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Day interior with windows suggestions


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#1 Valerio Sacchetto

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 10:41 PM

Hi guys, it's been a while since my last post here. I'm back to ask for suggestions on my next project.

I'll have to shoot an interior during the day with not one but two windows in the shot. They'll probably be covered with light curtains but i'm not sure. Anyway it's a no budget thing that i do for a friend, shot on video (canon xlh1a i believe) and that's what i plan to do.

I'm asking for some black tulle (bobinette?) to be put on the windows to get down light levels a bit without the costs and worries of NDs (keeping in mind the curtains thing), i also asked for a 4x120 kino (fill in closeups) and a 2.5k HMI that i plan to bounce on some foamcore to raise the ambiance to avoid the outside to be completely blown out, maybe i'll get a 150w hmi or two to use as a very subtle fill/eyelight.

The room is a large conference room dressed as a "display room" for the wake of a deceased guy (sorry, i can't find a better way to explain it :P), i still don't have the size but i just assumed i can place the 2.5k 6m (~20ft) away from the wall with the windows for a general fill for the wide shot from there hoping to get a reading at near 80fc (just a guess...or a hope).

Since we're on video i'm quite a bit concerned with the light range i'll be able to use and still get acceptable results, maybe i'm a bit paranoid but i haven't shoot video in such a situation before. Anyway i'm looking for advices on the subject especially since i'm having some thoughts about the lights i've asked.
I'm afraid i may have a too powerful unit for the closeups where i can cheat a bit more and maybe too few smaller units for the very same purpose.
Maybe a 1.2k and a 575 would be better? I want to be covered in the eventuality the director asks for the curtains to be removed (the windows should face north so i shouldn't have harsh light coming in).

The project is a short black comedy so i don't want to go too extreme with the contrast, yet i absolutely don't want to overlight, keeping maybe just a one stop underexposure on the faces that are against the windows (not really behind them, just facing away), would that be enough to look realistic while not being real (i.e. too dark)?
Any other approach?

Tomorrow (later today) i'll go to the location with the director so i'll have something more specific and seen directly by me. maybe some photos and a diagram. Until then any thoughts?

Oh and sorry for any mistake but it's 5.30 in the morning here :rolleyes:
please ask for further informations since i may have forgot useful infos (or maybe i don't have them...they called me today and the shooting is this week end...)
Thank you in advance for anything, even just moral support. ;)
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#2 Steve McBride

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 11:04 PM

Do you know what way the windows face and what time of day you're going to be shooting? I assume you know this, but if both windows are facing east you're going to have a lot more light in the morning than in the afternoon.

Bouncing the 2.5k HMI off of the ceiling could also be another choice and then flagging and bouncing the light for how you need it for each setups should work alright. Instead of using the 150w HMIs for eye-light, I would use them for more of a kicker to add depth since you're shooting video or maybe adding a little glint of light in the subject's eye (not eye-light, just the little white spot in the pupil of the subject's eye).

I've always loved using Kino's for fill when I'm in a room lit by windows. They are very soft and have a good throw for when you're doing your CU's and such.

In the camera, set the zebra to 70. I read that in the "Crank 2" article of ASC Mag last month or so and tried it on a video shoot and was very pleased with the results. Highlights were good and not blown out.
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#3 Valerio Sacchetto

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 10:40 AM

Bouncing the 2.5k HMI off of the ceiling could also be another choice and then flagging and bouncing the light for how you need it for each setups should work alright.

unfortunately i can't bounce anything off the ceiling or walls since they're painted either blue or a warm yellow. i'll have to do with foamcore and such. In the end i asked for a 1.2k in addition just to be safe.

Instead of using the 150w HMIs for eye-light, I would use them for more of a kicker to add depth since you're shooting video or maybe adding a little glint of light in the subject's eye (not eye-light, just the little white spot in the pupil of the subject's eye).

that's exactly what i was going for :)

I've always loved using Kino's for fill when I'm in a room lit by windows. They are very soft and have a good throw for when you're doing your CU's and such.

great!

well sorry for the late reply, here i have some more things. I hope someone else will give their advice.
The director wants to keep a mostly cold tone with a bit of contrast, just a little more than a comedy, so I may not need to fill the place with huge amounts of light in the end.

I made a diagram with the space, the most probable place where we'll put the camera and the available light sources

Posted Image
red: camera
blue: available lights

the curve is a dolly from right to left

and that's what i thought to do with my lights for the master (i didn't put flags nor nets), the 2.5k may be switched for the 1.2k

Posted Image

2 650w will light the inside of the casket with a couple pools while the other 2 will give something to the background mimicking the candles (they won't have the CTB on them, sorry)

this is just my plan, naturally i expect everything to screw up on location :rolleyes:

here i took a couple pics of the room

Posted Image
that's to show you the colors and a bit of the the size

Posted Image
and that's just a shot i took at 1/50 f3.5 400iso to have an idea of what i might get with the bare place.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 11:01 AM

I like the look of the darker photo -- if you can get the room down to that level, I'd either be tempted to have one strong light slash though one window and backlight the two people, and then a soft edge coming from the other window (maybe a Kino above the window or above each window) so you have a strong key from one window and a bit of an edge from the opposite...

Or rather than key with windowlight, let the windows be dim, maybe again a Kino above each window but knocked down for a dim cross light effect... but mainly key them with a big Chinese Lantern above the coffin, maybe even let it be tungsten and the windows daylight and split the difference in white balance.
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#5 Valerio Sacchetto

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 09:52 PM

I like the look of the darker photo -- if you can get the room down to that level, I'd either be tempted to have one strong light slash though one window and backlight the two people, and then a soft edge coming from the other window (maybe a Kino above the window or above each window) so you have a strong key from one window and a bit of an edge from the opposite...

Or rather than key with windowlight, let the windows be dim, maybe again a Kino above each window but knocked down for a dim cross light effect... but mainly key them with a big Chinese Lantern above the coffin, maybe even let it be tungsten and the windows daylight and split the difference in white balance.


Thank you david, as usual you're very helpful.
Unfortunately i can't hang anything (except for the smaller lights that i'll put on a bar that goes across the room) so i have to light from the floor, but i'll surely follow your suggestions for the CU's maybe mixing them a bit ;)
I may put up a foamcore reflector above the niche and shine the 2.5k on it from across the room...don't know if it's feasible or practical, probably not tho.

Tomorrow they'll start dressing the set and i'll put up what i can that will stay there. I don't know if i'll be able to check the forum since i'll stay there for the WE. Anyway if someone has to say anything i'll be happy to read it.
I'll try to take some photos and maybe some grabs from the camera to criticize :P
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#6 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 12:59 AM

Can you use something like a Joker bug K 5600-400W with a chimera to fill, keeping it as dark as possible, and for the close ups: 2 lamps from the four bank kino's that you ordered as rim or sidelights.
I see a pole over the embeded in wall cross, can this accept the weight of a 350w fresnel? Gel it with 1/2 CTO but you will need to flag the light from the back of the fixture to have a clean_from_light wall. Use this for the coffin.

Just a thought.
Dimitrios
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#7 ryan tillotson

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 05:07 PM

I like the look of the darker photo -- if you can get the room down to that level, I'd either be tempted to have one strong light slash though one window and backlight the two people, and then a soft edge coming from the other window (maybe a Kino above the window or above each window) so you have a strong key from one window and a bit of an edge from the opposite...

Or rather than key with windowlight, let the windows be dim, maybe again a Kino above each window but knocked down for a dim cross light effect... but mainly key them with a big Chinese Lantern above the coffin, maybe even let it be tungsten and the windows daylight and split the difference in white balance.



i was just reading through this post . . . and i really liked your idea of having a strong light slash through one window . . . what size light would you recommend for achieving this look?
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