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Alexa. Forest scene moonlight


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#1 Narayan Van Maele

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 07:24 PM

Hi Everyone,

I'm shooting on the Alexa for the first time. I have a lighting question. It's a short film, using only non actors so it will have a somewhat documentary feel and requires a naturalistic lighting approach. Now, there is a scene where our characters are walking in a forest at night. The only light source is the moon. We'll be shooting WS (don't have to be too wide) and MS and CUps. I have never worked with lights bigger than 2.5k hmi before. For this project I will however have 2x 6k hmis as well as the usual blonds, reds, kino floes etc. I'd love to hear how you'd light this.
How far is the throw of a 6k hmi? would you shoot it through some kind of silk? back light or side light the characters? Reflect, bounce back the spill for fill? And what about the background?
Are the two 6k hmi my best option or are there any other lights for similar rental price that I could consider?

Will be shooting prores 4444 logc

Thanks guys,

Narayan
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 03:39 PM

The issue isn't just the lights but the height -- if you want a backlight, the lights have to be fairly high to get above the frame line.

Another issue is how dense the forest is... if very dense, you may be better off with multiple lights which can be smaller rather than one or two big lights. The smaller lights can go between gaps in the trees, particularly if you are going to side light instead of backlight.

In which case, you might try something like a 2.5K HMI for the far side light then work with smaller and smaller lights as the actors move from far to close, like a couple of 1.2K's, followed by a 575w, then maybe even just a daylight Kino for the foreground, or a smaller LED light.

But if you can get a Condor crane, then a 6K or 4K up high in the distance would be a good base backlight for the background, assuming that the canopy isn't so dense that it just gets blocked up right away. Then you can still light the foreground with a smaller light for a backlight, like mounted to a tree. But with a pure backlight, you may want some dim soft fill or side light as well for the actors in the foreground.
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#3 John Sprung

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 03:47 PM

Another thing to consider, and perhaps test: Full moon in a dense forest is one place where day for night can really work well.



-- J.S.
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#4 Eric Jaspers

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 07:33 PM

I'd love to hear how you'd light this.



I would suggest that you also break up your light sources with cookies or tree branches. If you don't break it up like real moonlight filtering through trees it can look pretty fake.

Eric Jaspers
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#5 Narayan Van Maele

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 05:58 AM

Thanks for all of your suggestions.

Hight wise for the backlight I might be able to shoot in a dip in the forest, so the lights could go on top of the hill and point down to where the action is happening. If I can't do that I'll try and do the sidelight setup with smaller lights that David suggested.
Would you fog up the area to bring up ambient exposure? I don't really want to see the fog too much as its not supposed to be moody in that way.

They will also be in a field:
/Users/narayanvanmaele/Pictures/Tumblr/Last Scene Possibility.jpg

characters would be walking towards us. Again for a moonlight look.

I prefer the look of a backlight for moonlight. Not sure yet how high we'll be able to get the lights. What minimum hight would I get away with for a convincing moonlight look? The shot won't be as wide as on the photograph.
Would it be easier to side light?

narayan

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#6 John Holland

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 07:11 AM

I think you should find a smaller field !!
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#7 Albert Smith

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 02:37 PM

yea smaller field...thats not that frame your looking for is it? you gotta think an open field at night there is really nothing to get an exposure on your pretty much just shooting people walking around on a grass floor in a blacked out studio. or if you want an exposure on stuff in the distance or the sky you could just do late dusk for night that works sometimes getting just enough ambient for an exposure and maybe add in a subtle rim with one of those 6ks really far away, but height is yea an issue. Depending how wide your shots are I'd say you gotta atleast get the lights 15ft in the air...depends how far away too if your trying to use a 6k sounds like you'd need a condor for sure.
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