Shooting a short film next month and one of the scenes has 3 characters in a bathroom stall. Obviously with space being the issue, not just for the camera and actors, what's a practical way I can go about lighting this? Most likely we will be using a handicapped stall for extra space.
Putting kinos on arms above, china balls seems too scattershot. Would replacing the bulbs in the practical units give enough punch? And how would I modify to light closeups? The light would seem to be far too toppy for CU's. We're going for a naturalistic look, so nothing too expressionistic. Shooting on HDV as well.
Is there a window in the bathroom? if so, you could place the actors as silhouettes in front of it and shoot straight into the window, exposing to the outside and keeping the characters black. you can do this easily if it`s a day scene without any light. it`s a short, so you probably won`t have too much time to spend in that stall and the changing lighting conditions outside could be handled with some flags and reflectors. If it`s night, do the same but place some single source hmi (+1/4cto) outside high above, straight in the middle of the cam-axis as a moon light. put a small tungsten practical over the mirror and wrapp some nd`s over it in order to get that light exposed by the cam. place some small unit (350-500 fresnel) to the side of the practical to accent the actors bodies and faces. If there is no window: you could place some source from the top only to the backgrounds, not to the actors. practical the same way as described before. for close ups: take some small and diffused source and balance it to about 2,5 stops under key, only to accent the eyes and to give some details in the faces. so the whole idea is about what has to be lit and what not. it`s not always neccesary to light the people in order to make them visible on every inch of their faces. but: in the end all depends certainly from the story, from the whole mood of the film, from the conditions of the set or the location and so on....good luck.