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Lighting Night exterior with cars


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#1 Eric Lin

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 06:38 PM

Hi all. I just finished a night exterior shoot involving a cop pulling over a drunk driver. Given it was a low budget indie short film, we didn't have large units to light up and down the street, just a collection of babys, kinos and a gelled 1.2k HMI. My idea because of our limitations was to play the scene as if it were all lit by car headlamps so I placed units low on the ground as far as I could (which wasn't that far). We did a lot of dollying alongside the cars and panning between cars and the director favored wider frames and as such, I was often looking along the length of the car and catching reflections of my units and getting crazy hard hits on the car. In order to get them out, I would have had to move them into the shot, if that makes sense. I felt like I got stuck seeing a lot of hard hits from our lights because I couldn't move them where they needed to be. What are some good techniques to light the car without catching your units based on these limitations (small units, low to the ground)? Would the solution have been larger units through larger frames further away? I feel like I would have seen the same reflections though given then angles they needed to be.

I'd love to hear some of the techniques you might have used when shooting night exteriors involving cars and not seeing your reflections. Trying to learn from my own and your experiences.

Thanks so much.

Best,
Eric Lin
NYC
DP
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#2 jeff woods

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 10:16 AM

If the issue is the car being too reflective, then perhaps "dumbing it down" with dried-on mud, watered down toothpaste, or pre-buffed car wax?

-j
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#3 Jerry Murrel

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 10:28 PM

[quote name='Eric Lin' date='Sep 3 2009, 03:38 PM' post='298426']
Hi all. I just finished a night exterior shoot ......we didn't have large units to light up and down the street, just a collection of babys, kinos and a gelled 1.2k HMI. ....... What are some good techniques to light the car without catching your units based on these limitations (small units, low to the ground)?

-Eric Lin


Your equipment inventory certainly limits your options. Just an idea ... why not ask one of the top guys in the business?
Bill Bennett, ASC shoots as many car commercials as anyone in the industry. He has a great website, http://www.wfb4.com/ and his email address is listed there.

In the past, I've found Mr. Bennett to be quite willing to discuss his lighting techniques, when he's not super-busy.

-Jerry Murrel
Little Rock, AR
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#4 Eric Lin

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Posted 05 September 2009 - 12:15 AM

If the issue is the car being too reflective, then perhaps "dumbing it down" with dried-on mud, watered down toothpaste, or pre-buffed car wax?

-j



We tried that but it wasn't enough to hide the shape of the frame of diffusion.

E.
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