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Budget Lighting for student drama


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#1 Deji Joseph

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 12:16 PM

I am a FIlm and Television production student preparing to shoot my graduation short film. this will be my first drama shoot, filmed on a Canon 7d. i have worked with lights on documentaries and understand the basic principles behind lighting. However i don't fully understand lighting ratios, footcandles/luminace and stops in relation to lighting. most of my scenes are indoors and i plan to use a one or two light setup and use a reflector for outdoor scenes. I have an Arri 800 red head and 180 watt dedo lights at my disposal but i find the Arri too bright and the dedo too dim. i want to use very soft high key light and was wondering what if litepanels, kinos or softboxes were good options.
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#2 Filipe Palha

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Posted 07 July 2010 - 01:15 PM

I am a FIlm and Television production student preparing to shoot my graduation short film. this will be my first drama shoot, filmed on a Canon 7d. i have worked with lights on documentaries and understand the basic principles behind lighting. However i don't fully understand lighting ratios, footcandles/luminace and stops in relation to lighting. most of my scenes are indoors and i plan to use a one or two light setup and use a reflector for outdoor scenes. I have an Arri 800 red head and 180 watt dedo lights at my disposal but i find the Arri too bright and the dedo too dim. i want to use very soft high key light and was wondering what if litepanels, kinos or softboxes were good options.


Hi Deejay

Kinos are always helpful and if you can get them the better. I don't know how is your budget, but I'm assuming it's low..
Can't you get a kit of 3 Arri 600? But if that's too much you can buy Chinese lanterns, something like this http://austinfilmtoo...ese_lantern.htm
You can easily find them on IKEA.


I'm also a student (and new here), so better let the pros give you some advice lol
Good luck.
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#3 JD Hartman

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Posted 07 July 2010 - 07:21 PM

Too bright? Use a scrim or scrims or ND gel. Pulling the fixture back from the talent will also decrease the amount of light reaching the subject (inverse square law) and soften it somewhat. To soften the light from the redhead, use either a silk or diffusion in an empty frame. Or even muslin fabric. Be certain to adjust the focus of the redhead to fill the diffusion (or silk) as much as possible. Bounce will also soften a hard light source, use showcard, foamcore, beadboard, etc., or even silk or muslin fabric.
Learn to work with what you've been given, become more veritile. LED's and Kinos aren't the solution to everything.
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#4 Deji Joseph

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 02:19 PM

Too bright? Use a scrim or scrims or ND gel. Pulling the fixture back from the talent will also decrease the amount of light reaching the subject (inverse square law) and soften it somewhat. To soften the light from the redhead, use either a silk or diffusion in an empty frame. Or even muslin fabric. Be certain to adjust the focus of the redhead to fill the diffusion (or silk) as much as possible. Bounce will also soften a hard light source, use showcard, foamcore, beadboard, etc., or even silk or muslin fabric.
Learn to work with what you've been given, become more veritile. LED's and Kinos aren't the solution to everything.


Your right JD, ive decided to stick with the lights and work around with them. i might borrow some work lights fro a friend if necessary instead.
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#5 Fred Neilsen

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 07:24 PM

Your right JD, ive decided to stick with the lights and work around with them. i might borrow some work lights fro a friend if necessary instead.


I recently shot a short film with theater lighting, it's actually quite a viable option, all you have to do is go up to your local/community theater or school (when a show isn't running) and ask them nicely if you could borrow their lights, try to get 650 fresnels or PARcans. You can then rig the lights onto the work light stand (by removing the G-Clamp and using the bolt that attaches the clamp to the lantern to attach the light to the stand) Theater lights are alright, albeit they're a bit more fragile and you have to work a bit harder to get a nice beam.

Fred
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#6 JD Hartman

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 11:10 AM

I recently shot a short film with theater lighting, it's actually quite a viable option, all you have to do is go up to your local/community theater or school (when a show isn't running) and ask them nicely if you could borrow their lights, try to get 650 fresnels or PARcans. You can then rig the lights onto the work light stand (by removing the G-Clamp and using the bolt that attaches the clamp to the lantern to attach the light to the stand) Theater lights are alright, albeit they're a bit more fragile and you have to work a bit harder to get a nice beam.

Fred


They're also likely to have stagepin or twistlok connectors. Now you've traded one problem, worklights without focus control or barndoors, for another and have to build or borrow adapters for the fixture whips.
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#7 Fred Neilsen

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 06:23 PM

They're also likely to have stagepin or twistlok connectors. Now you've traded one problem, worklights without focus control or barndoors, for another and have to build or borrow adapters for the fixture whips.


It seems that most of the theater lights that I have encountered use a standard household plug, I guess I just got lucky, it might be that the lower end/non professional productions/equipment use the standard 3 pin household plug.

Fred
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#8 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 10:14 PM

A lot depends on what the theater is set up for when they order the lights. When I buy Pars (i normally just get Altmans, which are theater but cheap) i get the option for what connections to get; I get edisons. But, when working with some rented lights, also Altman Par 64 cans, they'll have stage pin connectors and the appropriate converters.
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