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#1 Drew Ott

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 11:22 PM

I need some help coming up with a lighting setup for this scene.

It will be at night outside by a pool. Two characters stand by the edge of a pool looking in. I'd like the light from the pool to be the key light, and have it be very blue, as if the pool lights are tinted blue.

Behind the pool will be a large stairway down to the pool area, and I think that area will be lit by strands of Christmas lights (that's the motivation at least).

I'm trying to figure out how I can get a really soft, low key coming from the pool.

I can't use my fluorescent fixtures (I imagine these would work well for mids and close-ups) unless I figure out a way to rig them out over the water.

I might be able to bounce a gelled open face 2k down into the pool for the illumination, but this wouldn't work for the wide when we see the water.

Also, one of the characters will get into the pool half way through the scene which could complicate keeping consistency.

If anybody thinks it would help, I can try to take some pictures of the location I have in mind.
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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 01:28 AM

The easiest way is to pound one or two 1200W HMI's into the bottom of the pool (the light is on the ground away from the pool, of course). The natural soft bounce off the pool bottom, plus the water reflection, will give you all the illumination you need.

With whatever lights you use it's essential that they be far enough from the pool that if they should fall over there's NO WAY the light can enter the pool. Sand bag the crap out of the stand, and even the cord if you have to. It's potentially deadly for your actor if a live light were to enter the water.
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#3 Chris Pritzlaff

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 04:22 AM

or get aqua pars from Hydroflex that you can put in the water.
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#4 timHealy

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 09:56 AM

When working around a pool I would use a GFI circuit breaker in your trunk run from your power source to the pool. They come come in sizes up to a few hundred amps so you can use them with cable up to 4 ought. Additionally you can easily get 20 amp gfi already wired with a small tail from Home Depot or Lowes that can be put in line to any lights around the pool.

Remember DC kicks and AC sticks.

Stay safe.

Tim
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#5 Drew Ott

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 04:41 PM

Thanks for the help. What do you guys think about lighting the wide? I imagine the reflection would be too much if I shot some 1.2k HMIs directly onto the surface of the water.
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#6 Michael Collier

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 06:55 PM

Remember DC kicks and AC sticks.

Stay safe.

Tim


Haha, never heard that saying. I assume its in referance to DC blowing you away from the circuit you made with your body during a short, and AC's tendancy to contract your muscles, usually causing you to grip tighter whatever it is you've shorted on?

If thats true, explain 'Jurrassic Park'. That was 10,000v AC and it shot that kid 200 feet off the fence (kid should have counted to three faster).
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#7 Chris Pritzlaff

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 10:28 PM

If thats true, explain 'Jurrassic Park'. That was 10,000v AC and it shot that kid 200 feet off the fence (kid should have counted to three faster).



I think that is just "movie magic" cause it looks cooler that way - Realism isn't exactly the focus on a movie like that


And again - I would suggest talking to Hydroflex about your situation. They can provide all sorts of gear to make this job alot simpler and safer in my opinion.

www.hydroflex.com

Check out their lighting - you can actually submerge it into the pool which should give you guys the exact effect you are looking for based on what I have heard you say.
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#8 Drew Ott

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 10:51 PM

I'm pretty sure I can't afford anything from Hydroflex. That does seem like the best option though.

I'll be clearer, I'm certain that I can't afford that. Thanks for the recommendations though.

Here are some pictures of the location:

Posted Image

Posted Image

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#9 Elie Kamal

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 07:59 AM

Hey Drew,
I?ve never lit a pool from the inside but i once worked on a play for which i had to simulate water. so what i did basically was to place some sort of buckets or box in front of the stage with mirrors inside twisted at a certain angle. Then i placed par lights with blue gel (stage lights) above the actors on the cat walk and aimed at the buckets filled with water. once the actors stood on the front of the stage, we shacked the water a bit and it gave a nice water effect on their faces which came from the bottom.
i think u should consider the idea of placing mirrors in the pool and then light from outside, just avoid the actors interfering with the light. this way you can be safe and very economic
best of Luck!
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#10 Drew Ott

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 01:28 PM

Hey Drew,
I?ve never lit a pool from the inside but i once worked on a play for which i had to simulate water. so what i did basically was to place some sort of buckets or box in front of the stage with mirrors inside twisted at a certain angle. Then i placed par lights with blue gel (stage lights) above the actors on the cat walk and aimed at the buckets filled with water. once the actors stood on the front of the stage, we shacked the water a bit and it gave a nice water effect on their faces which came from the bottom.
i think u should consider the idea of placing mirrors in the pool and then light from outside, just avoid the actors interfering with the light. this way you can be safe and very economic
best of Luck!


That's an interesting idea. I think I might just cheat the actors back for their mid shots and CUs and place a fluorescent fixture at their feet.

If I used the mirror for the wide, wouldn't the surface of the water reflect all of the light and look unnatural?
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#11 Michael Nash

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 03:46 PM

Surface reflections aren't a problem unless the pool needs to be the ONLY source of light for logical reasons in the story. Otherwise, the reflections can be justified along with any other light sources or "fill" sources.

Besides, usually people want those rippling surface reflections for pool scenes, simply because they look cool. Usually you end up skipping the light across the surface a little bit and give the water just a *slight* paddle before you roll, so that you get good strong ripple reflections (people often want to overdo the paddling, which just churns the reflections into a hashy mess).
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#12 Drew Ott

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 05:50 PM

Would anybody recommend setting a Kino at the feet of the actors and then painting it out in something like After Effects in post?

Only problem with this is that the actors would be the only people receiving the blue reflection. Any ideas about how to raise the overall ambiance of the exterior setting so that there's a lot of soft light coming from the pool? Back behind the pool the lights will be closer to 3200k than the pool, so the entire pool area needs to be distinctly blue in comparison.

I'll definitely have to run some tests before the night of the shoot.
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#13 Michael Nash

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 06:13 PM

Any ideas about how to raise the overall ambiance of the exterior setting so that there's a lot of soft light coming from the pool?


I guess I'm not understanding what your constraints are. HMI's bounced into the pool bottom will do just this. Is it that HMI's are out of your budget?

If it's simply a matter of budget, then you don't have much choice other than to scale down the size of your shots so that the lights you do have will give you the exposure and quality you need.
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#14 Drew Ott

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 06:39 PM

I guess I'm not understanding what your constraints are. HMI's bounced into the pool bottom will do just this. Is it that HMI's are out of your budget?

If it's simply a matter of budget, then you don't have much choice other than to scale down the size of your shots so that the lights you do have will give you the exposure and quality you need.



Yeah, I guess it's that HMI's are out of the budget. Maybe I'll try to hang a bunch of china balls around the set to increase overall exposure.
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