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#1 Josh Bass

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 01:31 PM

I'm curious as what you all think about how bright a practical should be in a scene, and what determines this (as there is obviously no right answer). Specifically lamps. . .household lamp, small lamp in an office, etc.

Seems on TV recently, in dramatic shows, I've seen a lot of fairly "hot" ones. . .either the entire shade on a lamp blown out (or it appears), or a hot white center with the outer part dimmer.

Of course in the corporate video work I do they are often dimmed way down to a dull orange glow.


Not concerned about how much they're contributing to the scene lighting-wise for the purposes of this question.

What do people here prefer/do/like?
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 02:04 PM

I'd say people like as much as they like, and that amount depends not only on the person, but the project/scene/sequence/shot/setting/talent. There's no cut and dry amount. Sometimes I worry when a blown out something is becoming distracting, other times one may want it to be distracting, and still other times, it may be blown out but, by and large, unnoticeable.
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#3 Josh Bass

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 03:42 PM

Thanks.
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#4 Dustan Lewis McBain

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 11:10 PM

I agree with andrew, that its all preference. However, depending on what your style is throughout the scene, I would consider using practicals to set the ambiance of the scene, and allow non practicals to set the mood for the objects. I am a fan of keeping it as simple as I can and tweaking the small things, such as eye lighting.

Depending on what TV show your talking about, sit-coms are generally geared for story line, rather cinematography. So I'm not so sure that this type of picture is the best example for how someone could light their given scene. However, shows like true blood and mad men definitely have a distinct look and place a lot of attention to their lighting, but once again, the image is stylized to the given theme their attempting to convey.

In a scene were i wanted to convey contrast between light and dark. I'd apply a ratio pattern; say 1(dark):4(light), doing this might allow my practical to overexpose, in which case this would give my scene a certain characteristic.
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#5 Josh Bass

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 12:01 AM

I agree with andrew, that its all preference. However, depending on what your style is throughout the scene, I would consider using practicals to set the ambiance of the scene, and allow non practicals to set the mood for the objects. I am a fan of keeping it as simple as I can and tweaking the small things, such as eye lighting.

Depending on what TV show your talking about, sit-coms are generally geared for story line, rather cinematography. So I'm not so sure that this type of picture is the best example for how someone could light their given scene. However, shows like true blood and mad men definitely have a distinct look and place a lot of attention to their lighting, but once again, the image is stylized to the given theme their attempting to convey.

In a scene were i wanted to convey contrast between light and dark. I'd apply a ratio pattern; say 1(dark):4(light), doing this might allow my practical to overexpose, in which case this would give my scene a certain characteristic.


Gotcha. I was thinking of Nikita, among other shows. White hot practicals. Is it because the show is supposed to have an "edgy" look? Is it because of time constraints and they simply let it go? Etc. Especially in the digital formats, one would think blown out practicals would be a no-no (at least household lamps. . .maybe not the same for overhead flo lights or something), yet I'm seeing them a lot. I guess it sells it more that a lamp is lighting someone (even if you're of course supplementing with a movie light) if it looks hotter as opposed to dimmed way down? Dimmed way down seems more appropriate for ambience as opposed to selling the practical as a light source in the scene. For example, a scene where it's indoors during the day, and you have mostly "daylight" filtering in, maybe through curtains, lighting the actors, but still have lamps on in the background for color/art direction etc.
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#6 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 12:15 AM

Appropriate is all about the person making the choice.
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