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lighting a street scene


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#1 Colm Whelan

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 04:24 PM

about to shoot a scene on a dock in daylight. Want to rig a light at the end of the street on a crane to provide a lift for a crowd scene I am doing. the street is about 300 to 400 feet long. not used to using large lamps so wondering what anyone would recommend for the job? thanks
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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 04:40 PM

No single unit is going to do much to cover that full distance. In bright sunlight you're talking about 18K's, 12K's, and 6K's closer in. It just depends on how much lift you need, how much the light is diffused, and how far away each unit is.

But if it's just a matter of adding fill to lower the contrast ratio in direct sunlight, consider using reflectors and Ultrabounce frames instead. Multiple soft reflectors can get you a little more spread with more graceful beam edges. Then sweeten that up when you go in for coverage.

How wide are your shots? Is the camera 300-400 ft. away also, or are you closer in? The closer you are the closer you can bring in bounces.
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#3 Colm Whelan

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 06:24 PM

No single unit is going to do much to cover that full distance. In bright sunlight you're talking about 18K's, 12K's, and 6K's closer in. It just depends on how much lift you need, how much the light is diffused, and how far away each unit is.

But if it's just a matter of adding fill to lower the contrast ratio in direct sunlight, consider using reflectors and Ultrabounce frames instead. Multiple soft reflectors can get you a little more spread with more graceful beam edges. Then sweeten that up when you go in for coverage.

How wide are your shots? Is the camera 300-400 ft. away also, or are you closer in? The closer you are the closer you can bring in bounces.

no I will be closer in. will use smaller lamps and reflectors to do most of the stuff. but have on big wide that I need to shoot from one end of the street with hundreds of extras. most of them will be cgi'd as will the back of the shot. was gonna rig something for that but maybe I dont need it and am jsut complicating things. guess my question was if a 12kor biggerwould give me a decent lift to augment the daylight in the wide but maybe I should just be concentrating more on getting the close ups nicely balanced
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#4 Colm Whelan

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 09:55 AM

No single unit is going to do much to cover that full distance. In bright sunlight you're talking about 18K's, 12K's, and 6K's closer in. It just depends on how much lift you need, how much the light is diffused, and how far away each unit is.

But if it's just a matter of adding fill to lower the contrast ratio in direct sunlight, consider using reflectors and Ultrabounce frames instead. Multiple soft reflectors can get you a little more spread with more graceful beam edges. Then sweeten that up when you go in for coverage.

How wide are your shots? Is the camera 300-400 ft. away also, or are you closer in? The closer you are the closer you can bring in bounces.


actually Michael the wide is contained within a street that consists of large buildings on either side. the producer thinks the street will be in shade most of the day cos they are 4 stories high (its in toronto and I hav'nt got to see it yet). so I will probably need to rig lamps at one end. the street is only about 30 feet wide so its a bit like a tunnel. maybe an 18k on a scissors riser or something. as I say have never used anything bigger than a 6k so its new territory for me
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#5 Michael Nash

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 02:06 PM

Does this shoot have a gaffer? He will be able to tell you what you need, after doing a tech scout of the location.

Fill light is more important if the wide shot has both sun and shade at the time of day you do that shot; if it's all in shade you can get by with fewer or smaller units for modeling.
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#6 Matthew Parnell

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 05:44 PM

Do a series of Recces to see what the location looks like at different times of day and schedule your shoot around the natural daylight. Schedule your wides when the lighting is what you want and then when you start moving in for close ups you can just use butterflys, bounce and lamps to match to the wide.
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