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need lighting tips:)


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#1 Ram Shani

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Posted 06 June 2010 - 10:06 AM

hi

i am about to start a t.v drama series next month.

all the actors are dark skin

the sets are apartments and classes that are all white walls

also have some day exteriors

the director want to keep it "real"so he doesn't want to paint walls to darken them

also this are 80% non actors, so he want me to work with big sources, to give them as much freedom as i can so they want have to think about marks.

i shoot with canon 7d

any tip is welcome

thanks ram
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#2 Matt Read

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 03:08 PM

Nothing is "real" in film. It's all fake in order to seem real. That's why we use lights and diffusion and flags, etc. Be firm with your director, tell him/her that if he/she wants it to be "real," then either the white walls are going to blow out or the actors' faces will fall into shadow. If you're shooting on a 7D, you can use the camera and take some stills to show your director what it will look like. You are the cinematographic expert on set, so it's your job to explain the realities of the situation to the director, not just to appease his/her every whim. However, remember that he/she is your boss and that if after you've said your peace he/she doesn't want to take your advice, you just have to go along with it.

If, after you explain the situation and show some tests, the director still doesn't want to paint the walls, you are going to have to just light your set and actors entirely separately, putting more light on the actors than the walls. This will require a lot of flagging of light and will increase the time it takes to light each shot. Also explain this to your director.
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#3 JD Hartman

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 03:50 PM

When the initial stills are less than satisfactory, have some large pieces of set dressing added to break up the white walls. Bookcases, paintings, tapestries, etc. At that point, he might even concede to painting one or more of the walls.
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#4 Ram Shani

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 03:18 AM

Matt, when i write "real" like that i mean it's for the drama realty this is the obvious( to me at list)

i also know my job:) ( at list i hope after 3 feature and over 200 music videos and commercials)

just need some real tips from DP's who worked with dark skin actors

thanks any way
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#5 Jonathan Bruno

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 05:45 PM

Matt, when i write "real" like that i mean it's for the drama realty this is the obvious( to me at list)

i also know my job:) ( at list i hope after 3 feature and over 200 music videos and commercials)

just need some real tips from DP's who worked with dark skin actors

thanks any way



Ram, it's seems with 3 features and 200+ music videos, you've got enough experience to handle this situation. Good luck!!!!


-JB
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#6 Ram Shani

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 04:14 AM

jonathan

with all that i rarely work with dark skin actors because israel is a mediterranean country and it's very rear to work with thus kind of actors

thanks
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#7 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 07:53 AM

Ram, I'd say the best approach I've found isn't about pumping light onto darker skinned people (on ints) but rather keeping it off of the walls. I am also ok keeping them a little bit under, which is ok so long as you have a good eyelight. Also, darker skintones seem to me to either like cooler light or warmer light, this will depend a bit on your actors so try to get a test if you can first and see if you like the hit them with a little 1/8 cto or 1/8 ctb for their keys-- something so slight but the little color variation will help pop them off of the walls and keep them in focus.
Also, with white walls you mightn't need back-lights, and especially not strong back-lights, you'll have enough variation between their darker skin tones and the walls w/o them IMHO.

Also, if you have an darker tone with a lighter one, be ready for some flagging!

You'll be fine man, go with your gut and hey, at least you can see it on the monitor ;)
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#8 Ram Shani

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 11:25 AM

thanks
:)




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#9 julie kain

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Posted 26 June 2010 - 05:18 AM

For outdoor shooting you must use portable lights. Try this LED Portable Worklight or Halogen Wide Angle Portable Worklight and all type of lighting and home appliance you will get. Hope this may helps you.

Thanks
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#10 AlexJBender

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 02:43 PM

Hi Ram

I recently worked on a feature that included a few dark skinned actors and wanted to suggest a way of tackling this issue. What we did with our actor, especially in exterior shots with strong environmental light sources, was to simply flag and use bounced light. It seemed best to not over light to compensate for the darker skin tones and instead light as normal and be aware of the way different skin tones take light. We used tungsten sourced lights, often from paraffin lights, supplemented by chinaballs.

As previously mentioned, make consideration for underexposure with slightly darker skin tones and I think you'll be totally cool with this. White walls or not - just concern yourself with getting the the tone right on your actors and flag off as much light from strong white backgrounds as possible...perhaps throw in some gobos or set dressing to take away the harshness of the walls.

Hope this helps
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#11 Ram Shani

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Posted 07 July 2010 - 02:00 AM

hi
thanks again for all the tips

i am now on day 4 of shooting,and what i found work best is working with soft sources like reflectors and kinos

sliver reflector work great for my actors so i use it all the time on ext. shooting

and for int. i use kinos chaina balls and a lot of flags

the art director do great job cover the white walls so it help a lot:)

i also use nd grads in camera to help a bit

in camera i use the widest gamma (cine3)

i am very happy with the canon zoom lens i have(j-17)

BTW
I am shooting with SONY DSR-450
i forgot what a great camera she is:)

all the best
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