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Light suggestions?


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#1 Naim Sutherland

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Posted 03 August 2008 - 04:57 PM

Hi everyone,

I posted a while ago about coming up with an approach to the massive amount of exterior night setups in my upcoming project shooting Red. I want to generally see a lot of detail at night, and be able to shoot at a decently deep stop (T4 or 5.6) lighting_setup.gif because of all the movement and action I'm going to have to cover. The look of night will have to be stylized for this film because the world is totally overcast, and our characters are out in a forest with no source of light at all. Anyway...

I think I have boiled down the general approach to 4 sources of light, and now I'm wondering what kind of lamps and what wattages would be cost effective for these different purposes.

I have drawn out a ridiculously rudimentary diagram http://naimsutherlan...hting-setup.gif . Here are two typical areas that I will be dealing with for the movie: http://naimsutherlan...es/location.jpg http://naimsutherlan...s/location1.jpg

Blocking will range from sitting in camp talking to running on steadicam away from an assailant, fighting with knives and guns, and eventually deaths from the weapons and bludgeoning as well.

Light 1 is the helium balloon key. Ideally this fills our immediate space with a soft, even light and gives everything a base to work from.

Light 2 is the backlight for the subjects. It needs to be fairly subtle and not too hard since it's completely unmotivated, and I just want it for separation and to avoid being flat and boring on the characters since I'm doing a soft overhead.

Light 3 needs to rake the background, which in a wide-ish shot might be quite a distance. It can be hard, but it should be even. I am afraid of losing depth by just losing things in darkness... I want to keep the idea of endless forest around them even at night.

Light 4 gets the foreground stuff that might be missed because its not facing the balloon light. It will need to be soft and even and mimic the balloon light.

Obviously this is a general conceptual approach, and not a specific schematic for a shot of the film.

One other requirement is that I'd like to have one of these larger lamps for putting up a subtle, very soft key on exterior day setups where appropriate. The whole movie is supposed to be overcast, but even so it might be nice to be able to paint on a subtle direction when/if I can.

I would love any tips on what lamps you guys think would be good for these jobs... I haven't really used much more than a 1200 par on my stuff, and I think this is all beyond something like that!

Thanks!lighting_setup.gif

Edited by Naim Sutherland, 03 August 2008 - 05:00 PM.

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#2 David Rakoczy

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Posted 04 August 2008 - 11:30 AM

Move the BackLight to Camera left... that way the Balloon Light will be 'wrapping' the Backlight...
I would use that BackLight as back 3/4... kinda like a Kicker..
I would also use a 12x12 Bounce for that front Fill from camera left...
and that background Light from camera left so all the shadows are falling the same direction...
Basically have them all come from the same side of Camera.

Edited by David Rakoczy, 04 August 2008 - 11:32 AM.

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#3 Naim Sutherland

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 12:51 PM

Hi everyone,

I am asking for specific suggestions of specific lamps and wattages.... that is the part I need help with. I will place them where they need to be, don't you worry about that!

There are several lights that will never hit people and don't need to be very pretty, and can hopefully be something cheaper than an HMI PAR. I think larger setups like 9 lights will be harder to hide, and won't be tree-mountable, so my inclination is to avoid that kind of thing.

I have also been entertaining the idea of going 100% tungsten at night, which I know will draw more power, but it will save the production money. What tungsten lamp will give me the same throw as a 6k HMI PAR? The disadvantages would be having to gel my balloon light, and shooting already lower key stuff farther away from Red's 5000 degree sensor. I guess I will just trust that build 16 is indeed cleaner.

Thanks.
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#4 David Rakoczy

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 01:29 PM

A 20k.

No need to Gel the (Tungsten) Balloon... all your light is Moonlight so simply shoot your White Balance with 1/2 CTO (or your favorite Moonlight flavor) and you are set. I would take a 20k or two and yes.. 9Lights are great and pretty cheap... Take a couple 10ks as well.

BTW.. why do your post look so weird? I need to scroll right and left to read your posts..
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#5 Richard Sterndale Bennett

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 02:52 PM

BTW.. why do your post look so weird? I need to scroll right and left to read your posts..


It's because of the giant images in his original post -- they stretch the thread out.

:)
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#6 David Bradley

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Posted 19 August 2008 - 06:17 PM

If you want to make some decisions regarding the amount of light you need to throw on the subject you might need to consider

- What stock you are using
- The sort of fstop you will be shooting at
- do you want a hard light (larger fixtures further from the subject)
- do you want a soft light (smaller output fixtures closer to the subject)

Considering you are using I ballon I will assume that you want to use a soft wrapping light. A Lunix 200 will give you about 260 lux at 7m distance
and anything as small as an arri 1K fres will give you 250 lux at 9m (flood) so that would be sufficient for your back light.

Once you've decided on stock or at least the relative speed of your entire camera system (i.e. after filters, shutter angle etc has been decided upon) I'd set some of these fixtures
up and get a reading at various distances to see how they compare. The arri site is great for getting photometric data on their fixtures so hit that if you don't have time to test.

Good luck

David
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