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lighting huge urban exeteriors


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#1 manoj paramahamsa

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Posted 02 August 2008 - 05:57 AM

hey, i just wanna know how to lit up huge urban exteriors such as multi storied apartments
huge buildings for an midnight effect


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#2 David Auner aac

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Posted 02 August 2008 - 06:51 AM

hey, i just wanna know how to lit up huge urban exteriors such as multi storied apartments
huge buildings for an midnight effect


Hi Manoj!

this thread really should be in the lighting subforum.

If you're coming from an indie/student/low budget background, I think the best answer to your question is don't. Find a city scape that is nicely lit and use high speed film. Then add a couple of PARs to fill in really dark spots and cheat light for your talents in close ups.

Other than that your options are limited only by your budget. Fly an 18k HMI from a Condor to add fill to a whole city block. Use light balloons for the same purpose. And the list goes on.

Cheers, Dave
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#3 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 02 August 2008 - 10:24 AM

Oh light Balloons, how I wish I could afford you!

Seriously, though, the night ext lighting you do for any particular shot in any particular film will inevitably vary for a million reasons; not the least of which being that lighting and camera are primarily subservient (or at least should be) to the story and its visual approach.
From there you start to get limited by budgets, and times and the like.

Of course, the "best," way to light a street at night IMHO is what Kubrick had done for Eyes Wide Shut. . . Rebuild a few blocks of NYC in the UK. . Then you can do whatever you want!

For the low budget area, build in some contrast to the image and have light and dark spots. A street light will be bright on film up at the light, but it's the area between the sources and the lights which is primarily of concern (for me). As such, I try to add in some slashes, some motived areas of light as best I can with whatever I can and allow other areas of the frame to go to black. Adding some soft, slightly under-key lighting to your subjects also helps sell the effect of being out in the dark.
Mr. Mullen on here, for one of his films a while back, posted an amazing still of a night EXT light rather simply. I forget the name of the Film, but check through his posts in the "In Production" forum and you should find it (and a wealth of information on lighting technique).
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#4 manoj paramahamsa

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Posted 03 August 2008 - 04:44 AM

thanks

my particular situation is that its apartment building the screen time will be say midnight 2.30 am
and all the lights will be switched off and the height will be some nine floor,
i cant afford a helium b,coz its too expensive and i need to transport the gas from other state
but i can afford 18k par i just thnikin what kind of material i should diffuse or reflect to get the maximum illumination as single sources with mild diifused shadows and much more exapnded area,

regards
manoj paramahamsa

www.manojinfilm.com


ps: the image attached is the building which i wanna lit there will be same kind of appartments opposite to this block

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#5 David Rakoczy

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Posted 03 August 2008 - 07:19 AM

18k will be great for that... we have used 20ks in the past to light complete blocks by running them as back 3/4 Lights raking a block. Depending on what color temp you want you may be better off with a 20k.
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