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Lighting for Slow stock


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#1 Ashley Barron

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 03:30 PM

Hi
I'm about to work with 80D Plus-X black and white 16mm and wanted to ask how to light for such a speed?
I'm aware that as it is a slower stock it requires more light, but how does one do that with an interior, high contrast scene with very little to no fill with cigarette smoke?
Anyone with any ideas?
Muchly appreciated,
Ashley.
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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 08:50 PM

You really approach it the same as a fast stock. You are just using proportionally larger lamps, or more of them. For interiors on that speed you may run into problems with power and getting your distro right to have enough light while not poppig breakers every 5 minutes.
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#3 benjamin aguilar

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 09:10 PM

Hi
I'm about to work with 80D Plus-X black and white 16mm and wanted to ask how to light for such a speed?
I'm aware that as it is a slower stock it requires more light, but how does one do that with an interior, high contrast scene with very little to no fill with cigarette smoke?
Anyone with any ideas?
Muchly appreciated,
Ashley.


I've ran into the same problem(not the same lighting requirements). Since I am big into soft lighting, I have found this difficult, though was able to pull it off with some 50D before. I figure larger lamps with larger amounts of diffusion would help.

-Benjamin

Edited by benjamin aguilar, 29 January 2008 - 09:11 PM.

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#4 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 09:46 PM

Hi
I'm about to work with 80D Plus-X black and white 16mm and wanted to ask how to light for such a speed?
I'm aware that as it is a slower stock it requires more light, but how does one do that with an interior, high contrast scene with very little to no fill with cigarette smoke?
Anyone with any ideas?
Muchly appreciated,
Ashley.


You use a lot of light, that's how. Somewhat to medium diffused sunlight coming in from big windows and your actors next to them for instance, if you don't have big lights at your disposal. Is Tri X not an option? It really depends what sort of look you are looking for, but at 80 ASA, you will need lots of light, that much is for sure.
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#5 Mike Williamson

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 10:53 PM

The look that you're describing, Ashley, is probably one of the easier looks to achieve using a slow stock with a small lighting package. If you want a high contrast scene, you're probably going to want the light harder, so use less diffusion in front of the lamps. Instead of using a 4'x4' frame, put diff on the barndoors, or don't use any. Use fresnels instead of Kinos, etc.

What gets difficult is doing large spaces and/or soft light which ends up requiring more power. A 650w or 1K fresnel will give you a lot of light if you use it direct, but when you start diffusing it or bouncing it to get a softer quality, you lose intensity. Less intensity = problems if you've got a slow film stock. It's easier to get a film noir look with smaller lights than it is to get "Sleepy Hollow" or "Lemony Snicket".

You also mention smoke, which shows up best when you backlight it. I'm guessing that backlights will be an important part of the look of your film. You have to be looking for ways to provide tonal separation when shooting black and white, and backlight will help separate your characters from the background and give you a greater range of tones.

Good luck with the project, let us know how it goes.
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#6 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 02:36 AM

Hi
I'm about to work with 80D Plus-X black and white 16mm and wanted to ask how to light for such a speed?
I'm aware that as it is a slower stock it requires more light, but how does one do that with an interior, high contrast scene with very little to no fill with cigarette smoke?
Anyone with any ideas?
Muchly appreciated,
Ashley.

Yikes. I just shot a short on 125 ASA 16mm (all interiors) and I thought I had it bad! Remember that Plus-X is actually 64 ASA if you're lighting with tungsten units, it's only 80 ASA in daylight. If you're using small units exclusively (2k and under), you'll probably be pointing your lights directly at your subjects with little or no diffusion and set up just out of frame. It'll make your job a lot easier if the camera doesn't move much.

I would use fresnels for your key lights since they'll be the most flattering for faces and save your open face lights for set lights or for fill near the camera, bounced off of foamcore. If you have any pars (ETC makes some nice compact Source4 pars that are fairly cheap, or you can use par cans which are even cheaper) you can use those for hard backlights to illuminate the smoke. Try light diffusion on your key lights like opal or hampshire frost to take the edge off. You might be able to go up to a light grid cloth if the lamp is fairly close to the subject.
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#7 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 03:12 AM

I'lll second the idea to backlight the cigarette smoke. This film was originally shot in color, but for LOTS of good examples of cigarette smoke in B&W, check out "Good Night and Good Luck"

Otherwise, make sure your meter is set to the ASA you're shooting for and pay attention to your exposure and contrast ratios just as you would with a faster film.

Hopefully you have enough circuits at the location to run various high wattage lights at once. Having a 2K around would be nice, so you can set it relatively far away from your subjects (sometimes it's easy to tell if a light is right in someone's face) with a frame of diffusion and still get a good exposure on your actors faces. Just make sure nobody else plugs into that circuit.

I shot some Plus X a couple weeks ago, indoors, at some film-phile's "who's who" party at his house. It was all he had, so I just shot it anyway. But he let me set up an Omni here and there, bouncing off the walls. And with the fast 1.4 and 1.8 Switars I had on the Bolex, I was actually able to get a healthy exposure for 1/4 of the time. For the rest of the time, I was shooting stylistic silhouettes of people.
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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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Visual Products

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Aerial Filmworks

Rig Wheels Passport

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