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Bathroom Stall Lighting


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#1 Ben Rogers

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 05:54 PM

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.

Edited by Ben Rogers, 17 March 2010 - 05:55 PM.

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#2 JD Hartman

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 02:13 PM

The design of most public restrooms, has the practical lighting running down the center of the room. Although I have seen one or two where they has a pin spot above each stall. If you want the lighting "realistic", the top light would be at an angle and unevenly light the stall. I'd add some bounce from the floor, to fill in, under the face. Wetting down the floor (appropriate in a Men's room), will improve the reflectiveness of the tile, if it's in the shot. Otherwise, use a shiny board, foamcore, showcard, etc., on the floor.
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#3 Ben Rogers

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 07:50 PM

Yeah, it's not the most beautiful location for attenuating the natural lighting you'd find. I like the idea of wetting down the tile for reflectivity. Still concerned about ugly shadows under the eyes of the talent with such toppy lighting.

Edited by Ben Rogers, 18 March 2010 - 07:50 PM.

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#4 Chris Pritzlaff

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 01:51 AM

just sneak in some fill for under the eyes as needed on the closeups...if its a flourescent lit bathroom bring in a small kino with matching tubes.

could even tape tubes to the stall out of frame if you get tight on space
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#5 Toby Orzano

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 07:17 PM

I might even stretch diffusion across the whole top of the stall and light down through that. It might not be totally realistic but I think soft and even would sell just fine. For fill from lower down, taping Kino tubes to the stall walls sounds promising. Or LED light panels may be useful in this situation considering their slim profile. Just have some correction gels handy; in my admittedly limited experience with them, color temperature of LEDs has seemed a bit off.
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#6 Ben Rogers

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 09:43 PM

Great ideas guys, thanks very much!

I'm going to try taping some bare flos or something for fill but I don't want it to get too underlit and Nosferatu-ish. Also like the idea of tenting the stall from above, mostly because we won't be shooting upwards.
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#7 Bob Neil

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 02:56 PM

I had this very problem a year ago on a shoot.
I ended up bouncing a Arri 1000 off the celing right over my subjects. Then my second light a was one stop less light bounced off the wall behind the camera to serve as a fill light.
This worked great and fast with no messing around.



Great ideas guys, thanks very much!

I'm going to try taping some bare flos or something for fill but I don't want it to get too underlit and Nosferatu-ish. Also like the idea of tenting the stall from above, mostly because we won't be shooting upwards.


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#8 Oli Soravia

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 05:49 PM

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.


suggestion:

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.
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#9 julie kain

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 01:57 AM

All the best for your shooting. Use some Bright lighting for bathroom. Can get some bulbs like Halogen Bulbs, Fluorescent portable worklight and Led bulbs.

Hope this will help you.

Thanks
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