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ADVICE wanted - Nightime Battlefield


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#1 Justin Lovell

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 08:53 AM

Hey there,

I'm lighting a night battle scene in a field. We have trenches dug out, placing hummers, burnt out limos, chopper all kinds of interesting set dec.

All POV/ Helmet cam on SI2k Mini
The action takes place running from point A trench- point B- white house.
The white house will be CG in the background as we run towards it.

I'm approaching it:
-Night time with Ambient Moonlight, keyed from pockets of light areas (little fires, road flares, search lights).
-Key sources of light - China balls scattered throughout the field to be CG replaced with Firey pits. Testing road flares, they look awesome, but flare the lens too much. Practical Fire is a no go due to production restraints.
- 4 Source 4 sidey/backy not hitting the ground, allowing people to run through the dark areas rimming them without completely disappearing
-Air Star hellium balloon placed either A) off to the side (3:00) or directly in front (1:00)- to feel like you are running towards a bright location.

Concerns:
VFX heavy so lens flares are a major concern.
Flaring the lens from AIRSTAR being in the frame (cg removal)
Flaring the lens from Road Flares / Magic Lanterns

Any advice for this style of lighting / shoot. Small budget but we do have access to some bigger lighting equipment.

We considered day for night, but I didn't think I would be able to get the right feel of the lighting being keyed from fire pits.


Thanks!
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#2 Joel Ready

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 06:08 PM

I'm no expert, but I'm not sure that you're going to be satisfied with the amount of light you're going to get from those descriptions. I would recommend sticking to closeups - they're much easier to manipulate in low-light than a wide shot. I don't know if that interferes with your POV style, but it will probably look better. Can you get some high powered lights to shoot through a large silk, or even a light blanket for some soft ambiance across the whole field?
I definitely recommend some field testing before the shoot to see if you'll be satisfied with the level of light you can produce with lanterns and other small fixtures like that.
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#3 Bruce Southerland

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 07:54 PM

Generally in a situation like this you would have light coming from the moon, fires, explosions,
vehicle lights(if any), flares, and any light that would come from the "white house". I suggest
that you use your most powerful light/lights(maybe your balloon & source 4s) to somehow
simulate the ambient moon. I'm not sure how wide your shot will be, but hopefully you have enough power to cover the area in the shot with moonlight. Then use your other lights as needed for the other areas/effects that will need light.

Hope this helps.
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#4 Justin Lovell

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Posted 11 June 2010 - 06:04 PM

Generally in a situation like this you would have light coming from the moon, fires, explosions,
vehicle lights(if any), flares, and any light that would come from the "white house". I suggest
that you use your most powerful light/lights(maybe your balloon & source 4s) to somehow
simulate the ambient moon. I'm not sure how wide your shot will be, but hopefully you have enough power to cover the area in the shot with moonlight. Then use your other lights as needed for the other areas/effects that will need light.

Hope this helps.



yep, that's the plan.
Just avoiding lens flares from the practicals is quite difficult, near impossible. The VFX guys are going to hate us.
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