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TV/Projector Lighting effect


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#1 Tim Christokat

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 01:32 PM

Hi,
I'm shooting on a Panasonic HDV cam this sunday. And I'm trying to fake my protagonist watching TV, I have him framed him in a CU and would like to give the impression of the TV light shining on his face. The lighting set up is very low key and this would serve as a fill light and effect when he switches the TV on as I slowly track in revealing his emotions.

I have got 2 2K Moles 2 Redheads and 2 Blondes to work with!
does anyone have experience in this form of effect and could give me some tips!!

Thanks
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#2 DS Williams

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 02:53 PM

Built a flicker box. That will create the illusion of a different intensities and tones of TV light.

You said the TV light is fill. What is your key?
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#3 Chris Keth

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 06:04 PM

Remember that TV doesn't really flicker to our eyes. It changes intensity but not at a fast enough rate that most of us would call it flicker.

One of the more successful TV gags I've seen was probably the simplest. It was 3 babies or tweenies through a 2x3 silk. Each of those tweenies was on a dimmer and at random small intervals (1-5 seconds or so) 2 of the dimmers were moved to create the light intensities from different "shots" on the TV program. I believe all three lamps had half CTB.

You could easily do something similar with one of your 2ks on a variac through a 4x silk. Then you just vary the intensity without going too dark. Probably go blue with it since TV light is cool.

You can do a pretty good one with a commercial flickerbox set to a very low rate of flicker speed and with the minimum intensity set fairly high, maybe 50% or 60%, so the TV doesn't appear to go too dark.

Edited by Chris Keth, 18 March 2009 - 06:06 PM.

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#4 jeff woods

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 06:26 PM

Remember that TV doesn't really flicker to our eyes. It changes intensity but not at a fast enough rate that most of us would call it flicker.


I would add that the changes in intensity happen at almost a zero-count (read: they don't crossfade from one to another), and they are intensity changes, not percentage changes. The color temperature (for the most part) stays the same, and only the amount of light changes.

Hope that makes sense,
-j
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#5 Chris Keth

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 07:24 PM

I would add that the changes in intensity happen at almost a zero-count (read: they don't crossfade from one to another), and they are intensity changes, not percentage changes. The color temperature (for the most part) stays the same, and only the amount of light changes.

Hope that makes sense,
-j


I would agree with the fast-cut idea there. If you're doing this by hand with variacs, the changes do have to be very fast and decisive. They don't have to be too precise so it's pretty easy to do that.

I'm not sure what you mean by "they are intensity changes, not percentage changes."
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#6 John Baustian

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 11:15 PM

I recently did this kind of gag. We used a 1K with a full CTB, on a slide-type dimmer. During a take, I worked the dimmer up and down, more or less at random. We got the effect the DP wanted.
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#7 jeff woods

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 01:48 AM

I'm not sure what you mean by "they are intensity changes, not percentage changes."


I sort of confused myself after I wrote that...; basically, I meant that by doing the effect using a lighting console and dimmer (full, 75%, 50%, 25%), you lose both lumens and color temperature, but using multiple sources at full, you maintain CT, but just vary lumens.

Or, to further confuse the issue: TV light is the same quality all the time, just stopped up or down.

I need sleep,
-j
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#8 Tim Christokat

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 05:10 AM

Thank you for all the helpful replies!! But is there an alternative to using dimers? Variacs are too expensive, as there is no budget left!!!
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#9 Bruce Southerland

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 08:43 AM

Thank you for all the helpful replies!! But is there an alternative to using dimers? Variacs are too expensive, as there is no budget left!!!

Yes, you can have someone manipulate the light source from the front by
moving light modifiers in and out of the light source, such as nets or small
gobos. Some of the changes need to be subtle, representing a single shot
with moving actors, and some of the changes need to be immediate, such
as a cut from an interior shot to an exterior day shot.

Have Fun!
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#10 Kiarash Sadigh

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 08:45 AM

Thank you for all the helpful replies!! But is there an alternative to using dimers? Variacs are too expensive, as there is no budget left!!!


Yes there are a few other cheap versions you can do, here are two:
1- use a real tv! I've done this many times, these days every one owns a massive size tv, and you hopefully find one in your location, if not maybe one of your crew members can borrow their parents 42 incher lcd.... pick a channel (hockey games usually work fine) then boost the brightness of your tv based on your readings...wallah!

2- Shoot a light through a 3by frame ( your redhead would do good) then cool it down using some ctb, then have a pa holding a piece of foam core in front of the frame (not blocking it but keep the foam core perpendicular to it)..then ask the pa to slowly pivot the foam core over it's vertical axis (to picture this you need to put yourself in the talents position, in the first position of the foam core you (talent) only see a line which is the section of the foam core, then as your pa pivots the foam core the thickness of that line increases gradually blocking some of the light coming from your 3by frame, is that clear?) ..
now, you don't need to completely block the light, just do it subtly and you see the effect...to add to his you can cut holes in the foam core and use color gels to add more complexity.
these are some lo-bo tricks, obviously what other people have mentioned here create great effects too.
have fun!
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#11 Chris Keth

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 02:52 AM

I sort of confused myself after I wrote that...; basically, I meant that by doing the effect using a lighting console and dimmer (full, 75%, 50%, 25%), you lose both lumens and color temperature, but using multiple sources at full, you maintain CT, but just vary lumens.

Or, to further confuse the issue: TV light is the same quality all the time, just stopped up or down.

I need sleep,
-j


I never worried about the color temp change. I figure a TV is really projecting colored light anyway. The only reason we see the bluish color is that it all mixes to form a sort of nominal white most of the time. That reminds me: if the person is watching something in particular or you use cutaways of the program, you can sometimes get a bit more creative with it. Is he watching football? Maybe the TV projects a lot of green, etc.

If variacs are too expensive, just have an electric in there with his gloves on. Since you're diffusing the light anyway, he can effectively dim the lamp by moving his hand in front of it fingers first. I'de use 3 lights and he can change intensity on two of them. The third stays on full all the time so help blend things together and make sure you don't drop the TV brightness too low.

Edited by Chris Keth, 20 March 2009 - 02:54 AM.

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