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Lighting a big room


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#1 Adam Reider

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 11:28 PM

Hi everyone,

this is my first post and I just wanted to say this forum is informative. I really appreciate all the time everyone takes to respond to questions and keep threads going.

So here is my situation:

I need to light a big hall for two establishing shots with a pan and a dolly and the whole nine yards. Hiding lights is going to be a pain but I can think of something. My problem is I'm trying to give it a 1940's look. Not really in terms of film quality (I'm on a dvx 100 by the way) but I was thinking alot of contrast with hard shadows. It's supposed to be a night time party. How do I light this to keep some interesting shadows but have lights far away. (And no access to a hazer or something like that) I feel like as soon as the lights get far enough away, it's just going to light everything with no particular style.

I'm not sure if I'm explaining myself properly...

Anyways, Let me know if you need clarification. Thanks for your time everyone! :)
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 11:35 PM

Assuming you can rig them to the ceiling, 1K PARCAN's (with spot globes) or Source-4's will give you pools or spots of light that don't spill everywhere. If you don't need that much intensity, Tweenies or Inkies with snoots can do a similar thing.

I would think carefully about how you want the room to be lit -- with that sort of hard architectural spot lighting, it has to have some sort of logic and pattern, like one spot for each column, or one spot for every ten feet of wall or floor, etc.
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#3 Adam Reider

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 11:43 PM

Assuming you can rig them to the ceiling, 1K PARCAN's (with spot globes) or Source-4's will give you pools or spots of light that don't spill everywhere. If you don't need that much intensity, Tweenies or Inkies with snoots can do a similar thing.

I would think carefully about how you want the room to be lit -- with that sort of hard architectural spot lighting, it has to have some sort of logic and pattern, like one spot for each column, or one spot for every ten feet of wall or floor, etc.



Are you saying that because it could look like a disco or alien invasion?
hmmm....
What if I couldn't rig them to the ceiling. (it's in an old hall where I'm not sure how much I can get on the ceiling.)

What would be another way to approach this?

It's interesting how much harder I am finding it to come up wuth a decent concept for a large shot comparativly to mediums and closeups. (especially because it is supposed to take place at night so all the lights have to come from "someplace")
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 01:31 AM

As you say, the lights have to come from someplace. So decide where the lights are coming from. If you have to have hard light because you don't want a big soft light (like from a lighting balloon) and you can't rig to the ceiling and you have to see the whole room, well your choices are pretty obvious:

1. Pick another location that you CAN light the way you want to.

2. Dress the lights into the shot. If this is an event at a ballroom, it's possible that there are lighting "trees" with theatrical lights on them, positioned throughout the room, as part of the event lighting.

3. Change your concept to something that is doable -- like a big lighting balloon in the ceiling (if you can't rig to it), OR don't see the whole room in any shot so you can light from off-camera.
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#5 Adam Reider

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 10:47 AM

As you say, the lights have to come from someplace. So decide where the lights are coming from. If you have to have hard light because you don't want a big soft light (like from a lighting balloon) and you can't rig to the ceiling and you have to see the whole room, well your choices are pretty obvious:

1. Pick another location that you CAN light the way you want to.

2. Dress the lights into the shot. If this is an event at a ballroom, it's possible that there are lighting "trees" with theatrical lights on them, positioned throughout the room, as part of the event lighting.

3. Change your concept to something that is doable -- like a big lighting balloon in the ceiling (if you can't rig to it), OR don't see the whole room in any shot so you can light from off-camera.


You are right these are pretty obvious now that you spell it out for me. Whats also obvious is how new I am at this. :lol:
Thanks for the advice. Much appreciated.
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