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light a movie theater on tight schedule/budget


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#1 Rick Shepardson

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 01:41 AM

Project: music video
Format EIOS 7D (iso 500)

Greetings, at first I tried to describe my lighting set up in words.
However, things got muddled and I figured it might be best to just include a diagram. Please look at both attatchments. One is the lighting diagram I’ve conceived so far. The other is an approximation of the look I’m going for.

The skinny of the situation is this:
I want to light a theater. It’s a second run theater where the band members are watching a horror movie.

The band members enter the theater through a curtain separating the auditorium from the lobby. They walk down the aisle, find some seats, and sit down.

I want the room to be dark. The band members’ faces are lit only by light from the screen. The fall off is pretty drastic, allowing the sides of their faces to go almost black.

A rim light coming from the lobby will provide some separation for the shadow side.

The main problem I forsee is the 2k and 1ks through the 4x4 frame not providing enough light to illuminate the entire auditorium as a screen would.

Time is definitely an issue on this set up. It’s very important that I accomplish this with a large key source so I’m not futzing with several small units.

If you have any suggestions, please respond.

Thank you, rick shepardson.

Attached Images

  • theatersetup.JPG
  • 4-michael-jackson-thriller--large-msg-125207825972.jpg

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#2 Mike Lary

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 10:19 AM

Hi Rick,

It's hard to estimate whether the light level will be enough without knowing your target aperture and the physical dimensions of the theater.

My initial thought is that grid is going to give you way too much wrap. The image you supplied has a very hard source. I know you need to go through diffusion to create a single light source from multiple units, though. Maybe you could use opal instead?

Also, are you throwing a light source behind the curtain?
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#3 Rick Shepardson

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 10:57 AM

Hi Rick,

It's hard to estimate whether the light level will be enough without knowing your target aperture and the physical dimensions of the theater.

My initial thought is that grid is going to give you way too much wrap. The image you supplied has a very hard source. I know you need to go through diffusion to create a single light source from multiple units, though. Maybe you could use opal instead?

Also, are you throwing a light source behind the curtain?



Oops, I forgot to post the t-stop and dimensions.
I'm finding the specific dimensions of the theater today. It's a small auditorium though, probably no more than 40 feet.
As for the T-stop, I would like to go for a 4. However, I'm sure I'll have to open up to a 2.8 or maybe even 2.

You're probably right about the the grid cloth. I was thinking grid to maintain the beam. Perhaps a lighter grid, like the 1/2 grid?

In the end though, I think you're right. Opal, maybe even hampshire frost will be the best. If only I could find my swatch ring!
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 10:59 AM

Plus with a CU of Mike, there, you can use flgs to cut light off of the sides.
Perhaps this is a silly question, but have you thought of bouncing the pars with VNSP bulbs into a foamcore from behind, so then you get a beam above them as well as a bounce off of the foam core. In the wide, I'd perhaps throw the 1Ks and 2Ks on dimmers to look a bit like sconses on the walls with a little warm fill in the shadows as needed, but slight. Then in your CU's just move the bounce board in closer and flag off sides to model the face.
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#5 Mathew Rudenberg

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 05:48 PM

Depending on your shot, one option may be to set up your 2k with the 4x4 for the end position or close-up position, and then to use the 1k's without diffusion to light deeper into the theater.

The harder light will throw further without as much fall off, and at a distance it won't be evident whether the light is hard or soft as long as you match the level of intensity.
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#6 Rick Shepardson

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 08:52 PM

Plus with a CU of Mike, there, you can use flgs to cut light off of the sides.
Perhaps this is a silly question, but have you thought of bouncing the pars with VNSP bulbs into a foamcore from behind, so then you get a beam above them as well as a bounce off of the foam core. In the wide, I'd perhaps throw the 1Ks and 2Ks on dimmers to look a bit like sconses on the walls with a little warm fill in the shadows as needed, but slight. Then in your CU's just move the bounce board in closer and flag off sides to model the face.


That's not a silly question at all, Adrian! I was actually debating if I should allow the rim light to be the light from the lobby, or the flickering light provided by fall off from the beam passing over their heads.

I was also considering something similar to the sconces approach. It would definitly add depth to the shot. However, I'm not sure it would be appropriate for the second run movie house I'm going for. It's definitly still and option, though.

Thanks for the advice,
Rick
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#7 giap vu

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 04:49 AM

[bouncing the pars with VNSP bulbs into a foamcore
[/quote]

my gaffer called for this one time and it burned a hole very quickly into the 4x foamcore. be careful! I'm only saying...
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