Lighting a Match
Posted 18 November 2009 - 06:16 PM
My biggest problem is recreating the image that a girl has lit a match and it is the only light source in the room. She actually lights the match but I need to give it some kind of boost.
I'm shooting on Fuji Eterna 250 and 250D on an Arriflex SR2. Relevant equipment I have includes 2X300W Fresnels, 2X650W Fresnels, a soft bounce board, a polyboard and some fire effect gel. The DP didn't have a very clear idea on how he wanted to do the shot so I was wondering if anybody had any experience creating the effect, it would be nice to have a bit of flicker but beggars can't be choosers. I could fairly easily create the effect of matchlight but I'm having difficulty working out how to strike the light to make it look like the match has been lit mid shot, simply sparking the light mid shot would give an unconvincing effect.
If anybody has any suggestions before I shoot the scene on Friday morning (currently Wednesday night in the UK) it would be greatly appreciated.
Posted 18 November 2009 - 06:29 PM
Posted 18 November 2009 - 07:05 PM
Strike 3 matches at once for the striking shot in her hand, and as they're striking, bring up your lights on a dimmer then begin flickering them.
I don't have any dimmers unfortunately, and we don't have any in the equipment store so no chance of a last minute blag either.
I like what you're thinking with the multiple matches, I'm lucky enough to have some fairly fast lenses (T1.3), however playing around with a lighter (due to lack of matches in the house) in my darkened room with my light meter, the stock is not sensitive enough (as I had imagined) and I'm going to need some more light to expose it correctly. If we were shooting in a less sensitive location I'd get a fire going and play about with a flag but we're shooting in a thatched cottage which we got by knocking on doors so it looks like creative lighting might be my only choice.
Posted 18 November 2009 - 08:18 PM
Without a dimmer, though they sell them at the hardware store (you'd have to wire it of course) you could try it by slowly moving a flag out of the way of the light during the strike so the light comes up slowly as the flash of the burn goes down. They also sell longer duration striking matches at camping stores, which might serve you better if you can get out to 'em. Also might as well put out a quick call to peoples (craiglist perhaps?) and see if anyone has an inline dimmer, it's pretty common in most people's "bag-o-tricks".
Posted 18 November 2009 - 08:53 PM
Posted 19 November 2009 - 04:28 PM
It might not be bright far away, but the source will be bright when it strikes (the matches that is). You'd have to test with it and a spot meter should tell you where it'll be at.
At 00:15 - shot at T2, 7219 500T.
Adrian is absolutely right - the match is much, much brighter when it strikes.
Shot tests for other short on 7219 - with a lighter next to the face (at about 1 foot) - and it gave enough exposure for the face.
It's all about ambient light in the room, of course.
Edited by Edgar Dubrovskiy, 19 November 2009 - 04:32 PM.
Posted 19 November 2009 - 06:14 PM
As for the tests you shot Edgar, I would feel fairly confident shooting a match on something like 500T, but my lack of experience with stocks is causing me to question whether it would expose at all on Eterna 250. A big part of me wants to rely on the brightness caused by the initial striking, even if it illuminates the actress' face for a split second as it will be quite obvious what is happening, but my concience is warning me of a 'fall through the floor' moment when watching the rushes to find the penultimate shot under by 2 stops.
I realised after wrapping today that I have frames to burn with the tungsten stock as I have half a roll left and only two shots to shoot with it, so fingers crossed I should have enough stock to play about with.
Many thanks for your helpful responses