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Lightning a bus! NEED HELP!!! NOW!!!


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#1 Matias Q

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 11:12 AM

Hi guys, first of all sorry for my English. My situation. We have a day scene in a bus interior. We have the bus stopped for 8 hours and 4 hours of movement. But in the scene the bus always moves, so we have to create the effect. There's no problem because the 80% of the shots are really close. The problem is the lightning and the weather. Will be a cloudy day but it suppose to be sunny. I have 1 Arri Fresnel 2Kw,1 2Kw Open face, 2 Arri Fresnels 1Kw, 1 Fresnel 1Kw. My idea is put all lamps in one side when the bus is stopped and create the sun effect (we use smoke for it). But when the bus star to move, I have no lights, no grips, nothing except 2 Kino Flo. So what to do? No lightning when the bus is stopped? Light a little bit?
Help me guys!!!
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#2 Ari Schaeffer

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 11:32 AM

Here's how I would approach it, it might not be the best method, and someone else might have something smarter, but off the top of my head;

4 hours of bus movement, with 2 kinos to light the interior. 8 hours of bus on a lot or whatever, and you have a bunch of 1k-2ks fixtures. to me that says you can control the interior exposure no matter what, be it stopped or in motion. you say the scene is 80% tight with a few wide shots. I would use a sun tracking device, and check the weather, make sure you have some sun. use the 4 hours of motion to shoot your wides, obviously only rolling when the sun in position and is blowing out the windows. note whatever you're getting from the sun exposure wise (might even haveta apply ND gels to windows if you want to catch some detail in the windows and you can't balance enough with the interior). get your 20% wide shots done. park the bus, and depending how wide your tight shots are, just use your tungsten fixtures from outside the bus and match the exposure/intensity/directionality you were getting from the sun.

now if the windows are heavily tinted like a lot of commercial buses i've been on, then you're kind of more screwed. or if the day is completely overcast this approach will not work, whatsoever.

if you search around for "the shuttle" thread on this forum some folks discuss lighting the interior of a moving bus with distribution from marine batteries. it went a bit over my head, but perhaps having power and the ability to rig to the outside of the bus while it's in motion might be another approach, though more costly and grip/electric heavy.
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#3 Matias Q

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 11:42 AM

Here's how I would approach it, it might not be the best method, and someone else might have something smarter, but off the top of my head;

4 hours of bus movement, with 2 kinos to light the interior. 8 hours of bus on a lot or whatever, and you have a bunch of 1k-2ks fixtures. to me that says you can control the interior exposure no matter what, be it stopped or in motion. you say the scene is 80% tight with a few wide shots. I would use a sun tracking device, and check the weather, make sure you have some sun. use the 4 hours of motion to shoot your wides, obviously only rolling when the sun in position and is blowing out the windows. note whatever you're getting from the sun exposure wise (might even haveta apply ND gels to windows if you want to catch some detail in the windows and you can't balance enough with the interior). get your 20% wide shots done. park the bus, and depending how wide your tight shots are, just use your tungsten fixtures from outside the bus and match the exposure/intensity/directionality you were getting from the sun.

now if the windows are heavily tinted like a lot of commercial buses i've been on, then you're kind of more screwed. or if the day is completely overcast this approach will not work, whatsoever.

if you search around for "the shuttle" thread on this forum some folks discuss lighting the interior of a moving bus with distribution from marine batteries. it went a bit over my head, but perhaps having power and the ability to rig to the outside of the bus while it's in motion might be another approach, though more costly and grip/electric heavy.


Thanks Ari! I appreciate your tips! More problems! The Day will be completely overcast. The bus will only move in the end of the day (this is a **(obscenity removed)** production poop!) No money so we only will able to move it in the end of the shooting day. So I have some huge problems! I think the easiest way is to lightning all over with the kinos flo. But it won't be really "nice" or I think I can do a better work. We are shooting with a Canon 550D.
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#4 Ari Schaeffer

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 12:05 PM

Thanks Ari! I appreciate your tips! More problems! The Day will be completely overcast. The bus will only move in the end of the day (this is a **(obscenity removed)** production poop!) No money so we only will able to move it in the end of the shooting day. So I have some huge problems! I think the easiest way is to lightning all over with the kinos flo. But it won't be really "nice" or I think I can do a better work. We are shooting with a Canon 550D.



wow, yeah, that really makes no sense from a production standpoint. so, not surprising, right? well, god. is there any way to get a large green screen rag, say 12 by or 20 by? you might get something nicer that way since it doesn't seem like you have any camera movement on the wide shots from inside the bus (at least I hope not). then you can scratch the entire moving section of the day, or use it to shoot the background if you want to light the scene with that diffused overcast look...or come back and shoot the background action on a sunny day, but however you shoot it, just make sure you'd match that to the greenscreen setup in terms of interior and exterior light coming in. you gain way more control over your situation, but you'd need to get a frame, stands, and the rag (sandbags, line to anchor it), and you'd need to shoot the background, and then hopefully have someone in post who can do an easy key like that. it may very well be a hard sell to production, and i also have no idea how that camera does with this kind of work...

i honestly do a lot of lower budget jobs where things are done practically, so maybe one of the bigger dps here will have better advice on setting up a process shot on a stage or something like that. it sounds like this is pretty low budget though, so you either gotta work with what you have, but the weather and scheduling isn't on your side, or do a basic green screen setup and fake it.

i would talk to production if you can and tell them exactly what the issues are. if they don't care, well, at least you tried? and if this is happening tomorrow morning, i wish you the best of luck my friend. let us know how it goes...
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#5 Ari Schaeffer

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 12:30 PM

you could also just say screw it, tell them it'll look better if you don't see the motion in the windows, and just keep the bus non moving, and blow out the windows with your sources, either directly or through a frame of something. then it'll be consistent.
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#6 Matias Q

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 12:36 PM

wow, yeah, that really makes no sense from a production standpoint. so, not surprising, right? well, god. is there any way to get a large green screen rag, say 12 by or 20 by? you might get something nicer that way since it doesn't seem like you have any camera movement on the wide shots from inside the bus (at least I hope not). then you can scratch the entire moving section of the day, or use it to shoot the background if you want to light the scene with that diffused overcast look...or come back and shoot the background action on a sunny day, but however you shoot it, just make sure you'd match that to the greenscreen setup in terms of interior and exterior light coming in. you gain way more control over your situation, but you'd need to get a frame, stands, and the rag (sandbags, line to anchor it), and you'd need to shoot the background, and then hopefully have someone in post who can do an easy key like that. it may very well be a hard sell to production, and i also have no idea how that camera does with this kind of work...

i honestly do a lot of lower budget jobs where things are done practically, so maybe one of the bigger dps here will have better advice on setting up a process shot on a stage or something like that. it sounds like this is pretty low budget though, so you either gotta work with what you have, but the weather and scheduling isn't on your side, or do a basic green screen setup and fake it.

i would talk to production if you can and tell them exactly what the issues are. if they don't care, well, at least you tried? and if this is happening tomorrow morning, i wish you the best of luck my friend. let us know how it goes...


Thanks a lot man!! Tell you how it goes in a few days!
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