kind of light or bulb that was used as they built something for the gag.

Becasue of the safety issues, I agree with above that you may want to do a very comprehesive test and perhaps test something that one can build.

Best

Tim
  • 0

#7 Bobby Shore

Bobby Shore
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 95 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles / Montreal

Posted 09 September 2007 - 01:15 AM

I shot a film (35mm) using red road flares a few years ago. I was able to test it before hand, and to my taste, I liked underexposing the key provided by the flare on the actors face by a stop or stop and a half (depending on how close or far the actor held it, it varied).... I found it helped the flare from overexposing too much (although it was over, you could still see red color detail in the flare itself). The fall off was pretty rapid though (anything outside of a 5-7 foot radius around the flare wasn't able to hold any real detail), so if you're interested in seeing any of the surroundings, you might want to augment with some more light. I bounced an open face 2 K gelled with primary red into 4 by beadboard (it read 2 - 3 stops under for the BG), and matched really well. By the way, stock was 5218. Good luck...

Bobby Shore
DP
LA/Montreal
  • 0

#8 Jonathan Bowerbank

Jonathan Bowerbank
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2815 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 09 September 2007 - 02:58 PM

It sounds like they came to the conclusion that using real flares was too dangerous and utilized a very bright light and added lots of smoke to sell it.


I'm just curious why they determined they were too dangerous. Sure, they're open flames, but they're slow burning and safe for "your average joe who has to change his tire on the side of the road".
  • 0

#9 timHealy

timHealy
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1252 posts
  • Other
  • New York

Posted 09 September 2007 - 07:32 PM

I'm just curious why they determined they were too dangerous. Sure, they're open flames, but they're slow burning and safe for "your average joe who has to change his tire on the side of the road".


Would you like to be the one to tell Juliette Binoche that the she shouldn't worry about scalding herself or breathing in poisonous life threatening fumes?

Best

Tim

Edited by timHealy, 09 September 2007 - 07:33 PM.

  • 0

#10 Jonathan Bowerbank

Jonathan Bowerbank
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2815 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 09 September 2007 - 10:52 PM

Would you like to be the one to tell Juliette Binoche that the she shouldn't worry about scalding herself or breathing in poisonous life threatening fumes?


Yes please!
  • 0

#11 robert duke

robert duke
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 438 posts
  • Grip
  • southeast USA

Posted 09 September 2007 - 11:22 PM

As a young adventerous boy I used a road flare in a cave. I tried holding it above my head so I could see up a shaft. A small molten piece of metal dripped from the flare onto my forehead. I still carry the scar today some 22 years later. If it had been my eye... That is why flares are dangerous. If you do it I recommend gloves. And dont hold it above your body, head, etc. also be aware of flammables. Hairspray, grass, lens cleaners, oils, etc.

I think it looks cool, but maybe have the prop guys build you a rig using a modified xenon flashlight that is gelled red.
  • 0

#12 timHealy

timHealy
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1252 posts
  • Other
  • New York

Posted 10 September 2007 - 08:24 AM

As a young adventerous boy I used a road flare in a cave. I tried holding it above my head so I could see up a shaft. A small molten piece of metal dripped from the flare onto my forehead. I still carry the scar today some 22 years later. If it had been my eye... That is why flares are dangerous. If you do it I recommend gloves. And dont hold it above your body, head, etc. also be aware of flammables. Hairspray, grass, lens cleaners, oils, etc.

I think it looks cool, but maybe have the prop guys build you a rig using a modified xenon flashlight that is gelled red.



Perfect example that producers don't like to do things like this or many stunts with stars and celebrities.

Be safe. It is only a movie. no one needs to get hurt.

Best

Tim
  • 0

#13 Robert Hughes

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

Posted 10 September 2007 - 12:21 PM

Road flares use similar technology to fireworks and should be handled with appropriate care. Handholding a flare sounds dangerous and unnecessary.
  • 0

#14 Rolfe Klement

Rolfe Klement
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 668 posts
  • Director
  • London | LA

Posted 12 September 2007 - 02:14 AM

thanks for the replies.
  • So it sounds like T5.6 | T8
  • Keep the flare handheld as far away as possible from the face to reduce rapid falloff
  • Crank shutter to highlight smoke definition
  • Move the flare (or person) to reduce smoke build up (and therefore reduction in visibility)
  • Make sure crew and cast understand extinguishing method
Marine distress flares are designed to be handheld by their nature

thanks

Rolfe
  • 0

#15 Can Sahinian

Can Sahinian

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts
  • Director

Posted 20 September 2007 - 08:18 PM

I have an off-shoot of this question. We are also shooting a scene with flares, however our scene involves the flying flares used for illumination. Does anyone know how to replicate that sort of lighting? The idea we want to hit is that the flares light up shadows and the forrest for 30 second periods.

thanks for your help

E.
  • 0

#16 Bobby Shore

Bobby Shore
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 95 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles / Montreal

Posted 20 September 2007 - 11:30 PM

thanks for the replies.

  • So it sounds like T5.6 | T8
  • Keep the flare handheld as far away as possible from the face to reduce rapid falloff
  • Crank shutter to highlight smoke definition
  • Move the flare (or person) to reduce smoke build up (and therefore reduction in visibility)
  • Make sure crew and cast understand extinguishing method
Marine distress flares are designed to be handheld by their nature

thanks

Rolfe


Hey Rolfe,

I shot the same deal with 5218 (I posted earlier with more detail), and my shooting stop was a 2.8 and a bump on cooke s4's... sounds like 5.6/8 split might be a bit heavy on the barrel unless you'll be doing a lot of your own augmentation with hot lights. Also, I still don't really get how adjusting the shutter angle would highlight the smoke definition... do you know something I don't? Thanks man, good luck.

Bobby Shore
DP
LA/Montreal
  • 0

#17 robert duke

robert duke
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 438 posts
  • Grip
  • southeast USA

Posted 21 September 2007 - 09:22 AM

The flare in the woods idea is one I have done. Check out www.likemoleslikerats.com I did it usig a 12k par no lens, pointed at a 4x of mylar that was shaken and panned around slightly. It gave a cool dancing light effect as if the flare was travelling. the 4x was top stick on a mombo combo.
  • 0

#18 Douglas Sunlin

Douglas Sunlin
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 70 posts
  • Student

Posted 21 September 2007 - 11:49 AM

Ironic that they should be called safety flares. They are meant to be left on a patch of pavement and left alone until they burn out by themselves.
  • 0

#19 Kieran Scannell

Kieran Scannell
  • Sustaining Members
  • 339 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Netherlands/Ireland

Posted 21 September 2007 - 03:05 PM

The 4x was top stick on a mombo combo.

That's the best sentence I've read in years!

I love this forum!

Kieran.
  • 0

#20 Matthew Parnell

Matthew Parnell
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 285 posts
  • Electrician
  • Brisbane, Australia

Posted 02 October 2007 - 10:38 AM

I have an off-shoot of this question. We are also shooting a scene with flares, however our scene involves the flying flares used for illumination. Does anyone know how to replicate that sort of lighting? The idea we want to hit is that the flares light up shadows and the forrest for 30 second periods.

thanks for your help

E.



Unfortunately i dont have any pictures, but i recently worked a week of dailies on an american wartime series over here in OZ. The scenes that we were shooting did this exact effect. The rig is probably a severly out of your budget range, but i thought it would be interesting anyway. Rigged either side of the set there was a couple scaff towers one about 120ft scaff tower with two high tension cables running about 300ft to the other, a 10ft scaff tower. On the cables ran a sled that had a lamp underslung. The lamp was custom made lamp and consisted of 16 blondie lamp holders loaded with 2k lamps. Basically tensions was released to the sled and it powered down the cable, a dimmer operator controlled the intensity of the light to simulate the flying flare.

I can imagine you could get a grip to build something like this on a much smaller managable and cheaper scale. The man hours that went into building this particular flare rig were incredible.
  • 0


CineLab

Willys Widgets

Glidecam

Visual Products

Ritter Battery

Technodolly

CineTape

Abel Cine

Tai Audio

Rig Wheels Passport

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Wooden Camera

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Opal

Paralinx LLC

FJS International, LLC

The Slider

Aerial Filmworks

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

rebotnix Technologies

Metropolis Post

Ritter Battery

Visual Products

Rig Wheels Passport

Technodolly

CineLab

rebotnix Technologies

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Aerial Filmworks

Tai Audio

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Glidecam

Opal

Wooden Camera

CineTape

Abel Cine

Metropolis Post

Paralinx LLC

The Slider

FJS International, LLC

Willys Widgets

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS