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Tri-X Reversal Super 8 Film


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#1 Ryan F

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 09:59 AM

Hey,

I'm going to be shooting on Tri-X Super 8 stock indoors at night (and one shot outdoors). The film says it's especially for indoors and night shoots. Daylight 200, Tungsten 160. My camera runs at 18fps.

I wanted to know the best way to light a scene indoors at night. I didn't know if a couple of lamps would do it? Even though I'm shooting at night, I want it to look like it's at night as well, so I dont want loads of lights, but at the same time I want it to come out on film, rather than it being way too underexposed.

I have 1 super 8 movie light, which when turned on lights up the entire room and the bulb begins burning instantly. But it seems way too bright.

I dont have access to any other lighting kit, nor money, so I wanted to do this as cheap and as simple as possible. Do you know if there's anyway of achieving this?

Thanks.
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#2 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 12:11 PM

Can you add a couple of digital still shots of the room you will be shooting in to this thread?
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#3 Ryan F

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 12:23 PM

Unfortunently I cant, the place I'm shooting is at my friends in Southampton, well a friend of a friend who I've never met, as I'm currently in South Wales, I can't really post a pic I'm affraid. But I'm wanting a typical bedroom with a table dresser. And then again another bedroom but just a guys bedroom.
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#4 Chris Burke

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 08:48 AM

Unfortunently I cant, the place I'm shooting is at my friends in Southampton, well a friend of a friend who I've never met, as I'm currently in South Wales, I can't really post a pic I'm affraid. But I'm wanting a typical bedroom with a table dresser. And then again another bedroom but just a guys bedroom.



find a similar room and post a photo of it. How do you want the scene to look? Light? Dark? What kind of camera do you have, please give the full make and model. If the camera has "xl" in the name such as,"Canon 318 XL" then you are in good shape. If not, no worries. Does the camera have manual exposure, meaning you can change the ƒ stop.

Somehow, you have to get some lights, your going to need them. You're a student? Does your school have any kind of lights you could borrow? You can also use lights that are around the house as your lighting kit. I would guess that you will be turning on all the lights in any given room that you shoot in. No matter how bright it may look to you, with Tri X, the shadows go black quite rapidly. For the nighttime exterior shot, again, you can use light that are already there, practicals. Also, 500 watt halogen work lights, which are quite abundant here in the states, are very cheap. I suggest you check around to see if there are any at the locations you are shooting. They are hard lights, meaning the cast is rather harsh not soft, but they are very useful. They can be bounced off walls and ceilings, used outdoors for key or fill. Overall advice with shooting reversal film, meter for the highlights, throw light into the shadows.
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#5 Gareth Blackstock

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 04:44 AM

I have shot tri-x at night and it turned out very well.
I used two 500watt tungstan work lamps, one for the back drop or back wall, and one bounced off the inside of a beach umbrella painted with chrome heat paint, or the ceiling.

even your movie light will be sufficient as long as it is close to the person, it will be grainy too. make sure your light has either a glass shield or wire over the filiament in case it blows, never handle the filiament, or bulb with your hands, use a clean cotton rag or gloves. the smoking is probably dust burning.

using reflectors is a good way to go to get hard lighting over a broad area, just glue tin foil, or aluminium foil onto a large piece of cardboard(a broken down moving box), if that is too hard a light, paint it white.

while using one light has many limitations, bounce light of surfaces to make up for it, or buy another work light.

good luck

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#6 Mike Lary

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 05:41 AM

You have a light meter, right? Set it to the film stock ISO and walk around inside your house. Start at your light sources and measure light levels all around the room. I think you'll find your perception of what lights up an entire room varies greatly from what the meter tells you. Your eyes adjust to low light levels. Film does not. To get the best quality image on film you want to overexpose, generally between a half and 2/3rds of a stop. Unless you're looking for a large grained, mushy, underexposed image, you'll need to boost your light levels. You can boost practicals with higher wattage bulbs if the sockets are porcelain (plastic sockets can melt and create a fire hazard). You can also bring in some china lanterns with high wattage bulbs. It depends on your desired aesthetic how you should handle the lighting, though. Unless your interior is quite large, I would advise against using work lights.
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#7 Chris Burke

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 09:22 AM

You have a light meter, right? Set it to the film stock ISO and walk around inside your house. Start at your light sources and measure light levels all around the room. I think you'll find your perception of what lights up an entire room varies greatly from what the meter tells you. Your eyes adjust to low light levels. Film does not. To get the best quality image on film you want to overexpose, generally between a half and 2/3rds of a stop. Unless you're looking for a large grained, mushy, underexposed image, you'll need to boost your light levels. You can boost practicals with higher wattage bulbs if the sockets are porcelain (plastic sockets can melt and create a fire hazard). You can also bring in some china lanterns with high wattage bulbs. It depends on your desired aesthetic how you should handle the lighting, though. Unless your interior is quite large, I would advise against using work lights.



he is shooting Tri-X reversal, so overexposure will not yield the same results as shooting color negative will. The advice you gave about overexposure is better suited for color negative stock. With reversal, you have to nail it. Simply meter for the highlights at the bare minimum. Use of work light inside is questionable as they do tend to get quite hot. Those old home movie lights that mount on the camera were not made for long run times. If you do use it, only do so when the camera is running. I had several, five or so, used them to shoot an interior scene. On for hours. Some of the lights melted. Others baked all day and emitted the strangest smell, probably from the plastic housing. Everyone in my apartment building complained about it. Use hot lights outside. Compact fluoros are great for interior. Loads of great advice from everyone. You can make your own kit from stuff around the house. Never thought of the spray painting an umbrella, duh.
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#8 Mike Lary

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 01:56 PM

he is shooting Tri-X reversal, so overexposure will not yield the same results as shooting color negative will. The advice you gave about overexposure is better suited for color negative stock. With reversal, you have to nail it.

My apologies. My eyes must have skipped Tri-X and gone straight for the ISO. You definitely need to nail exposure. Reversal is not forgiving.
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#9 Ryan F

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 06:19 AM

Wow! Thank you all for your great advice.

I am a student yes and I've already asked my university for light equipment and they've declined. They're extremely cautious of their kit, especially now since some idiot on my course just broke a 50 grand, brand new HD camera.

I actually don't have a light meter either, however my light is extremely bright, as I said it lights up the whole entire room leaving little dark spots. With that on full beam, I think it would be too intense. However using reflectors and bouncing off the light source into different areas sounds like a fantastic idea. I had plan on using aluminum foil to help me do this.

My camera is the basic of basics Super 8 camera. You cannot change anything unfortunently except the focusing! Oh and the zoom, that's it. Everything else is built it and automatic, f-stops etc. I can't even see all of my f-stops! All I can see on the camera is 2.8 and 5.6 and I just pray when I'm shooting it's as close to those as possible! But that's what I dont want to do, I dont want to have to pray to get it right, because I want to get it right. And actually with all your replies to my question, it's actually helped me understand what I need to do in order to get the scene that I want.

I've just remembered that I do in fact own two industrial light heads which are on stands, not sure of the wattage, but they're meant for workers at night, to see what they're doing. So I'm sure I could use that in some way, maybe spotting the light, using it as a back drop or bouncing it off reflectors.

No idea if you've heard of this little trick, you probably have but a car sunscreen protector is also really good for a reflector. http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3636/341784..._51c751ea21.jpg

Anyways thank you for you replies! Really, really helpful!
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#10 Gareth Blackstock

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 07:45 AM

A really good point has been raised concerning the lights, they get very hot! use a centrally located power board so all lights can be switched off between takes. I cannot stress enough that your work lights have either glass or wire covers over the bulbs, I have seen a blown one, and it looked like some one had poked a toothpick through molten glass! Also watch out for wall paper, it will get scorched very easily.

If anyone does the umbrella thing, you have to use heat proof paint as used for car engines, and with everything, do not put it too close to the light.

Purchase a fire extinguisher, a small one, just in case. reason being: a friend followed my instructions on making me a reflective beach umbrella while i was shooting, he failed to buy the right paint, suffice to say, once dried we set it up, and within 7 minutes or so it turned into a giant fireball, luckily I had an extinguisher!

If you have trouble setting your F-stop, just set it to 5.6, but be very sure you only shoot what is well lit, to get an idea of what the tri-x might receive light wise, put on some very dark cheap sunglasses, what you can see, so to the camera. I realise this might cause a lot of consternation from other forum visitors, but at the least, it gives a person a good understanding of where the shadows begin. Also, it will only really work with tri-x, indoors, under lights. And, yes, I have used this method with good results.

Good luck, and remember to shoot 18fps, and 24fps if panning quickly.
cheers
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