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Looking for a way to pull off this lighting effect.


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#1 Jamie Lewis

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 08:04 AM

I'm doing a short adaption of The Tell Tale Heart and there are two scenes that require a special type of lighting that I'm not quit sure about how to pull off. Of course, it's no-budget so keep that in mind. I don't see how the lights I have can pull it off, two 600w Smith-Victors and a 250w & 100w Lowell Pro-Light. Being shot digitally in HD on a small HV20.

One scene calls for one eye to be lit only. Obviously the rest won't be completely black but one eye needs to be illuminated pretty well. Once the eye is closed and once they eye is open. I don't want to blind the actor either. This is the basic idea in a quick Photoshop job.

Posted Image

The second one, and I'm not sure how to do it except in post, is a ray of light focusing on the eye, from across the room.

Any help would be much appreciated.
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#2 John Allen

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 08:46 AM

ok so the first one you just need a small spotlight, what would work is a 60w house light with just a long rim around the outside to give it a small circle of light.

Although, I don't really understand the second question.

Edited by John Allen, 23 May 2008 - 08:47 AM.

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#3 Jamie Lewis

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 08:59 AM

ok so the first one you just need a small spotlight, what would work is a 60w house light with just a long rim around the outside to give it a small circle of light.

Although, I don't really understand the second question.


So a 60w lamp and some foil around the outside to create a cylinder?

Here's a crude picture of the second question.

Posted Image

Edited by Jamie Lewis, 23 May 2008 - 09:00 AM.

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#4 JD Hartman

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 01:53 PM

A Fresnel fixture, like the Lowel Pro that you have would work. Adding a snoot to the fixture would help to further restrict the light to just the face.
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#5 Billy Furnett

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 02:17 PM

When you make your snoot, it can be helpful to use a little lightweight ring (Like a filter ring) at the end where the light comes out of to help hold the shape.

It gives your fingers something hard to form the foil against.

If it?s a ring from something important, don?t forget it?s in there and ball up the foil and toss it.
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#6 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 05:15 PM

Or you can just wrap the blackwrap (foil) around the front of the light and use a knife to poke a tiny hole in it. Then you can enlarge the circle of light and feather it by cutting the hole larger. It's the same idea as a snoot but it works with any light source. I like to make eyelights with this method, it works great.

For the beam of light, use the biggest, most directional light you have and use the blackwrap trick again, cutting the size of the hole to taste. Then use "Fog in a Can" or some other smoke-like substance to create atmosphere which will be illuminated by the light. Chalk dust would work too.
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#7 Jim Keller

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 05:25 PM

It won't look the same as an in-camera effect, but it's quite easy to create the "bright spot" effect in post. Just overlay a black solid with the transparency set <0 but >100 (at whatever level you like best) and then put a mask on that layer over the actor's eye. Final Cut Pro, After Effects, and Motion should all be able to do this pretty easily.

It (or the reverse) may work for the "beam of light" effect, too. Experiment a little and see if you can get something you like.
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#8 Walter Graff

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 05:30 PM

Take your pro light and put it on a stand. Get a piece of foam core and cut a circle in it. You'll have to do some testing as to the right size hole. Basically move your fixture away from the card and the light it projects through the hole will become sharper. Determine how sharp you want it by moving teh card closer to the perosn and/or the fixtre away. Real simple way to make a nice effect like you ar looking for.
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#9 Michael Nash

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 06:14 PM

Take your pro light and put it on a stand. Get a piece of foam core and cut a circle in it. You'll have to do some testing as to the right size hole. Basically move your fixture away from the card and the light it projects through the hole will become sharper. Determine how sharp you want it by moving teh card closer to the perosn and/or the fixtre away. Real simple way to make a nice effect like you ar looking for.


Exactly. This is much easier and more precise than home made snoots.

For "rays" of light to show up you need the light to shine through some "atmosphere" (fog, smoke, etc.) and stage it against a dark background. The effect is most pronounced when you're backlighting the atmosphere rather than side-lighting or front-lighting.
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#10 Jamie Lewis

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 09:16 PM

Thanks for all of the suggestions guys. I'll try them out next week and see which one gives me the result I'm looking for.

For the fog, would those party place foggers work? Or should I look for something else?
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#11 Michael Nash

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 09:21 PM

Thanks for all of the suggestions guys. I'll try them out next week and see which one gives me the result I'm looking for.

For the fog, would those party place foggers work? Or should I look for something else?



http://www.cinematog...;hl=fog machine

http://www.cinematog...;hl=fog machine

http://www.cinematog...;hl=fog machine

http://www.cinematog...;hl=fog machine
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#12 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 02:50 AM

I've done the same thing as Walter, only I used a flag that already had a hole burnt into it.
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#13 Jamie Lewis

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 05:57 AM

http://www.cinematog...;hl=fog machine

http://www.cinematog...;hl=fog machine

http://www.cinematog...;hl=fog machine

http://www.cinematog...;hl=fog machine


Perfect, Michael! Thanks!
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#14 Nino Giannotti

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 09:28 PM

One scene calls for one eye to be lit only. Obviously the rest won't be completely black but one eye needs to be illuminated pretty well. Once the eye is closed and once they eye is open. I don't want to blind the actor either. This is the basic idea in a quick Photoshop job.

Posted Image

The second one, and I'm not sure how to do it except in post, is a ray of light focusing on the eye, from across the room.
Any help would be much appreciated.


This is my first post on this board, but I'm not new at this, I hope this help. You can cut any size and shape from a piece of black foamboard and play with the distances of board to subject and light to board until you get the effect you need. If you use an open face light then use black foil to be in the safe side.

Posted Image

Posted Image
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#15 Scott McClellan

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 07:01 PM

Not positive about this one, as I have never tried it in a shooting situation, but what about using a small mirror (like the kind found in a make up compact case) to reflect it's natural shape on to your subject's eye. Simply mount it on something sturdy so it doesn't jiggle- then shoot your desired light source/ intensity in to it- setting the angle to hit your target as desired. It's easy to test and very inexpensive.
Of course the other techniques mentioned here will work wonderfully as well. Just thought I'd ad another possible option.
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#16 Scott McClellan

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 07:15 PM

...This might work especially well for the wider shot you have planned.
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#17 Bob Hayes

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 07:35 PM

Not positive about this one, as I have never tried it in a shooting situation, but what about using a small mirror (like the kind found in a make up compact case) to reflect it's natural shape on to your subject's eye. Simply mount it on something sturdy so it doesn't jiggle- then shoot your desired light source/ intensity in to it- setting the angle to hit your target as desired. It's easy to test and very inexpensive.


I?m a big fan of the mirror bounce routine. The further the mirror from the source the harder the edge the smaller the size. It is very controllable. Place a black flag behind the mirror to control bounce.
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Rig Wheels Passport

Ritter Battery

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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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Glidecam

Metropolis Post

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