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Practicals: using household flashlights in a scene


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#1 Reinis Traidas

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 05:28 AM

This question has been in my mind for a longer time, but I have never actually shot anything involving shining or flashing flashlights on film. So I'd be interested if anyone has the experience and can share any tips.

I'm interested if there is a special low-wattage bulb that's used for when we see the flashlight and it's shined into the lens? Or do they simply take a regular flashlight and shine it around? Also, if shooting an underlit (dark) scene where somebody is walking and lighting his way with a flashlight (source of light) - it really isn't "a flashlight" is it? As that would probably have not nearly enough punch to actually expose the film normally in that small spot of light? Although I've seen scenes where a flashlight is first used as a source of light (POV) and then it turns into a practical, when the actors walk in frame with it and still keep shining it around.

What should I know?
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#2 David Regan

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 09:32 AM

Depending on the flashlight, you should definitely be able to have exposure in the areas illuminated by the flashlight. Those larger Mag-lights are pretty bright, in the area they hit you shouldn't have a problem. If you need more light, I suppose you could always try something like using a Leko for the shots where the flashlight beam is illuminating things, then cut back the practical as you suggest. If you really want to know however, just go into a dark room with no other light, shine your flashlight across the room, and use you light meter to gauge what sort of workable stop you'll have at various distances. From there you can figure out if you need a more powerful source or not.
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#3 Bobby Shore

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 06:39 PM

read up on the AC article for Babel, Rodrigo Prieto talks about one scene in particular (night ext.) that involved flashlights and pushing the film stock. Also, the AC article for Seven is really interesting for how Darius Khondji approached the gluttony scene early on in the film.

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#4 Reinis Traidas

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 07:27 AM

read up on the AC article for Babel, Rodrigo Prieto talks about one scene in particular (night ext.) that involved flashlights and pushing the film stock. Also, the AC article for Seven is really interesting for how Darius Khondji approached the gluttony scene early on in the film.


Can you tell me which issue (year/month) this article was published in? Thanks.
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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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