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need lighting advice for an interior home


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#1 Clay Hammons

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 01:18 PM

I am doing a shoot in a couple of weeks and wanted to get some input. I will be shooting with an HVX200. Everything takes place in a house that has lots of windows. In the script it takes place from 10:00am until around 5:00pm. For our shoot we are trying to shoot from about 8am to 6pm. Its a drama and i wanted very soft lighting augmented by the lights coming through the windows. here are the questions I have

1) Should I cover the windows with an ND gel, if so how many stops should I decrease by?

2) Should i use orange gels on the windows to match the color of the tungsten lighting we will be using or should I change all the interior lights to blue or keep both temperatures?

3) What kind of lights would you recommend using? I have a couple of 500 watt soft boxes but didnt know where to go from there. I will also have some silks, flags, and 4 500 watt lights.

4) If I should gel the windows, what is the best kind of tape to use to put the gels up? We are shooting at someones home so I dont want to leave any residue on anything. Also, does the color of the tape matter much? If someone could provide a link to some products that would be really awesome.

Thanks in advance for any help, any other advice, tips or suggestions would be most welcome!

-Clay
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#2 Bob Hayes

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 07:55 PM

You might consider using reflectors and 4x4 mirrors from the outside to supplement the lighting. In Southern California this time of year you can get some pretty good sunlight. This is a cheap way to supplement a small package. Bag the mirror through a 6x6 for a soft source.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 16 April 2009 - 08:32 PM

) Should I cover the windows with an ND gel, if so how many stops should I decrease by?

2) Should i use orange gels on the windows to match the color of the tungsten lighting we will be using or should I change all the interior lights to blue or keep both temperatures?

3) What kind of lights would you recommend using? I have a couple of 500 watt soft boxes but didnt know where to go from there. I will also have some silks, flags, and 4 500 watt lights.

4) If I should gel the windows, what is the best kind of tape to use to put the gels up? We are shooting at someones home so I dont want to leave any residue on anything. Also, does the color of the tape matter much? If someone could provide a link to some products that would be really awesome.


Clay, you need to go to My Controls and edit your display name to a real first and LAST name, as per the forum rules.

ND gel on windows will darken them but also darken the amount of daylight coming into the room, so generally you'd only gel the windows in the background of the shot IF you are trying to hold detail outside rather than let it burn out to white. How much to ND depends on the light level inside and outside. I usually use ND.6 for starters because ND.30 is too light to be worth the gelling time, money, and effort and ND.9 is sometimes overkill (but it may be necessary if your foreground is very dark in comparison.) You can also put a double net on a frame and put that outside a window to knock it down a little -- you only cut it down by a stop but sometimes that's enough to make it less obnoxious.

What tape you use just depends on if it is going to be seen on-camera -- if you are putting gel on the outside window frame and the tape is not visible, most people use paper tape. If you have to put the gel on the glass in camera, then people use "snot" tape or double-sided clear tape. Or soapy water and a squeegee.

Whether to use orange gels on windows just depends -- if it's just one small window and all your room lighting will be tungsten, like in a bathroom, then go ahead and use 85/ND gel, but otherwise, if there are a lot of windows, it would probably be better to work with as much natural daylight as possible and gel your tungsten with blue to match.

Personally, I'd gather as much daylight lighting as you can -- daylight Kinos / flos, LED's, small HMI's, shiny boards outside the windows, etc. because you don't get much output after gelling tungsten with blue.
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#4 Paul Bruening

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 07:38 AM

Take the roof off?
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#5 Clay Hammons

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 04:11 PM

Thanks for the advice guys! Paul, removing the roof was the first thing we tried. We had it cut and then removed via airlift by four helicopters but city officials immediately showed up and told us we had to put the roof back on the house or pay a very high fine. So it looks like I will have to go with the other ideas instead ;)

Edited by Clay Harper, 17 April 2009 - 04:12 PM.

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#6 David Rakoczy

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Posted 17 April 2009 - 04:50 PM

FILM LIGHTING ;)
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Rig Wheels Passport

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Broadcast Solutions Inc

Metropolis Post

The Slider

Willys Widgets

Visual Products

Abel Cine

Aerial Filmworks

Technodolly

Wooden Camera

Glidecam

Ritter Battery

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

FJS International, LLC

Tai Audio

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

rebotnix Technologies

CineLab