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Moving bike shot at night


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#1 Henning Hoifodt

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 05:24 PM

Hi guys,

I´m doing a shot of a girl riding a bike down a street at night, and would really like to hear if any of you have some suggestions or tips on how to light it:)

The shot is a frontal MS of the girl, filmed out the back of a car driving in front. The speed of the bike will be quite slow, and we will try to keep the bike as close to the car as possible, and use maybe a 35mm lens. (She will be shot with a slight wideangle lens throughout the whole film). The girl will travel around 100-150m during the shot.

The street is fairly lit by some streetlights (sodium vapor) on one side of the road (approx. 30m between each pole), but this is far from enough light. I would like to augment this streetlights with some more intense lights so that she goes in and out of the light, and maybe give her a slight rimlight from a big source far back so that you can always se her "outline" against the dark background. It would be great to lift the ambient light a little as well.

One of the problems I can see is how to not show the lights in the frame. Im thinking if I get the lights high enough, I can probably frame the fixtures out, but the stands will of course be in frame, but they might just go black?

What kind of fixtures would you guys recommend to augment the streetlights? Where/how would you place them? Im also afraid of all the lights coming from above wont give her enough light in the face.


Any suggestions, tips or input will be very much appreciated!

Some info:
RED Mysterium (not X)
Cooke Panchros
I have access to lots of different lights and lighting grip, including big tungsten and HMI fixtures, but no heliumbaloons or condors (meaning all lights must be on stands).
I have a 24kva genny.


Thanks in advance.
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#2 Toby Orzano

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 08:24 PM

My impulse is to see if you can get the streetlights turned off and then rig your own lights to them. Or if they can't be turned off, maybe you can flag them or just roll with them on but supplement with your own color-corrected lights up there as well. It'll take some time and man-power for a pre-rig but i think stands will be too obvious in the shot, especially if you bring up ambiance. I guess it might depend on how far back from the road you can put them.
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#3 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 11:39 PM

Depending on how you'd like it to look a small light for her face from the car, maybe 1 1/2 to 2 stops under might work well, matching the overall street lights. Also would work well as an eyelight to keep something in her pupils.
Aside from that augment what's there with your own fixtures.
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#4 Chris Keth

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 02:45 AM

My approach would be 3 parts:

I would rig your own lamps in place of the streetlights. If you can't have them turned off, then just black them out. Go without barndoors and with wide or superwide lenses and you'll get a really nice transition from toplight to backlight that fades as more toplight comes in from the next light.

I would rig a couple of small kinos to the back of the camera car for very low level fill. I'm talking 3 or 4 stops under key, maybe a bit cool.

Finally, I'd rig a bounce to return some of that toplight when she goes under the streetlights. Because it's bounce, it will turn on and off at the right times when she goes in and out of the lights. I've done this part before and it's a great look as long as you keep it on the low side.
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#5 Henning Hoifodt

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 01:42 PM

I really like your ideas of replacing/black out the existing lamps, but Im not quite sure how to rig my own lights up there without stands. The poles are the kind that bends outwards in a 90degree curve with the lamphead at the end, which I guess makes it quite difficult to attach clamps to it in a safe way.

Do you think a 2K blonde would be enough at each pole, or should I maybe go for 5K Fresnells?

The KinoFlo's from the cameracar is a great idea I think, soften them well and just give her a slight base ambient.

Really appreciate your input, helps a lot.
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#6 Chris Keth

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 11:42 PM

I really like your ideas of replacing/black out the existing lamps, but Im not quite sure how to rig my own lights up there without stands. The poles are the kind that bends outwards in a 90degree curve with the lamphead at the end, which I guess makes it quite difficult to attach clamps to it in a safe way.

Do you think a 2K blonde would be enough at each pole, or should I maybe go for 5K Fresnells?

The KinoFlo's from the cameracar is a great idea I think, soften them well and just give her a slight base ambient.

Really appreciate your input, helps a lot.


A blond on each pole would be about right, I think. The rigging can be done with chainlocks and then safety everything well.
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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

FJS International, LLC

Willys Widgets

Tai Audio

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rebotnix Technologies

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Visual Products