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Lighting effects for CAMPFIRE


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#1 Mahesh Shimpi

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 01:08 AM

Hello All,

I am not sure if this topic has been discussed on this forum before. If it has been please guide me to the correct thread.

I am making a short film that is entirely setup with a night backdrop around a campfire. Never tried this kind of filming before. I would appreciate all the ideas/feedback to show me how to light up such a set. I am specifically looking for cheap/creative way of doing it.

I was able to get a good light from the campfire itself, but would be interested in knowing how to create the moonlight effect effectively. I own a Lowell's 44 piece light kit. Will that suffice? If not what is the minimum I have to do to get it right. The location I will be working at has plenty of trees so moonlight cannot be lighting up entire area.

Thanks
Mahesh Shimpi
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#2 Tom Savige

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 11:26 PM

I too would like to know this. Has anyone tried bouncing light into Lee 272 (soft gold reflector)?
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#3 ian dart

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 06:30 AM

hi,

for fire effects check out www.magicgadgets.com
i used 2 of their 2k flicker dimmers for the camp fire scenes on
"van diemans land".

you can select flicker speed and intensity,
lowest light level to highest level and it randomly flickers
between the two.

with one running to two 200 watt globes covered with full cto,
and one running to another two 200 watt globes...hidden around
the campfire and cut from camera by blackwrap

i also had a readhead with full cto thru a 4 x 4 half white dif
as an ambient

it gives a very realistic fire light effect.

i also had a 1.2 hmi punched thru the background for a moonlight effect.

hope this makes sense.... most gaffers will have these flicker
dimmers so you could possibly hire a couple.

hope this helps.

cheers,
ian

Edited by ian dart, 24 June 2009 - 06:32 AM.

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#4 Mahesh Shimpi

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 11:16 PM

Thanks Ian. That surely is helpful.
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#5 Delorme Jean-Marie

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 04:31 AM

hi
if you light with only the fire i'll be : natural, low level, redish, high contrast and hard shadows
now my advice would be to lower the contast, cool a bit the color and level up the scene.
i'd try to keep the natural effect of the flames rather than to use a flicker box.

don't try to light the fire itself, it's useless.

for close ups you can cheat the fire with a torch close to the actor.

my advice, breif the set decorator to bring a lot of wood to burn 'cause you'll need to keep the fire at the same level of intensity for 8 hours.

i just lit a scene at night in an oasis in the desert with 3 fires, 3 tents 20 people, a palm tree oasi and the sand dunes..... it was tuff.

I had 2X10K
3X 2K
3X 1K
and 1 X 4X4
all tungsten
i'll let you see as soon as the footage is edited
i was at 500 asa T2,8 with the 5d2 canon
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#6 Mahesh Shimpi

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 10:19 PM

Great! thanks....I liked the idea of holding a torch close enough to the subject on the close-up shots
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#7 Elliot Rudmann

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 10:45 AM

Great! thanks....I liked the idea of holding a torch close enough to the subject on the close-up shots


I'm sure the actor(s) will love that too, especially when there's a gust of wind :rolleyes: I'd play it more cautious, let the fire's natural flicker do its work, and just manipulate the supplemental lighting for close ups.

Edited by Elliot Rudmann, 01 July 2009 - 10:46 AM.

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#8 ian dart

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 02:04 AM

hi

not sure if having actors sit around a roaring fire is a good idea
those things put out some serious heat.
and keeping it consistant for 8 hours would be hard work.

i found that the light put out by the fire was overshadowed by the
ambient at the stop the dop wanted.

two flicker boxes running out of sequence looked better than
the real flames.
and once it was set up you dont have to reset for the close ups
the complete set up was run off one small genny.

cheers
ian

Edited by ian dart, 02 July 2009 - 02:05 AM.

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Visual Products

Ritter Battery

Wooden Camera

Technodolly

Aerial Filmworks

Willys Widgets