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Mercury Vapor Gel Pack


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#1 Lisa Wiegand

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 08:24 PM

Anybody got a favorite gel pack to match Mercury Vapor lights? I'm using HMI's and would love to get them close to the Mercury Vapors in the scene. Also - ever had any problem with flicker on the MV lights?

Thanks :)

Lisa Wiegand
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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 08:38 PM

Take your pick:
http://www.cinematog...n...ercury&st=0

Mercury vapor is another "discharge" type light; it follows the same flicker principles as HMI's.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 09:02 PM

I've been doing that most of the week...

Mainly I've used 1/4 CTO + 1/2 Plus Green on HMI's (similar to a Cool White fluorescent color).

Sometimes I've used tungstens in other scenes with Cyan 60 gel, though if matching to HMI's with the combo I mentioned above, I use 3/4 CTB + 1/2 Plus Green on the tungsten.

Though I find that real mercury vapors would be more like Full Plus Green rather than 1/2 Plus Green in terms of the greeness.
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#4 Michael Nash

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 09:11 PM

Though I find that real mercury vapors would be more like Full Plus Green rather than 1/2 Plus Green in terms of the greeness.


Yes, that's always the key -- to replicate the way the real thing renders on film, or the way it looks to your eye in the real world? Film always "sees" color temp more saturated than our eyes do.
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 09:36 PM

Here is an example from my shooting this week -- a parking lot with a metal halide lamp on a pole behind the van -- I had a small 45' lift off-camera left and hung a tungsten softbox (some sort of coop light w/ six globes) with 3/4 Blue + 1/2 Plus Green on it to create a similar look over the top of the van. The foreground person is side-lit by an HMI bounced off of an 8'x8' white -- the HMI had 1/4 Orange + 1/2 Plus Green:

Posted Image

In this photo I took from "Assassination of a High School President" shoot, I had a real mercury vapor lamp attached to the building, plus there was already one on the right -- and then I hit the person with a tungsten overhead spot with Cyan 60 gel:

Posted Image
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#6 Scott McClellan

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 01:11 AM

Both look great David. Just wondering what you used to bring in the BG in the shot with the van? Were both of these scenes on a 500T? Also just curious if you used some sort of boom arm off the lift for your soft box or is the shadow on the ground actually coming from the practical in the shot?
Thanks!
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 02:07 AM

There was a lift off to one side with a soft box pointing down which provide the shadow mostly. There was a far, faint backlight from an 18K (w/ the green combo of gels) on a condor - that condor also had a second 18K (gelled w/ 1/2 CTO) panned almost 180 degrees to front light the trees. Though front-lighting the distant trees wasn't preferable, that's where the condor happened to be (and was stuck temporarily in mud so wasn't going to get moved easily -- luckily the van blocked the base.)
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#8 Mike Williamson

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 03:09 AM

I did some testing recently to find a new mercury vapor gel formula, on previous films I've used varying combinations of CTB and Plus Green, but I've never been totally satisfied with the look. I looked at different CTB/Plus Green combinations and party gels and the best thing I can up with was Lee Steel Green 728 on a tungsten source. Some great examples of this look can be seen in Rodrigo Prieto's work on "8 Mile", which is where I stole it from.

I found that most of the cyan gels I looked at were very rich and saturated, which was a little too pretty for what I was looking for. Steel Green felt concentrated enough to be real, but wasn't as rich or lush as the other options. I didn't compare it with any actual mercury vapor sources, so I can't verify how well it blends with the real thing.
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#9 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 15 April 2008 - 05:44 PM

Peacock Blue gel kind of does the trick as long as you go to TK where you can take down the saturation a bit.
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#10 Lisa Wiegand

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Posted 17 April 2008 - 11:33 AM

Great feedback, guys. I really appreciate it. And, David, those pictures are a great help.
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#11 Chris Pritzlaff

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 03:52 PM

Rosco just made a gel to balance Tungsten sources with Sodium Vapor practicals. I got a sample from them at NAB that I hope to test soon.
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#12 Michael Nash

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Posted 18 April 2008 - 03:57 PM

Rosco just made a gel to balance Tungsten sources with Sodium Vapor practicals. I got a sample from them at NAB that I hope to test soon.


Do you know the number?
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