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Architectural lighting for TV shoot


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#1 Alex Taylor

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 01:17 AM

I'm down in the Seattle area working on a TV show that will be documenting an old house being moved about 5 miles via truck and barge to a new neighborhood. Since the last thing you want during rush hour is a house on the road, the move will obviously be done at night, so lighting the house will be very important. We can put gennys inside the house during the move, so I can basically run anything I want.

I've never really lit a house as a subject before, so I'm looking for some tips. I've got a few bigger things figured out already ? we're going for a soft, cool white/blue look to contrast with the sodium vapour streetlights ? I'm more looking for help in terms of specific lamps that may be well suited to this job, or potential pitfalls in architectural lighting. The house was built in the early 1900s, it's got very classic steep-ridged roofs and painted wood siding. My plan right now is to hide a few diffused units underneath the eave of the roof, and pointing down.

Incidentally, if anyone knows of any good rental houses in Seattle, please let me know. I'm from Vancouver and am feeling a bit lost in more ways than one!
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#2 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 10:42 AM

I've never really lit a house as a subject before, so I'm looking for some tips. I've got a few bigger things figured out already ? we're going for a soft, cool white/blue look to contrast with the sodium vapour streetlights


The home will be elevated on the carriage and you can probably do pretty well with practicals on the floor since you'll be seeing mostly the upper walls and ceiling, assuming of course you're not elevated shooting down. Kino's might be a good choice or even just a bunch of Home Depot fixtures on the floor if you're on the cheap. Low heat, low power.

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#3 John Sprung

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Posted 30 November 2007 - 04:13 PM

My plan right now is to hide a few diffused units underneath the eave of the roof, and pointing down.

That'll get you a reasonable level in a small region near the top of the walls. But to really recognize the whole house, you need to back way off with something big. Given that you have five miles to go, it wouldn't be possible to line the whole route with 18K's. But what you might be able to do is put together three or four setups consisting of a pickup truck with a generator and big light in the back, and a driver/operator on a radio. Have them leaprfrog ahead on parallel streets and get their lights up on cross streets before the house gets there.

Also, check with the house movers on what kind of lighting they'll use. For a night move, they sometimes put strings of incandescents around and under the house, because they need to see obstructions and check that the rig isn't overstressed and ready to fail. The ones I've seen use edison base sockets about 5 ft. apart, and used either rough service lamps or yellow bug lights.

They'll almost certainly do the pick during the day, and have the whole rig ready to roll before dark. Get establishing shots all around at that time, so the audience will have some idea what's hidden in the dark when you can only get part of the house lit at night. And be prepared for problems and delays. Sometimes they find a steet sign that didn't get pulled, or need to adjust the steering of the individual dollies. Communication with the movers is essential. If they use radios, you need to hear them.



-- J.S.
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#4 Alex Taylor

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 09:15 PM

Thanks for the tips guys! We definitely don't have the budget for another truck and genny, in fact the producers just told us we don't have money for much at all. But we're going to outline the frame of the house in white Christmas lights to give it shape, then probably shoot some gelled Home Depot lights up from the base and/or, time permitting, the top.
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Glidecam

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rebotnix Technologies

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Opal

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS