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Proposed Rough-in set up


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#1 Brian Rose

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 01:12 PM

Hello All,
I will be beginning a shoot this Saturday on the sound stage at my school. We'll be shooting in a set design to look like an office. I'm finalizing my lighting plan, and I wanted your thoughts on the proposed rough in. Below is a rough drawing of the office without lights.

Posted Image

It's pretty spartan: a window and a door. A desk in the corner with odds and ends. Light would come from three logical sources: sunlight from the window, fluorescent light from overhead, and a floor lamp next to the desk. All four walls are designed to be wild, but the primary shooting position will be as illustrated below. Depending on camera angle and type of shot, I will of course add, adjust or remove lights, but basically the rough lighting scheme I propose is shown below:

Posted Image

Light #1 would be a 2K fresnel centered over the set, pointed directly down to the floor. It would be set to the broadest throw, and modified with a green florescent correction filter. I'm wanting it to be almost overpowering, and vying with the natural light. Which brings me to #2 and 3. These would serve for the daylight. 2 is a hard light, a 4K positioned at an angle through the window (rigged with blinds) to cast an exaggerated shadow upon the wall and over the subject. This light would be uncorrected tungsten, and I am balancing my XL2 so this is the neutral light. Aiding the hard light would be a softie (2k or 3, I'm not sure which) positioned near the camera to fill in some of the shadow, and cut back the green florescent just a BIT. Finally, light 4 would fill in for the practical. Since I'm correcting for tungsten, my lamp needs a bit more orange to stand out, and since I risk burn through gelling the actual bulb, I was thinking that instead I would hang a baby spot overhead and slightly behind the camera, with a CTO and a mask to simulate the light throw of a floor lamp.

The overall motivation of this scheme is one of conflict. The story is about a man who works for a large corporation bent on seizing some property to develop into condos. He works in a space of harshness, with bright daylight coming in through the window, and harsh florescent light down upon him. The lamp adds a third element, suggestive of inner conflict. I'm wanting to toy with how the light interplays, the white daylight to his back, the green light from above that discolors and distorts, and the more intimate orange light that shows the audience his features, and helps to make illustrate his conflict and his basic goodness (if ineffectual and weak).

I hope that covers everything. Like I said, its just a rough in, and this is one of my first attempts at really previsualizing a light setup, since it's my first studio shoot. If there is anything I haven't addressed, please let me know, and I will be glad to add. I would really appreciate your thoughts!
Best,
Brian R.
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#2 Phil Gerke

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 03:33 PM

Hi Brian.

First off I am by no means a seasoned pro, I'll offer my observations and opinions but look forward to hearing what others have to say. You ask 10 DPs how to light a room and you will get 10 different looks so with that in mind...

I feel like you have too many lights. The 2K straight down is unnecessary I think, all it will do is further flatten the scene and cast unwanted/unbelievable shadows. If you want that toppy flouro look why not use your soft light gelled and with an egg crate directly over the subject? Or centered in the room may work too if you find you want more fill.

I think you are right that the practical will not read how you want it too, but I disagree as to where to put your #4 light, in your diagram you are pointing the light right at the fixture which is going to cause the practical to cast its own shadow on the wall and won't serve to kick anything on the subject, certainly not from the right angle. I would hang above and to the left of the practical at about 11:00 from the camera keep the light off the practical and hit your subject serving as a kind of grease light, if you like that look.

Another observation is that from a logical standpoint it seems odd that this person who is bathed in sunlight still requires both an overhead light and a practical beside his desk. Maybe if he was really spartan it would be the sunlight and a desk lamp for the days when he has to stay long. That may be too much contrast for you.

What stock and stop are you going for? Key to fill ratio?

Well thats my two cents. Take it for what its worth and by all means if anybody spots any holes in my logic by all means...

Phil
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#3 Brian Rose

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 04:18 PM

Hey Phil, thanks for all the tips! I figured it would need some revising. My prior experience has been pretty guerilla. I see the space, I rig my lights, and just figure out what changes I need to make. Here, I thought I might try to plan it out. I consider it a first draft.

I should have mentioned that the shades would be mostly drawn, so there wouldn't be THAT much daylight. I was trying to draw from experience, and it seems that in offices, even with the shades down, and other lights on, you get a bit of ambient light coming in. And, I had the notion that the window would be a bit blown out, suggesting bright light, and drawing a level of contrast with the artificial qualities of the interior office. Still, as you said it's probably overkill.

As for key to fill, it's fairly low. I'm not going for noir, or real significant contrast. I'd say 2:1, perhaps a little less. As for the look...I'm shooting on XL2, but I'm trying to light enough so I can shoot -3 dB, and avoid all the noise you get with the lower light settings on that camera.

As for the practical...I may just nix it entirely now that you mention it. My director mentioned having one, so I initially worked it in. I think the idea we were originally going for was to emphasize his detachment from his natural environment. He has a window out on the world, but keeps his shades mostly drawn, favoring the artificial light. It's supposed to be kind of a sick atmosphere. I'm even going to use a fog machine to introduce just the SLIGHTEST hint of mist (or dust) in the air, to suggest polluted air. And, I think it would add a bt more depth between the fields, and give the light some character. But it sounds like the florescent might be enough to get the point across, and the lamp would be extraneous.

Perhaps you could describe the egg crate a bit more? I mean, I know what it is, but I was never quite sure about it's function. Does it function like a scrim, reducing intensity without diffusing?

Thanks for all the help!
Best,
Brian R.


Hi Brian.

First off I am by no means a seasoned pro, I'll offer my observations and opinions but look forward to hearing what others have to say. You ask 10 DPs how to light a room and you will get 10 different looks so with that in mind...

I feel like you have too many lights. The 2K straight down is unnecessary I think, all it will do is further flatten the scene and cast unwanted/unbelievable shadows. If you want that toppy flouro look why not use your soft light gelled and with an egg crate directly over the subject? Or centered in the room may work too if you find you want more fill.

I think you are right that the practical will not read how you want it too, but I disagree as to where to put your #4 light, in your diagram you are pointing the light right at the fixture which is going to cause the practical to cast its own shadow on the wall and won't serve to kick anything on the subject, certainly not from the right angle. I would hang above and to the left of the practical at about 11:00 from the camera keep the light off the practical and hit your subject serving as a kind of grease light, if you like that look.

Another observation is that from a logical standpoint it seems odd that this person who is bathed in sunlight still requires both an overhead light and a practical beside his desk. Maybe if he was really spartan it would be the sunlight and a desk lamp for the days when he has to stay long. That may be too much contrast for you.

What stock and stop are you going for? Key to fill ratio?

Well thats my two cents. Take it for what its worth and by all means if anybody spots any holes in my logic by all means...

Phil


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#4 Phil Gerke

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 07:56 PM

The egg crates that you put in your chimara serve only to add directionality to your soft box. It does not change the quality of light and only marginally decreases output. Basically it is a way to "spot" in a large soft source. As apposed to a mass amount of flags that would be in order to try and contain the light to the same degree. I believe they offer 30 40 and 50 degrees of directionality, at least there abouts.

Have fun with it. I'd go on but I gotta get out of town:)
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#5 Brian Rose

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Posted 29 February 2008 - 12:35 AM

Thanks Phil. So much left to learn, but it's a blast! Have a great trip!

Brian
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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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Technodolly

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

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Glidecam

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Visual Products

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