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Movies with night exterior scenes


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#1 Mihai Nicolau

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 01:59 AM

Hello,

I'll be shooting a short in which we'll also have some night exteriors and I would like to watch some movies to give me some ideas for lighting.
So if you could give me the names of some movies which could help me in this endeavour (maybe not big high budget productions which i'll never be able to imitate but some smaller scale nicely done productions from which i could also learn a bit about the light placement after watching it) it would be much appreciated.

thanks
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#2 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 02:02 PM

Night exterior lighting can vary greatly. What do you want it to look like?
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 03:52 PM

City night? Countryside night? In the woods? In open fields? Industrial landscape? Commercial street? There are all sorts of night locations.
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#4 John Sprung

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 06:59 PM

OK, all time great low budget night exterior movie: The Third Man.

Probably the biggest mistake I see in night exteriors is lighting up small areas to full exposure with unmotivated sources. You don't need full exposure except in places where there's some source that would make it look that bright to you in person. You can see stuff 2-3 stops down perfectly well. So, spread your photons out thinner and cover more area. It's also fine to let large areas fall off the bottom into blackness, if that's what you would see with your eyes. You just need enough stuff lit up here and there to where you can identify it and give you a sense of the place.

Make good use of specular reflections. For instance, a distant light kicking back at you off a row of parked cars will establish the geography of a street for you. If you can spray water on the pavement, so much the better.

Get your establishing shots at magic hour, when you can silouhette things against the last light in the sky. Then go in close.



-- J.S.
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#5 Tkim

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 03:26 PM

City night? Countryside night? In the woods? In open fields? Industrial landscape? Commercial street? There are all sorts of night locations.


I'll jump in because I am looking for similar advice:
Night, Driving, available light on residential and a freeway/industrial bridge.
We really want to shoot 16mm -- but of course all my advisors are saying DSLR. I recognize that they are particularly good for night work, but I'd love to see how filmmakers have dealt with this challenge in the past.

Wong Kar-Wai's "Happy Together" for instance...this is available light on the exteriors, right?
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#6 Chris Keth

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Posted 29 March 2010 - 07:00 PM

I'll jump in because I am looking for similar advice:
Night, Driving, available light on residential and a freeway/industrial bridge.
We really want to shoot 16mm -- but of course all my advisors are saying DSLR. I recognize that they are particularly good for night work, but I'd love to see how filmmakers have dealt with this challenge in the past.

Wong Kar-Wai's "Happy Together" for instance...this is available light on the exteriors, right?


I'm not positive but Happy Together probably is mostly available light on those scenes. Collateral is largely available light outside of the car. I think you can absolutely do that on 16mm in a lot of places. The thing I would worry about using a DSLR for that kind of thing is 1. They're noisy and 2. the video is compressed in camera in a way that is not kind to fast movement. Anything in a car almost always involves fast moving backgrounds. I would test the DSLR first. It's cheap and easy to test so you might as well.
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Visual Products

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Metropolis Post

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

Willys Widgets

Aerial Filmworks

Tai Audio

The Slider

Wooden Camera

rebotnix Technologies

Paralinx LLC

Technodolly