Jump to content


Photo

Lighting a nightclub scene


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 SuperSymmetry

SuperSymmetry

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 05 August 2009 - 10:16 AM

I am lighting a Nightclub scene in a couple of days. I am not sure in which way to aproach this. it would be mostly at the bar and the v.i.p. section and a little bit of the dance floor. I want to keep the dark, colored look of the club but i also want the shots to have detail and my actors visible
  • 0

#2 Satsuki Murashige

Satsuki Murashige
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3510 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 05 August 2009 - 07:32 PM

SuperSymmetry,

Please change your user name to your real name, first and last, as per forum rules. Thanks!
  • 0

#3 Jonathan Bowerbank

Jonathan Bowerbank
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2815 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 06 August 2009 - 01:35 AM

Not sure what your location is like, but just check out other movies with bar scenes and see if you can't steal some ideas from them.
  • 0

#4 Henry Weidemann

Henry Weidemann
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 37 posts
  • Student
  • Germany

Posted 06 August 2009 - 08:34 AM

I would recommend you to take a look at "Network" directed by Sydney Lumet. There's a bar scene in the very beginning of the film that looks just fantastic. Maybe you can get some inspirations from that.
  • 0

#5 Chris Keth

Chris Keth
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4427 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • Los Angeles

Posted 06 August 2009 - 02:34 PM

When I've done it, it's often a lot of party gelled hard lights and a moving white (or slightly warm) key. The hard lights can move here and there and function as anything, as the blocking needs. That walking key is generally something soft like a kino and it's main use is to dilute the colored lights on talent so skintones are more pleasant, while also allowing the colored lights to look colored.

One of my favorite nightclub scenes I've done had a singer on stage. I warmed up her backlights a lot and let them spill into the audience. Then the audience was bathed from behind in blues and greens.
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image
  • 0

#6 Stuart Brereton

Stuart Brereton
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3066 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 06 August 2009 - 02:55 PM

Unless you have a lot of lamps, crew and time, you are going to have to go with whatever is already in the club. Try to liaise with their inhouse people to get the most from their lighting rig. Often they have a lighting desk which can help you a great deal in shaping the light the way you want it. Even if it's a smaller club that doesn't have a desk, the lamps may well be separate circuits which will allow some control.

Then you need to design your own lighting to fit in with the existing scheme. Try to match colors and direction. If your actors are on the move between different areas of the club, try to emulate the way the club lighting changes. Don't be afraid of having them walk through areas of shadow. To me, nothing gives the game away like having your actors always perfectly lit while they walk through a club lit with pools of light.

Basically, clubs are lit in all kinds of ways. There are no rules, really, except to try to make your lighting match that of the club, and even that one can be broken.
  • 0

#7 Chris Keth

Chris Keth
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4427 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • Los Angeles

Posted 06 August 2009 - 03:15 PM

Basically, clubs are lit in all kinds of ways. There are no rules, really, except to try to make your lighting match that of the club, and even that one can be broken.


I'm sure someone will feel the exact opposite, but I really like shooting club scenes for this reason. Plus, who doesn't like to get the party gels out now and again?
  • 0

#8 Tom Jensen

Tom Jensen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1234 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • Dallas, TX

Posted 06 August 2009 - 04:07 PM

I like a little smoke.
  • 0

#9 Chris Keth

Chris Keth
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4427 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • Los Angeles

Posted 07 August 2009 - 04:06 AM

I like a little smoke.


It's a great opportunity for some smoke. I wish I had been allowed smoke for the stills I posted. I feel like it really helps isolate the important action from the unimportant action. Clubs can feel really too busy without some mechanism for that.
  • 0

#10 Rob Vogt

Rob Vogt
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 437 posts
  • Other
  • New York

Posted 07 August 2009 - 11:58 AM

I agree with the smoke. Maybe even pointing a sungun or small HMI Joker at a disco ball for the floor with some MAC lights. If you wanna bump up the exposure you can set up, depending on how high the ceilings, chinaballs. The good thing about croweded areas is you can use extras to hide stands and equipment.
  • 0

#11 Chris Keth

Chris Keth
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4427 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • Los Angeles

Posted 08 August 2009 - 03:06 AM

I agree with the smoke. Maybe even pointing a sungun or small HMI Joker at a disco ball for the floor with some MAC lights. If you wanna bump up the exposure you can set up, depending on how high the ceilings, chinaballs. The good thing about croweded areas is you can use extras to hide stands and equipment.


With certain fixtures like par cans and lekos, you can black out stands and the smoke and extras hide them well enough that they look like practicals rigged to the ceiling.
  • 0


Visual Products

Abel Cine

Ritter Battery

Paralinx LLC

Willys Widgets

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Glidecam

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Wooden Camera

Opal

FJS International, LLC

rebotnix Technologies

Rig Wheels Passport

Tai Audio

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Technodolly

CineTape

CineLab

The Slider

Aerial Filmworks

Metropolis Post

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Tai Audio

Rig Wheels Passport

Glidecam

rebotnix Technologies

CineLab

Visual Products

Paralinx LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Technodolly

The Slider

CineTape

Metropolis Post

Opal

Aerial Filmworks

FJS International, LLC

Willys Widgets

Wooden Camera

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Ritter Battery

Abel Cine