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using natural light in an interior.


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#1 Rick Shepardson

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 09:04 PM

Before I start, I'm a newbie who has stumbled into shark infested waters.

Here is the basic techinical information:

I'm using kodak 250 Daylight rated film.
I'm shooting on super 16mm.

These are the lights I have at my disposal.
One open face 1k
three fresneled 650s
four fresneled 150s
All of these lights are tungston, and will have to be gelled with CTB-which is unfortunate because of it's 1 1/3 stop loss.

Because of a shortage of lights, I am going to try to shoot a master shot using natural light falling in through a window. After the master is completed, I am going to move in for the close ups.


-The scene takes place during the day in a large living room. The film is a comedy. The scene revolves around a group of friends giving romantic advice their inexperienced pal.

Here is information about the location-sorry if it's too much and tedious. I can post pictures of the location if nessisary.



-The room is about 15 feet wide by 12 feet long. There is a large bay window, about 8 feet high by 8 feet long facing the North West. The window has a nice, silk curtain that lets in a decent ammount of light, but softens it considerably.

- The walls and cieling are a non specular off white color.

-The floor is a highly specular hard wood.

-Across the street from the room is a large building that will block the sunlight after about 5pm.

-Direct sunlight begins falling in through the window by about 3:30pm

-The weather forcast for the proposed day of shooting is partly cloudy. Where I am located, savannah georgia, partly cloudy often tends to mean a light even haze over the sky.



I am going to try to shoot the master as quick as possible to keep uniform light. In order to fill in dark patches in the room, I have a couple of actual mirrors. I want to use at least one mirror for each actor.
Because we have so many small lights, I am going to try and create one big "soft light" by putting them behind a large frame of half grid cloth.

Before the shoot, I am going to spend a day inside of the room with a light meter to see exactly what I'm up against and when the best time to shoot would be.

Here are my big questions:
Would it be better to shoot when the sun is on the opposite side of the building? It seems that there would be less direct sunlight to contend with, but this will likely make the bounces less effective.

I have the option of shooting on 500 D instead-would this be a better option? Though it would give me more room in the shadows, it seems that the highlights would blow out quickly.

I do have nd 3, nd 6, and nd 9 filters at my disposal, but no nd gel for the windows. There is the possibility of having this scene take later in the day. That way, I could gel the windows with half CTO for a more late afternoon look. This would also ease up on how much CTB I have to put on the tungstons.


Finally, am I approaching this the right way at all?

Thanks for any help you might provide. This has been an uphill shoot-directors who don't like shot lists, producers who don't like to wait on lighting, and companies delivering incorrect film stock.
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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 16 October 2007 - 11:50 PM

If you're short on equipment and budget, there's really only so much you can do. You either try to scare up the resources you need or try to make do with what you have.

You're on the right track by shooting the wide shot(s) with available light when the light is right, and then using your movie lights for closer coverage as the ambient light changes. "Ganging up" your lights through a soft source is also a good way to make the most of what you have.

How committed are you to daylight stock? With tungsten-balanced stock you could gel the window with full CTO and use your tungsten lights uncorrected, which would give you a little more level from them.

Switching to a faster stock won't change your shadow and highlight response, though -- it just changes your shooting f-stop. That just means that as the ambient light level falls during the day, you could shoot a little longer before you reach the minimum f-stop on your lens. 500 ASA just means you could shoot at f 2.0 when you would need f 1.4 with 250 ASA stock. The shadows and highlights won't change unless you expose it incorrectly.
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#3 Rick Shepardson

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 03:22 AM

If you're short on equipment and budget, there's really only so much you can do. You either try to scare up the resources you need or try to make do with what you have.

You're on the right track by shooting the wide shot(s) with available light when the light is right, and then using your movie lights for closer coverage as the ambient light changes. "Ganging up" your lights through a soft source is also a good way to make the most of what you have.

How committed are you to daylight stock? With tungsten-balanced stock you could gel the window with full CTO and use your tungsten lights uncorrected, which would give you a little more level from them.

Switching to a faster stock won't change your shadow and highlight response, though -- it just changes your shooting f-stop. That just means that as the ambient light level falls during the day, you could shoot a little longer before you reach the minimum f-stop on your lens. 500 ASA just means you could shoot at f 2.0 when you would need f 1.4 with 250 ASA stock. The shadows and highlights won't change unless you expose it incorrectly.


Thanks for the reply.
I'm basically stuck with daylight. We had ordered tungston instead of daylight. But, I learned a pretty big lesson about trying to get cheap film.
I might be able to scrounge up an X-12. This would really help for ambient. Unfortunately, the rest of our units will still be tungston.
I guess it's better to learn these lessons as a student than as a professional.
-rick
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#4 Michael Nash

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 03:50 AM

I guess it's better to learn these lessons as a student than as a professional.


Hey, I learned something here. I had never heard of an "x-12" before. That's what these forums are all about; give and take.

Good luck with your shoot.
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#5 Rick Shepardson

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 07:56 PM

Hey, I learned something here. I had never heard of an "x-12" before. That's what these forums are all about; give and take.

Good luck with your shoot.


Yeah, it's an open face 1200 watt HMI.
We managed to get a compact instead. Decent light, but not quite as good for ambient.
Thanks for the encouragement,
rick
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Technodolly

Metropolis Post

Rig Wheels Passport

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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Paralinx LLC

Aerial Filmworks

Wooden Camera

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Opal