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Dark forest with China balls


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#1 Francisco Fuentes

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 07:09 PM

Hi everybody,

I am working on a music video with the tinniest budget.
We're shooting with an EX1 + Letus Extreme + 50mm 1.4+ 24mm 2.8

Our main location is the forest, and the director wants to have glowing spheres in the distance. So a bunch of chinaballs I think would be a cheap way to do this, however, I still don't know how we'll power 20 - 150w bulbs. Plus a kino diva for the talent.

We don't have the budget to rent a genny, so I don't know if trying to borrow one of those small generators (5k) would do the trick. The problem too is that they might be too noisy and we're shooting at night.

Any suggestions? Any ideas for the lighting?

I'd love to hear how you guys would tackle this one.

Thanks!

Edited by Francisco Fuentes, 03 August 2009 - 07:10 PM.

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#2 Ross Neugeboren

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 07:48 PM

Well, staying on the idea of portable power, any small generator should do the trick. Honda has a line of ultra-quiet generators (about 59 dB) from anywhere between 3 and 6.5 kW. If you can't get your hands on a super-quiet model, you can set up the generator farther away from your shoot, baffle it with furniture pads, put it behind a car- etc - but of course the more cord you run more resistance and less power in the end. You might be able to get away with taking a few seconds of generator audio and then try to remove it in post.

Edited by Ross Neugeboren, 03 August 2009 - 07:48 PM.

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#3 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 08:22 PM

If it's a music video at night why worry about the genny noise? you'll be replacing the audio with the mastered track in the end anyway and I'm sure you can up the volume on playback.
You could also try powering the china balls with CFL bulbs running off of inverters on cars, same goes for your kino flos if you can't get a genny. Ber careful and DO NOT OVERLOAD THE CIGARETTE ADAPTERS. Anything over around 150W I'd wanna be running off of the the battery tap (car running of course). I have used CFL bulbs which are big/bright (300W equivalent) but only draw little power (63 watt) from home depot on the EX1.
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#4 Max Smith

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 08:31 PM

If you have some time to experiment before the shoot - you could try making some lights.

Assuming they are going to be out of focus - use some coat hangers, aluminium foil, paper mache, 12volt bulbs and build semi-spherical reflectors. Aim reflectors at the camera. If it's too harsh tape some paper over the front to diffuse it a bit.

Using direct light rather than diffuse light means you'll be able to get away with tiny 12v bulbs (test, test, test) - run off a battery or two.

You can always have a "hero" china-ball light or two in the pack a bit closer in with a more powerful bulb and the back half lined with aluminium foil.

Might need someone on the other end of a radio to tweak them during the shoot of course.
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#5 Francisco Fuentes

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Posted 03 August 2009 - 09:49 PM

If it's a music video at night why worry about the genny noise? you'll be replacing the audio with the mastered track in the end anyway and I'm sure you can up the volume on playback.
You could also try powering the china balls with CFL bulbs running off of inverters on cars, same goes for your kino flos if you can't get a genny. Ber careful and DO NOT OVERLOAD THE CIGARETTE ADAPTERS. Anything over around 150W I'd wanna be running off of the the battery tap (car running of course). I have used CFL bulbs which are big/bright (300W equivalent) but only draw little power (63 watt) from home depot on the EX1.



Thanks Adrian,

I worried about the genny noise because we might shoot close to houses and it might bother them. But if we run the lights from an inverter in the car, it would be great I think.
I'll look into getting a power inverter for the car. Thanks so much.
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#6 Tom Jensen

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 09:09 PM

If it's a music video at night why worry about the genny noise?


He doesn't wan to wake up Bigfoot.
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#7 Chris Millar

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 11:39 PM

He doesn't wan to wake up Bigfoot.



Not enough action in the usual thread huh ?
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#8 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 07:43 AM

He doesn't wan to wake up Bigfoot.



I didn't know that my X had moved ;)

In truth, the shoot is going to be disruptive anyway to the neighborhood. Try talking with them and most people are pretty forgiving and cool with it; so long as you let 'em know. As mentioned, not all gennies are too too loud.
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