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What Wattage Bulbs To Use?


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#1 anthony derose

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 11:43 PM

I am about to shoot my thesis film and have a question about bulb wattage. We are shooting on the RED.

The opening scene follows a character walking through a basement. The basement is real grungy and has pipes that run along it. My idea was to hang bare practical bulbs creating patches of light.

The issue is I cant have any other sources as the space is very narrow and lights would be seen if I set them up. I was planning on using 250watt bulbs though I am a little concerned this will be too much as they will be bare. I could always place them on a dimmer which is a option.

Was wondering if going to 150watt would be a better choice, regardless the bulb is going to blow out and I'm fine with that. I don't want to find myself with a setup of 8 150watt bulbs and being to dark.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 11:54 PM

I am about to shoot my thesis film and have a question about bulb wattage. We are shooting on the RED.

The opening scene follows a character walking through a basement. The basement is real grungy and has pipes that run along it. My idea was to hang bare practical bulbs creating patches of light.

The issue is I cant have any other sources as the space is very narrow and lights would be seen if I set them up. I was planning on using 250watt bulbs though I am a little concerned this will be too much as they will be bare. I could always place them on a dimmer which is a option.

Was wondering if going to 150watt would be a better choice, regardless the bulb is going to blow out and I'm fine with that. I don't want to find myself with a setup of 8 150watt bulbs and being to dark.


Well, you can always stop down if you use the brighter bulb, but a row of bare 250w bulbs is a bit much - unless you want to use the blue-dipped 250w photofloods (around 4800K) which is better for the Red in terms of color temp and noise (being painted blue, they are darker than a normal 250w bulb). Otherwise, 150w should be fine.

Bare bulbs don't really create patches of light unless they are in a can or dish housing or something to direct the light / cut the spill. Otherwise, you might consider more of a mushroom globe light that is a medium or spot PAR if you want a more directed hot point that doesn't spread much. In that case, a 75w spot PAR would probably be bright enough, though you will have a rapid fall-off into darkness around it.
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#3 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 11:56 PM

You could use a 1K bulb if you needed a certain stop to shoot @.... It depends on how you want it to look and where you place your exposure. The bare bulbs, alone, will blow out, unless you expose for your highlights where most of your scene will fall into darkness, which is fine.
That being said, I normally carry these bare bulbs for use on most shoots (I get to use at least one per shoot):

300W, 200W, 100W, 40W, 25W.

I would go for a 300W bulb if I could, because I could always stop down if it's too bright and make it easier on my 1AC. Though as David mentions (and beat me to) it won't create patches of light. You'd certainly want the PAR type "Spot" bulbs for that.

Also, how far the bulb is from what's happening, how many you're hanging, at what intervals, what ASA you're rating RED at etc will effect what bulbs to use.. I recommend getting 1 or 2 of the bulbs your're looking at, hanging it in a dark room about the height you're planning on hanging it on the day and using your light meter to figure out if it gives you enough stop based on your lenses and DoF needs. Also a DSLR can be helpful for a rough "look" idea shooting @ the ASA you'll rate the RED with 1/50th or so shutter speed and bracket off a few exposures (over/under) with a human in about what talent will wear, you know, a rough recreation to get the rough idea of what's needed.
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Metropolis Post

Rig Wheels Passport

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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Technodolly

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Aerial Filmworks

Paralinx LLC

The Slider

FJS International, LLC

Wooden Camera

Willys Widgets

Ritter Battery

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineTape

Tai Audio

Abel Cine

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