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Lighting a Night scene


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#1 Daniel Delarusa

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Posted 10 October 2010 - 07:32 PM

Hey guys

Allright I will shoot a short at night next week. It is the first time I actually will shoot at night so I was wondering if anyone got some tipps and tricks for me?

The story will play on a dark parking lot that is just lighted with some street lights. I get, from my school, lights so I will be well equiped. I will be shooting 16mm.

Thanks for the help.
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#2 Deniz Coker

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 02:18 PM

I'm sure there'll be much better lighting guys with better replies but I figured I'd take a quick stab at it. What kind of mood are you going for and what's happening in the scene? The first thing that popped into my head was maybe pools of light simulating those sodium vapor street lamps, like 1ks aimed down from above. You could probably hang them off the actual street lamps and it'll be safer than sandbagging the heck out of super high stands. Then again that would only work if the street lamp had a dud bulb or you got to turn them off. At the very least you'll need some super powerful lights. 1ks might even be too weak if you cover a larger surface area. A gaffer friend of mine once told me it's best to bring out the "big guns" for night shoots, you'll need them. Some slightly blue tinted lights to accent things in the back might help, I've always tried to avoid that stereotypical wash of blue "night" light but sometimes it helps a little. If you have cars in the scene you might be able to work in their headlights or shoot some light at your talent simulating headlights. If there's a store nearby with a neon sign maybe a bit of glow off that sign. I'd say play off what's already there. My last night shoot involved lighting a front door of a house for a medium shot and I used slightly blue gelled 1ks shot towards the door from above that gave a nice ambient fill and with the porch light in the back as a practical it balanced pretty nicely. Good luck and be sure to show us when you're done!
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#3 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 02:25 PM

Personally; I like downward 1K VNSP Pars for street lights, and then you can cheat things in for close ups. And, also don't forget your backgrounds! Throw something to give you some detail back there if you want to see it and it's not distracting.
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#4 Dustan Lewis McBain

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 03:01 PM

Also, to accentuate your background, you'll prob want to use (depending on your budget) an hmi, or any night time looking fixture. Personally i like to shoot with tungsten on the characters, and a backlight/kicker and BG light as daylight to add nice contrast. Best thing to do is do some tests before your shoot. Also, bring an assortment of gels, at least 3 lights and be creative.
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#5 Hal Smith

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 08:57 AM

Hey guys

Allright I will shoot a short at night next week. It is the first time I actually will shoot at night so I was wondering if anyone got some tipps and tricks for me?

The story will play on a dark parking lot that is just lighted with some street lights. I get, from my school, lights so I will be well equiped. I will be shooting 16mm.

Thanks for the help.


Can you wet down the parking lot? That's pretty effective at keeping a night scene from looking too stark. Check with your local fire department, they may take pity on you and bring a truck and crew out to your location.
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#6 thiru

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 12:46 PM

Hi daniel this is leo from india you said your going to shoot on a parking lot dont worry about the lights but look for fine details in the night effect shots it will add more realisticness for your shots so light up for a full open and push one stop it will look good in the final. hear i do it in day effect to i calculate it and i expose for the one stop push there is very good depth of field and there is no over exposing in my footage . all the best any doubt please call me +919840076589 or mail me at babu6@yahoo.com

bye
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#7 Daniel Delarusa

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 12:24 AM

wow thanks so much for all those tipps!

The short is called "transfer". That is what is happening in the scene. A envelope gets from one character to the other. I'd like to have a lot of contrast and want to keep one of the characters dark and mysterios. He'll be wearing a hat so I was thinking of keeping his eyes in the dark until the last shot.
I have to see what I can do about weting down the parking lot. That realy would be a nice effect.
I will get one 2k, a couple of 1ks some 650s and some 250s so I hope I can make something happen. The thing is they won't let me film on the parking lot I wanted to use, so now I have a dark parking lot with no lights. I was thinking of using the 2k to simulate just one street light and have the scene play out under that... If u have an more tipps feel free to coment.

Thanks again guys u are awesome!

Dan

Edited by Daniel Delarusa, 19 October 2010 - 12:25 AM.

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#8 Dustan Lewis McBain

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 05:49 PM

you should do fine with that set up. Just make sure you have enough juice to power all that up. Also for your 2k. Think about getting a mombo-combo, sky-hi, (basically a big stand) and use that light as night? maybe a street lamp. You should get enough light from there. To achieve the contrast you were talking about, you might want to stick your 2k in the BG as to add the most contrast. Cheers,
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