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Mixing daylight & tungsten


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#1 Ashley Barron

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 09:10 PM

Hi there,

I'm going to be shooting a 2 hander scene with a couple in a bedroom. We're going for the Last Tango in Paris method of mixing daylight and tungsten light.

I've observed the way in the film, the oranges are hitting the actors even if there isn't much motivation for it. I think that there is obviously reflection motivated from the orange walls, but in the scene where the image below is from, the window behind Brando is daylight while the light on him (which seems like a sunset simulation) is tungsten but the direction it's coming from (which they show in the scene) has daylight temp light coming through.

This confuses me as to how Storaro got the motivation for his lighting. Is it, therefore, ok to play around with positioning of sources even if they, in theory don't simulate what it would be in reality?

So, if I have the 2 characters in bed, would it work to have one in daylight while the other being kicked by tungsten (the tungsten being motivated from another window off screen). Or would it work if the room is divided by the two light temps - one half is in daylight from one supposed window, while the other is shining the sunset/sunrise from another supposed window. So, similar to that of Last Tango. The only difference is that they had actual different rooms to make this contrast.

I hope i'm not confusing anyone. I'm shooting tomorrow, so any help would be really appreciated.

Thanks so much,
Ashley.
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#2 Ashley Barron

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 09:37 PM

Sorry, forgot to add the references:

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#3 Mike Williamson

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Posted 15 October 2008 - 02:34 AM

Looking at the reference stills (and trying to remember the last time I watched the DVD), the color of the light hitting Brando and the lighting playing through the window look very close in color temperature to my eye. If they're not quite the same, the difference is far more subtle than you will get from mixing tungsten light with actual daylight.

My guess is that the main color difference comes from the actual color of the shears on the window, maybe the light coming through that window is very slightly less warm, hard to tell exactly from the smaller stills.

If you're trying to recreate this look tomorrow, my advice would be to try and get big tungsten lights and dim them down, matching the amount of dimming between lights playing through the window and any lights on the actors (thereby matching the color temperature). If you can't dim anything, use a light grade of warming gel on everything, probably 1/4 CTO would work. If you have any actual daylight (and this isn't being done on a stage somewhere), gel the windows with full CTO to match your tungsten lamps. All this is assuming you're using tungsten stock or a tungsten white balance if it's a digital camera.

Mixed lighting can be great and naturalistic, but I don't think it's going to get you this look. Best of luck, hope the shoot goes well!
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