Jump to content


Photo

Fireworks gag


  • Please log in to reply
3 replies to this topic

#1 Iskra Valtcheva

Iskra Valtcheva
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Austin, TX

Posted 07 July 2009 - 12:15 AM

I'm lighting a scene on 7218 where a fireworks gag is involved: There are fireworks going off in the distance, the characters are watching them, and I want the glow off of the fireworks to read on the characters' faces. We shot a camera/lighting test this weekend, and had 3 lights with party gels set at different heights, on a 3-channel flicker box, and had them come up in a chase sequence from bottom to top. It looked cool but not entirely convincing. Then i realized that fireworks, as they go up, would also be changing color. I've heard in theatre lighting they use something called color scrollers to quickly change colors on instruments. Have you heard of anyone using these in film? I guess i could also have an electrician at each light with a multiple color gel frame swapping colors since this is on a low budget. What do you think? Any other ideas to achieve this effect in a simple way?
  • 0

#2 David Cronin

David Cronin
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 29 posts
  • Electrician
  • Los Angeles

Posted 07 July 2009 - 12:51 AM

One recommendation, keep the fireworks soft. I would probably use a bounce board. As far as color is concerned less is more. Know how your source behaves in reality. Fireworks tend to have an sudden splash of color that falls off gradually in the span of 5-maybe 7 seconds. Have at least 5 lights and bounce them into an 8x4 foam core. The more spread the better. Strike the light into the card then slowly pan it off. Multiple lights should be on at one time. Also might want a little something at the base of the show card to represent mortar flare maybe a warm little string of christmas lights.

I don't know what type of budget you have, I am assuming low. So I would keep the shooting fairly tight. You won't have the money to show to much background, because your foam core isn't going to have the spread of real fireworks. Keep it on a long lenses.

One last thing, this is more personal taste, but make sure you give your director some options in terms of how much ambient light there is (not from the fireworks SEE brokeback mountain Prieto kicks ass). I personally would like to see the faces all the way through the show, because from a story perspective the whole emotional expression of your actors will be the best bet to sell the deal you don't want to loose that feeling when you loose your light.

Good Luck,
and if you have any question or need any help let me know.

Davidwcronin@gmail.com
  • 0

#3 Iskra Valtcheva

Iskra Valtcheva
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Austin, TX

Posted 09 July 2009 - 09:56 AM

Hey David,

thank you so much for the fireworks suggestion! I love the large soft source idea. I think the reason my fireworks looked fake to the eye was because I had these pinpoint, hard sources hitting the character and it just didn't look "real" nor very pretty. I also like the chrismas lights idea. I have some rope light that I'm thinking of balling up and putting on a dimmer, might even be able to get the ball's reflection in the eye for a closeup.

Speed-wise, the flicker box did make the fireworks go off too often (even at the slowest speed setting). Looked like the fireworks were on crack. So I do agree having them on simple dimmers would slow it down and make it look more "natural".

We have an 8x8 frame with rags at school, so I was thinking of using that skinned with an ultrabounce for a nice large spread like you suggested. The original camera tests get here tomorrow, and we're shooting the scene itself in a few days. I'll let you know how everything turns out.

Yes I was thinking of having a soft cool moonlight-y base (some bounced 1200 HMI's) for ambient light, so the faces don't fall off completely between bursts.

~iskra
  • 0

#4 John Sprung

John Sprung
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4635 posts
  • Other

Posted 09 July 2009 - 03:54 PM

Those programmable three color LED panels would be ideal for this. Ask the rental houses.



-- J.S.
  • 0


CineTape

Aerial Filmworks

Broadcast Solutions Inc

FJS International, LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

Willys Widgets

Metropolis Post

The Slider

Wooden Camera

rebotnix Technologies

Ritter Battery

CineLab

Opal

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Abel Cine

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Tai Audio

Visual Products

Technodolly

Glidecam

Paralinx LLC

Tai Audio

FJS International, LLC

Opal

Paralinx LLC

Abel Cine

CineTape

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineLab

Glidecam

The Slider

Aerial Filmworks

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Rig Wheels Passport

Technodolly

Visual Products

Ritter Battery

Wooden Camera

Metropolis Post

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Willys Widgets