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INT- DAY LIVING ROOM (studio)


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#1 John Miguel King

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 09:59 PM

This is my first post in this forum. I'm amazed with the wealth of useful information available here!

So, we're filming a short on RED in a couple of weeks, my first RED experience. It is all studio. I want to try and spend as little as possible on kit, as the budget is pretty limited and I can source a few lights for free.

I can get:

3 x 150 DEDOS
3 X Redheads
2 X Blondies
1 1000W softbox

I'm thinking of hiring a diva-lite and there will also be a few practicals.

Apart from a recurring flashback shot in the forest, the story takes place in a bedroom and a living room. We've day, night, afternoon, evening ... the full range. The story is about a couple trying to rekindle their love, with not much succes at all.

The set has a window which I intend to use as my key. This window will be covered by a patterned white curtain, lit by a blondie (I'll get an HMI if I have to, but it's a seven day shoot and it would mean a week on sandwiches for the whole crew). This, and the dark grimy edges I want the frame to have (similar to the scene in Barry Lyndon where he's stone drunk at the gentleman's club), have made me think that I might do well by having a massive overhead softlight with which to even the exposures between the window and the walls. I also want the camera to move freely. It's either this or bouncing, but boncing would cast shadows, and there's no practical on during the day, as they spend quite a lot of time sitting on a table that is placed right by the window.

So, and this is the real question, I've thought of building a rig with a serious amount of either PARs or spotlights, and placing a layer of diffusion underneath. I reckon it'll far easier to control the spill on the walls than if I hang an equally serious amount of chinaballs. The director wants deep focus, so I need light, plenty of it. What do you think?. Also, any ideas on how to get photometric information on par 38 100 W?

Thanks!
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#2 Steve McBride

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 11:49 PM

For the overall thing I'd see more of a cool color temp since the couple isn't having any luck rekindling the relationship and with a lot of romances, they seem to be a bit warmer, so to kinda set off from that a cooler temperature would be good.

I'm no pro at lighting so I don't really know what fixtures or wattages would work best, but the large overhead skirted would work well for your day scenes, you'd just have to make sure you have a heavier light coming in from the windows. You can still use practicals like lamps for your day shoots. Most places you go to will still be using lamps even at mid-day on a sunny day so you'd be able to use those for sources.

For the night scenes, a few practical's would work good and then use china balls to fill in the rest.

As for your bedroom scene, one thing that I really like to do is set up a c-stand infront of a light with just a 4x4 frame on it and stripe gaffers tape horizontally across the frame leaving little gaps between the strips to make a Phoenician blind effect and cast it over the bed. This works perfectly if you're like Eisenstein and want to show the couple or even just one of the characters as if they were "caged" in like in Potemkin with the sailors and the bars that cast shadows over them.

I'm excited to see what other people have to say since the sets are often used and it'll be interesting to hear what people say about the low-budget aspect of your project.

Good luck!
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#3 John Miguel King

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 11:20 AM

Mate, thanks so much for your reply, and sorry for taking so long to return here. I've had a hectic time with other projects.

I decided not to build an overhead setup as it wouldn't create the sort of light I'm after, direction and falloff would be plain wrong. I've made an alternative plan.

We're going to have two blondies crisscrossed outside the main window, another one diffused with a 4 x 4 high above the window, a couple of diffused redheads from the camera's position to even the contrast and a smoke machine. The director wants the image to be high key and with very little contrast. To finish it off, he wants the window to 'glow'. Was thinking of rating the RED at 600, or even higher. If I'm not wrong, in film this would add a halo of sorts. I'm also concerned with RED's ability to pull detail from the window, as it'll be covered with a net curtain.

We're going to run a few tests on Saturday, see how best to get this look. I promise to upload some screengrabs.

Edited by John Miguel King, 22 January 2009 - 11:21 AM.

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#4 DS Williams

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 06:28 PM

I assume you're working around the 5000k spec balance of the chip. How are you going about that?
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#5 John Miguel King

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 07:31 AM

I assume you're working around the 5000k spec balance of the chip. How are you going about that?


Forgive my ignorance, what would be the advantage?. Does it work better within this range?

This is what we're after (with colour!).

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Edited by John Miguel King, 24 January 2009 - 07:32 AM.

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#6 Stephen Williams

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 07:51 AM

I assume you're working around the 5000k spec balance of the chip. How are you going about that?


Looking at the light list I think that would be most unlikely.
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#7 John Miguel King

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 07:54 AM

Looking at the light list I think that would be most unlikely.


It is. The production designer stole my budget, all the lamps are borrowed. However, I do have a pretty comprehensive set of filter for the matte box.
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#8 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 08:28 AM

Forgive my ignorance, what would be the advantage?. Does it work better within this range?

This is what we're after (with colour!).



From your photo it looks like the romance was pretty successful a six months before :)
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#9 John Allen

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 11:16 AM

This is what we're after (with colour!).


Forgive me if I am mistaken by your comment, but there is hardly, if no color at all in this picture. If you want that look all you need to do is to lower the saturation. Also, if you're going for that same look as far as lighting then what you could do is just shoot with natural light and stick a shiny board on the outside of the window if you have access to the outside of the window that is.
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#10 John Allen

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 11:27 AM

Ah I understand. I see now that you are only shooting in studio.
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