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lighting a night club, for 16mm


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#1 David Bid

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 04:50 PM

Hi i am a student and i have been asked to light a night club scene, i am shooting on Kodak 500T 7218,
We are currently shooting in a small but up market bar, with DJ booth, as we are not looking for a packed rave club, but a more relaxed feeling

I think this is a good move as the clubs we looked at have alot of mirrors, and low ceiling? and there a 13 different shot, with moving steady cam. is this a good move?

The colours are rich, with a dark wood bar, and alot of orange and reds. Im thinking that i should try and stay on this theme and work with what is there. Though i would like to add some harsher whites and blues, so its not too relaxing in there?

In the bar there is a small stage, with a Scaff bar, i though would be good to rig lights on, (smaller 300 and 650) and i was going to try and get hold of a dimmer/ flicker boards. To help with the effect. I was also thinking of getting a Strobe light as well to add, are there any problems that i will find on film, and is there more for me to consider?

Should i possible get some cheaper moving disco lights?

Also i think that i will get a smoke machine, and i have read some other comments on similar questions

we are trying make sure we have plenty of people, though extras can be some what hard to find when it actually comes to the day

Any helpful points would be greatly appreciated, as i am aware that i is hard to do night club scenes, effectively!
I would be intrested in anyways you have tried to do similar shoots?

best wishes David Bird
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 05:30 PM

I woudl be careful about mirros as you get a lot of lights in them and might catch the camera. Could be a problem. Try frosting them if you'd like could be for an interesting effect.
The other thing I notices about strobes was that when I was shooting strobe lights on cars-- like the kind police cars use-- for a local rap video, that they weren't in sync with the shutter opening all the time; so just make sure your strobes are firing for the camera, so test them out.
I think sticking with the darker colors would be good but be careful where you put the strong blues/whites. Might be nise ot hit the bottles with some whitish-blues but keep the dance floor area "warmer" and use all the rig points you can but I don't know how i feel about a smoke machine. The smoke would lower contrast in the frame and take away some of the "darkness/richness" IMHO.
That's my 2 cents, but of course each of us would do the place differently and a lot depends on hoe it works in the overall project. Trust yourself, trust your equipment and do it the way you think it looks best
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#3 David Bid

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 10:06 AM

hey thanks, any advice is good advice, i am going for a location now without mirros, as i think that it will be easier and i will need less blocking!
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#4 Jess Haas

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 04:40 AM

Places such as these often have some sort of existing lighting to work with. Many I have worked in have had various sorts of electronic and computer controlled robotic lights. Make sure that there is someone there who knows how to operate their dimmer board or whatever they have and it can save you a lot of time. These lights are often over gelled with crazy colors so you will probably want to sneak something close to white light in as well to get some decent skin tones.

Par cans are great for shoots like this because if you see them they look like they should be there. Par 64s can take 1k or even 1200w bulbs which pack a mean punch. They will help you get a decent stop but may overpower practical lighting if left clean. They can also take lower wattage bulbs.

Luckily 7218 is fast with crazy latitude. Unfortunately you are going to want to light to a decent stop if you want anything shot with that steadicam to be in focus.

I actually find night club scenes somewhat easy to light because you can rig lights just about anywhere and if you use the right fixtures it is even okay to see them.

Kinos are also nice to have, especially with the individual wiring harnesses. Throw some color on them and the bulbs can become practicals.

Allow yourself lots of time for prelighting and it can save you a lot of time when you are shooting. Especially if you have a good idea of what the shots or atleast the blocking will be.

If you can somehow get the director, DP and actors into the location for a rehearsal the day before then you can get a crew to the location early to rig lights, power, etc. and be mostly lit as soon as everyone else is ready to go. That is of course far too ideal to ever actually happen :-)

Don't over light, leave some black or it won't look like a night club.

If you use fog try to get a hazer as they are able to keep a consistent level of fog without a lot of hassle. If you want to see beams of light they are the way to go but I agree with Adrian that it could negatively impact your blacks.

~Jess
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