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18th Century Lanterns


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#1 Tony Robinson

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Posted 16 November 2008 - 02:40 AM

Hi everyone. This is my first post, as I just found this forum tonight and I must say it seems like a great place! I spent way too long reading all the production journals! On to my question.

I'll be DP on a film (my first time actually) that will be set around the Revolutionary War. The lighting I'm going for will be very natural looking. Therefore on interior night scenes, I'd like to light simply by placing lanterns in the appropriate places. No frills, no softboxes, no fancy hairlights. The scenes will be intense and gritty. You know, discussions of war and loyalties in secret, that kind of thing. Think "The Patriot" just on a cheap no budget, no big name actors, little indie kinda thing. :)

Any ideas as to how to do this? I can find replica lanterns from the era, but obviously they are built for candles. Any ideas on mounting some sort of battery powered light on the inside? The light would need to be low kelvin, as I will have daylight balanced compact fluorescents outside to mimic moonlight.

The film will shot in HD of some sort. Haven't decided what yet. Possibly a Sony EX1. So I don't need super hight watt bulbs.

Thanks for any ideas!

Edited by Tony Robinson, 16 November 2008 - 02:42 AM.

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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 16 November 2008 - 04:45 AM

I don't know how sensitive the EX1 is, but oil lamps would be appropriate to that period and they can be quite bright when the wick is trimmed properly. You may, with fast lenses, be able to do it by lantern light.

You might check on the effective ASA of that camera and get back to this thread. It's important information for things like this.
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#3 Rob Vogt

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 09:55 AM

Hey Tony,

Here's how my lantern came out. We used a 500w bulb w/ 2xCTO and wrapped the outside w/ 1/2 Diffusion. Attached is a picture of the lantern juxtaposed with a screen shot from The Assassination of Jesse James. We ran a 100' cable to the generater. The wire came out of the top of the light but it could go out of the bottom depending on the situation.

Hope that helps,
Rob

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#4 Rob Vogt

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 10:00 AM

PS the film it was used on was shot on an EX1 so I'll try to get some grabs for you ASAP but the director doesn't have the capability to edit this kind of HD (didn't think of that!) so as of now hes got the footage in a kind of limbo.
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#5 Ralph Keyser

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 04:28 PM

It looks like you've got a solution for your shoot, but you might also check out the lanterns and/or controllers at Magic Gadgets.
http://www.magicgadg...om/mg_ol_06.htm

These are DC powered, so the lantern remains completely portable, and they have built-in, adjustable flicker circuits to generate a candle-like effect. These same guys also make some very nice flicker controllers for AC instruments.

<No affiliation with them other than a satisfied customer>
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Rig Wheels Passport

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