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#1 Jon Bel

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 02:08 PM

Hello,

So if this question can be answered well enough, I think I will be able to go on my way
on shooting this project. I've never filmed in 35mm or color, let alone a short film before but I will learn through experience. However I cannot be fully ignorant on set therefore this is what I am thinking of doing. (shooting) 35mm color 500t (2002) shooting at 320ASA

Film is being shot entirely at night. I will rent a arri soft bank light kit (2x650 watt lights)+ kino flow and generator. Many shots will be in dark alleys and on streets. I want a white/moonlight blue look to film.

1. How do deal with the problem of city lights and alleys lights with a like weak/orange colored light? should I cover them with black felt? Or shout I scout for completely dark locations?

2. Should I use blue gels on my lights? I don't know if the lights will create blue effect.

3. Flashlight---Should I get a high powered flashlight and use a difusion filter?


A big thanks to anyone who can help
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#2 Rob Vogt

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 04:17 PM

If you want a soft/blue look, you will need a blue gels for your arri lights, and/or 5600k bulbs for your kino.
How fast are your lenses?
You will need one very strong flashlight use that as your fill.
(look into a sungun they will be blue(HMI), they vary in wattage but emit 5x the lux levels as the equivalent tungsten light and run off of a battery pack.)

My first suggestion would be to save some money, shoot 16mm, and some more lights.
Is your concern about using larger fixtures having to get power to them?


Have you considered pushing your film a stop?


Good luck

Edited by Rob Vogt, 18 October 2009 - 04:18 PM.

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#3 Jon Bel

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 04:37 PM

Hi Rob,

This is great, thank you. By flashlight I actually meant, as part of the actor's prop. I always wanted to use a HMI because I know with tungsten stock at night, it produces blue. I wouldn't know where to buy one and I hear they're expensive? The arri lite kit is all my rental house offers in terms of multiple light package as well as a kino seperate.

Sorry for the newb question but, what do you mean by how fast my lenses are?

I considered 16, but I bought my stock for practically nothing so I think I will use. it
will train me in 35mm right off the bat.

Thanks






If you want a soft/blue look, you will need a blue gels for your arri lights, and/or 5600k bulbs for your kino.
How fast are your lenses?
You will need one very strong flashlight use that as your fill.
(look into a sungun they will be blue(HMI), they vary in wattage but emit 5x the lux levels as the equivalent tungsten light and run off of a battery pack.)

My first suggestion would be to save some money, shoot 16mm, and some more lights.
Is your concern about using larger fixtures having to get power to them?


Have you considered pushing your film a stop?


Good luck


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#4 Brad Reeb

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 11:17 AM

Hi Jon

I recommend losing one of your Arri 650's and renting the largest HMI you can run off of your generator with your other lights. Running off a generator outside in the dark you want the most efficient watt to lumen ratio you can get. A quartz halogen tungsten light (Arri, other tung. film lights) emits only 3.5% of its energy consumed as visual light, mostly red. Full CTB blue gelling a tungsten light cuts out 80% of that visible light spectrum, yielding .07% efficiency. (http://en.wikipedia....cent_light_bulb)

Generally speaking, HMIs look great in this situation and are the go-to for moonlight, edge and ambience. They also have an exponentially higher watt to lumen ratio, especially in the blue spectrum. It would be well worth the rental cost. I might put it high and flooded somewhere behind the scene, then front fill with that kino you've got to get to your stop. You'll get the most out of that fixture fairly close to subject.

If the scene is urban anyway, I'd use that last Arri 650 to enhance or even fake one of those orange colored High Pressure Sodium street lights. ie, gel your 650 with some half straw gel or half orange and a quarter minus green (magenta) gel, and give your scene a little kiss of orange "streetlight" coming in from one side. It'll give you some motivated color and visual interest to paint with, and feel just like a city at night.

Perhaps the best solution is to find a local gaffer with a passion and vast knowlege for lighting to help you plan and execute the lighting to allow you to focus on your story and camera techniques.

Hope this helps get some ideas going!

Brad
http://my.media-match.com/brad.reeb
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#5 Alain J Francois

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 08:52 PM

Hi, I have just shot a short film where one of the scenes is 'moon lit' I used a 2k blondie at some distance and gelled with with 1/2 blue and 1/4 green - moonlight is essentially minus red. The combination of the blue and green gave me a very believable effect. Sure... I was shooting wide open (T1.3 Zeiss super primes) using Kodak 200T and exposing for the highlights but the result was amazing and the blacks were very rich.
Cheers, Alain J Francois
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#6 Eileen Ryan

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Posted 29 October 2009 - 08:23 PM

If you want a soft/blue look, you will need a blue gels for your arri lights, and/or 5600k bulbs for your kino. My first suggestion would be to save some money, shoot 16mm, and some more lights. Is your concern about using larger fixtures having to get power to them?


Unfortunately, incandescent lights are the least efficient light source for the creation of moonlight. Since eighty percent of the energy consumed by an incandescent light goes into the generation of heat, they generate less lumens per watt of any other light source. Add to that, the fact that the Full CTB gel required to convert incandescent lights to daylight has a transmission factor around .3 (it takes a 1000 Watt incandescent source to generate 300 Watts of day light balanced light) make them the most impractical light source for the creation of cool moonlight.

I strongly agree with Rob that perhaps you should look at shooting 16mm and use the money you save to rent HMI lights, which would be a much more efficient source for the creation of blue moonlight. I have seen many low budget productions make the mistake of shooting 35mm. What they don’t realize is that even with the same fillm stock, 35mm requires more light than 16mm. The reason is that to get the same field of view in 35mm as you do in 16mm, requires a longer focal length. At the longer focal length, there is less depth of field, which requires that you stop down to get sufficient depth of field. To stop down the lens without underexposing requires more light. I have seen many independent productions blow their budget on 35mm only to find that they don’t have sufficient light levels to keep focus. Had they shot 16mm they would be working wider on the lens, with greater depth of field, and be able to afford a lighting package to bring up their exposure.

If your concern about using larger fixtures is how to get power to them, there is a company here in Boston by the name of ScreenLight and Grip that has developed a portable gen-set that is film blimped and puts out 7500W (60amps) in a single 120V circuit. That’s enough to power a 6kw HMI Par, 5k Quartz Par, or a complete lighting package for an HD cinema production. Their system consists of a film style 60A Full Power Transformer/Distro that steps down the enhanced 240V output of a modified Honda EU6500is “movie blimped” generator to a single 120V/60A circuit.

The enhanced capacity of their modified Honda EU6500is inverter generator would be wasted if not for their 60A transformer/distro. Without the transformer/distro you could never fully utilize the full power of the generator because the load of a light would have to go on one circuit/leg of the generator or the other. For example, when plugging lights into the factory installed power outlet panel of a Honda EU6500is, you reach a point where you can't power an additional 1.2 Par because there is not 11 amps (w/ a P2L PFC ballast) available on either one of the factory installed 20A outlets/leg of the generator. With their Full Power Transformer/Distro you can still add that 1.2 Par because the Transformer/Distro not only accesses more power (7500 Watts) through a higher rated circuit (60 Amps), but it also splits the load evenly over the two legs (5.5A/leg) of the generator on that circuit. The end result is that the generator is capable of handling a larger load more easily because it is a perfectly balanced load.

Another benefit to using their Transformer/Distro is that it splits the load of what ever you plug into it automatically. Which means you no longer have to carefully balance the load over the generator's two 20A/120 circuits/legs as you plug in lights because the Transfomer/Distro does it for you. With their modified Honda EU6500is you simply plug in lights until the load wattage displayed on the generator’s iMonitor reaches 7500 Watts. An overload alarm on the iMonitor display will tell you if you inadvertently overload the Transformer/Distro. It’s so easy that you don’t need to be an experienced electrician to distribute power around your set. Now that you are able to fully utilize the generator's available power, you are able to power larger lights, or more smaller lights, than you could without their transformer/distro.

Posted Image
Night exterior scene lit with nothing more than a Honda EU6500is

For example, on a recent independent short shooting with the Red, I used their modified Honda EU6500is Generator to power a lighting package that consisted of a 2.5kw, 1200, & 800 HMI Pars (with PFC ballasts), a couple of Kino Flo Parabeam 400s, a couple of Parabeam 200s, and a Flat Head 80. Given the light sensitivity of the Red Camera, this was all the light we needed to light a large night exterior. The scene takes place behind a mall, but the principles are the same: we used the 2.5 HMI par to light the deep background, the 1200 HMI par to light the near background, and the 800 Joker was mounted on a Source 4 Leko with a bug-a-beam adapter to create a window pattern on the ground from a building that doesn’t exist but you don’t see that in the movie. We used two Parabeam 400s to key the talent and a Kino Flo Flathead 80 to fill the entire scene.

Posted Image
A Honda EU6500is & 60A Full Power Transformer/Distro powering PFC 2.5 & 1.2 HMI Pars, PFC 800w
Joker HMI, Kino Flo Flat Head 80, 2 ParaBeam 400s, and a ParaBeam 200

Where we were using the Red, we pitched the color temperature of the lights to the Red’s native 5000K color balance as follows: the 2.5 & 1200 Pars were gelled with ½ CTB for moonlight. We put half CTO on the Joker 800 to create warm window light. We mixed 3200K tubes into the Parabeam 400 on the “window” side to create a warm key source motivated by the window. The Parabeam on the other side was gelled with ¼ CTB to create a cool key source motivated by the moonlight. Finally, we lamped the Flathead 80 with only 5500K tubes to create a slightly cool fill. To see the final results, use this link - www.screenlightandgrip.com/html/hdfilmstrip4lg.html - to ScreenLight & Grips website where they have posted more detailed information on the lighting package we used along with production stills from the movie.

Posted Image
A 60A Full Power Transformer/Distro supplying location power from a Honda EU6500is

If we were using 3200K film or native 3200K Video, we would have pitched the color temperature of the lights as follows: the 2.5 & 1200 Pars would be gelled with ½ CTO for moonlight. We would have used the 750 HPL back on the Source Four instead of the Joker 800 and used half CTO on it to create warm window light. We would use all 3200K tubes in the Parabeam 400 on the “window” side and add half CTO to create a warm key source motivated by the window. We would lamp the Parabeam on the other side with half 3200K tubes and half 5500K tubes to create a cool key source motivated by the moonlight. Finally, we would lamp the Flathead 80 with only 3200K tubes to create a white fill.

- Eileen Ryan, Boston Gaffer
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