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Please comment my light setup


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#1 Milenko Jovanovich

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 09:02 AM

I'm new to filmmaking and lighting, so please comment my work, if you could spare some time.

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Thank you all.
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#2 Hal Smith

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 09:43 AM

I suggest sprucing up the backgrounds with some slashes of light, color, gobos, cookies, etc. The third photo could use some light on the terrorist coming from the same angle as the key on your foreground subject.

Stand by for Walter Graff's comments - he's got a great eye.
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#3 Chris Durham

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 03:34 PM

You're blowing out detail in the shirt. White shirts are hard to do right in video, because they clip so easily. If you can't change the colors, you can make sure everything's exposed and then stop the image down with ND filters.
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#4 F Bulgarelli

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 04:29 PM

I'm new to filmmaking and lighting, so please comment my work, if you could spare some time.

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Thank you all.


The key light is too hard in my opinion, I would try a soft key by diffusing the key with a 4x4 frame of 251 or similar, also, an eyelight might be nice.
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#5 Milenko Jovanovich

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 05:59 PM

Thank you all for great feedback.

All lights we used were those cheap 500w halogen worklights with home made barn doors. And it does miss some catchlight in the eyes, but that is intentional, we wanted to show that he isn't alive any more, just a mere shell of a man.
I agree that white shirt is very hard to expose correctly.
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#6 Jon Rosenbloom

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 08:08 PM

Work on eliminating the stuff that "gives away" your lighting. You are, after all, creating an "illusion."
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#7 Jonathan Bruno

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 02:27 AM

If he's a dark shell of a man, perhaps he should be in a darker place. Maybe we shouldn't identify with him as much on a human level. Definitely cut out any light that is working against you, like on the back walls. Just focus it on your characters and try to get rid of that nasty spill that's going everywhere. You could cut the light on the man's face, so that we can't see him clearly, as he doesn't see himself or his life clearly anymore. Or make the girl more menacing. The possiblities are endless in these darker stories. It really depends on who is the focus and what their state of mind is.

The gun shot, I feel, should be a lot darker. What is the man thinking about? Is he empty at this moment too? Maybe it would be better to darken the executioner a little, or a lot. In general, emote with the light a little more. It does a lot a work for you if you control it.

I agree with Fransisco. The key could definitely be softer and probably a lot darker. If you want a good look at emotive lighting, watch Blade Runner (shot by Jordan Cronenweth) or The Natural (shot by Caleb Deschanel)

Good luck and keep experiementing. In the end, it is your creativity that makes the image interesting.
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#8 John Allen

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 11:46 AM

I would shoot it in a very dark room with the only natural light source coming from a light from above that hangs down over the table. Then light each character with just a key and maybe a backlight. Also, I try and stay away from having a white backround, just cause it makes the image look very flat.
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#9 Tim Terner

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 12:09 PM

Sorry to be harsh, but those frame grabs you posted look like poor documentary footage. My advice would be to find some still pics that inpire you and try to get as close to the look of these as possible by tweaking the worklights that are available to you
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#10 Milenko Jovanovich

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 07:31 PM

No hard feelengs, i'm here to lern. That is why I posted here. I appreciate all comments, positive or negative. I certainly have a lot to lern, and I think this is one of the best places to do so (the best place of course is working on set with somebody experienced).
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#11 Tim Terner

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 09:44 PM

No hard feelengs

That's good

In a basic white walled location like you used it's nigh on impossible to produce anything out of the ordinary lighting wise. It's also worth remembering that you light the room, not the actors. Then a small tweek for the close ups is standard practice
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#12 Jason Anderson

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 11:15 PM

Maybe hard light motivated by streetlight coming through a window. Imagine the terrorist standing against a window, mostly silhouetted, the background helps separate him, we can barely make out features. What if the gun starts out in shadows and catches a slight glint of light.
I suggest you read David Mullens faq http://www.cinematog...?showtopic=8069. Read the section on soft and hard light.

Jason
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#13 Brian Rose

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 11:48 PM

I share the others' sentiments in feeling that your comment that he is in "a dark place" to be a key to deciding your lighting scheme. I think you might want to heighten the divisions between shadow and light. Something close to the oft sought after "noir" look, and its German Expressionist antecedent.

I would note that you have a fine three point set up, and ought not to discard it entirely. Rather, I think you might try to go further, because the current construct could wind up working against you. All three screen grabs you included tend to create a large sense of space. In shot #1, your back light creates the impression of a window. Likewise in # 2 and 3. While the shots are framed tightly, the lighting suggests otherwise. Furthermore, they are all well lit and daylight balanced, which creates a mood that seems to stand in contrast with the themes you have described involving the central male protragonist.

My solution would be to make your light sources more controlled and direct, as though from a single source. If you eliminated any suggestion of windows and daylight, and went instead with something more harsh, evocative of an overhead florescent or some such, you might create a greater sense of claustrophobia, which would go a long way to creating a sense of menace and dread for this shell of a man. Perhaps even a few florescent green color gels to make the room sterile and sickly. This would also heighten the shadow detail and contrast, which would better underline your core themes. Don't eliminate your fills and back light mind you (they are important for depth, and you were wise to include them), but instead employ them with greater subtlety. Ultimately, you want to go with something that will work for the film, and not necessarily look like the nice three point set ups we all learned about in "The Five Cs."

Good luck, and keep those screen grabs coming. I'd love to see more! What camera/format are you using?

Brian R.
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#14 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 01:05 AM

shooting this as a semi-silhouette would have been another nice option, with slight fill. I always try to encourage the directors I work with to never shoot in a white room. I hate shooting white room music videos btw.

If your room that some art dept helping you, it wouldn't have been so obvious. Keep working at it. The image is comprised of so many pieces.
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#15 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 01:26 AM

Just by placing a flag next to your lights to cut off the spill onto the walls would have helped a lot. That's all I have to add :)
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#16 Milenko Jovanovich

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 04:52 AM

Brian,
We used Panasonic AG-DVC 62, it's 4:3 native, so we cropped to 16:9.

And I wish to thank you all for great feedback!
Cheers.
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#17 Hemant Tavathia

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 10:39 PM

I'm new to filmmaking and lighting, so please comment my work, if you could spare some time.

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Thank you all.


One thing I've noticed in the three pictures are the backgrounds are not interesting. I think you need to breakup and separate your backgrounds more.
The actors in the foreground are ok lit. I think with time you can learn to finesse face lighting. My main advice while lighting actors faces is to never forget to backlight them, and also shape their face with a side light.
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