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Daylight Fill


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#1 John Atala

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 12:13 AM

Hello everybody,
I'm shooting a short in a few weeks and there's a street sequence in which there's no sun highlight (late afternoon look, yet not magic hour)... Now, the assistant director and Myself decided to shoot the wide shots in the morning and the close ups and medium shots after lunch, under sunlight. On this period, I'll be using a butterfly with silk cloth to cut off sunlight and diffuse it. Also, a small HMI unit for extra fill and a bounce board for a very diffused and soft back light will be used.

Now, I've never used HMI units for daylight fill, I've been using natural light with butterflys and bounce boards and mirrors. I'm temped towards getting the Arri 1.200 PAR HMI so i still have punch for a wide medium shots. What diffusion gels/method do you guys recommend for the 1.2K unit? One of those "white milked" lens for the unit? 3010? 3027? Chimera? bouncing it somewhere? My problem is that the production will probably cut my wings for a cheaper lighting, in other words, i'm afraid no 1.2k HMI. Would a 575 HMI PAR have enough punch for a nice fill even for my medium shots? or is a 10 lamp kino with daylight lamps better? I'm aware that the kino flo doesn't have a great punch but i've used in with good results as a diffused fill light for day exteriors.

I've decided not to use bouncers for fill light because I rather have total control over the fill light and because the location gets very unstable and unpredictable sun light due to trees and tall houses.

Thanks for the aid guys. It's really my first time using a HMI unit for fill and the help is greatly appreciated. Also sorry for the terrible English.

João Atala

p.s. I HAVE used HMI units for night exteriors as back light only.
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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 04:48 AM

Usually in sunny daylight conditions, even under a silk overhead, a 1200W HMI doesn't do much of anything for fill once you soften it. Remember that softness comes from the size of the diffuser, so using the frosted lens will still give pretty hard light. 575W HMI's really only help for fill in open shade if you go direct, with no diffusion. Kino's are pretty worthless outdoors in the daytime.
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#3 Sam Kim

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 02:27 AM

Usually in sunny daylight conditions, even under a silk overhead, a 1200W HMI doesn't do much of anything for fill once you soften it. Remember that softness of comes from the size of the diffuser, so using the frosted lens will still give pretty hard light. 575W HMI's really only help for fill in open shade if you go direct, with no diffusion. Kino's are pretty worthless outdoors in the daytime.


word.
kino's in ext. day is worthless.
you're in LA sir, you can get a weakly rental for a 1.2k on the cheap. wooden nickel if you have to.
1.2k won't give you much at all during the day like Michael said. But for close ups and such you'll get a little play but don't expect too much if you plan on trying to soften it up. Opal or 251 is the most i would try to use to soften it.

good luck. what's the project?
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#4 Xavier Plaza

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 02:31 PM

Hi John , I´m agree with Michael and San kino flo at exterior day light is your worst option... i think... If you want a soft light (fill) at exterior with 1.2 HMI could be a poor light i guess you better can use a 4k or 6k HMI but yeah i know production problems... <_<
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#5 Tom Banks

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 06:25 PM

If its at all possible, I would go with a shiny board through a 4x4 frame of diffusion.
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#6 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 11:21 PM

If its at all possible, I would go with a shiny board through a 4x4 frame of diffusion.


Might be nice, but is there a big difference between doing that and putting an ultrabounce up?
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#7 Tom Banks

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Posted 04 December 2007 - 12:04 AM

So I read over the post again and if I understand correctly, you want to film this late afternoon look during the morning and shoot matching CU's when the sun comes overhead...

But you'll have to figure out exactly what your location can provide and how you want the light to fall on your subjects. Are you seeing them in complete shade or is the sun hitting their faces.

I can see how shiny boards would be tough not knowing exactly what your location's going to throw at you... But if you're going to do CU's that appear like dawn you're realistically not going to have much directional light. You'll have to be careful of whats behind your subject in frame and make sure it matches exposure from your dawn shots. I would try to frame your CU's against shaded areas, maybe letting a little sunlight slip into the corner of your frame to provide some motivation for a nice soft side or back light.

Depending on how big of a light you can get, I wouldn't recommend bouncing. You're going to use a lot of light that way. You'd need something like a 4k to give you a nice strong back light that you could bounce back onto the subject's face, either with a bounce or shiny through dif. But if you're only working with a 575 you'll have to keep your shots tighter so you can bring your light in closer. As for color, something like 1/2 CTO will warm up your unit enough to look a setting sun. If you're going for late afternoon you might try 1/4 CTO. CTO mixed with the coolness of the shadows will probably sell the late afternoon look.

You aught to find some frames to post that show what you're going for.
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#8 Frank DiPaola

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Posted 04 December 2007 - 05:05 AM

I would imagine that if you had a large enough frame overhead then you probably wouldn't have deep shadows to fill in the first place. In that case a 1200W HMI through some light diffusion might be a nice way to add a little something to the skin tones and make the characters pop.
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#9 John Atala

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 08:34 PM

Thanks for all your considerations guys, I've managed to get a pretty realistic pre visualization of the 1.2k unit to go into the set on this upcoming week. I am aware that the ideal approach for this seq would be a larger unit bounced on a second butterfly or something but the production just can't afford one. Bouncing boards are just now usable on this location, ths sun is very scattered all over with no real usable spots. The highlights on the backgrond was a great tip, I'll keep that in mind.

This is what I'll do: 1. manage to get a 6x6meters butterfly way up to give me a workable area of diffused shade. 2. Work with the 1.2k par unit for the CUs and find the right diffusion on the set, opal sounds good. Bouncing is a luxury I can't afford. 3. leave the warming for the grading process, CTOs will eat up much of my punch.

Also, this is a Rio shoot, its summer right now and the sun is very harsh.

Its a very large independent short film. I'll manage to post some pictures later.


Again, thanks for the help everybody!

John Atala
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#10 John Atala

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 08:45 PM

Another thing,
back light.

The 575 unit will not be around. And I don't wanna count with boards and the sun. I'll have a 6 light maxi brute laying around from another day :rolleyes: , I could use it with 1/2 CTB and a frame of diffusion, would that work for a nice backlight?


Again, thanks for the help everybody!

John Atala
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#11 Tom Banks

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Posted 05 December 2007 - 09:44 PM

John,
(I think) You're going to need to get your back light at least a stop over your key for it to really play, especially if its mimicking the sun. If you're working with a 6 light Maxi Brute and 1.2k HMI you might be able to do a few things. The number one thing to think about is that if your character is out of sunlight, is in what direction is your motivation coming from and of what quality of light (direct, soft, warm, etc.). This is something that usually is determined once your on set and see what your working with, but you will probably find yourself with several options.

As for using your 6-light, 1/2 CTB would be nice. If you're shooting daylight film then it would render the tungsten source as a nice, warm source much like the sun an hour before sundown. But you might not get enough power out of your 6-light to make a strong enough back light. One setup you could think about doing is shooting your 1.2k as a back (or 3/4 side) light and bouncing that back to wrap around the subject, you might want to have some 1/4 or 1/2 CTO handy to try out. Then come around with your 6-light on the opposing side with either full or 3/4 CTB and shoot it through a frame of dif., that will give you a soft fill thats a little cooler. Anyways these are just ideas. I'm sure you'll see whats right once you're on set and you can dance your lights around.

PS - shooting in Rio sounds like a dream! I've always wanted to travel down there.
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Visual Products

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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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Willys Widgets

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Technodolly

Ritter Battery

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineLab

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Wooden Camera

Glidecam

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The Slider

Aerial Filmworks

FJS International, LLC

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