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Interesting night scene


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#1 Dror Dayan

Dror Dayan
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Posted 21 July 2011 - 10:21 AM

Hallo everyone,

I´m shooting a short in a month and have an interesting night scene to shoot and light. A car is driving through an empty city street at night, and as it goes by past the street lanterns the lights go out one by one. We still don´t have a location so I still haven´t discussed the shooting with the director, but I can imagine shooting it from the back of a car driving in front of the actor´s car, from a low angle so that I can see the lanterns go out. But the main question is of course how to light the scene.

I´ll probably be shooting 16mm on 500t vision3, I don´t have the budget to push it, even though I´d love to, but I think I might be able to get away with underexposing 1 stop and correcting it digitally, we want it to look dirty anyway. So I guess this choice of stock makes any digital work of tracking the lights and making them black almost impossible, and I would like to do the whole effect analog and on-set anyway. so:

my first thought was to hang black cloth on the actual lamps, rig a tungsten lamp underneath, gel it to look good and have an electrician pull out the plugs when the car is driving along. I know the best choice would probably be 5k´s on the lanterns, but I don´t have enough of them and would probably also wouldn´t have enough electricity for it. Would trying 800w´s be a total suicide? I have enough of them and they are also pretty easy to rig. 1k´s and 2k´s are also a little tight on my list, but I guess I´ll be able to get them if I have to. (It´s a student film so we may have some more lamps at school)

I will probably try to either have some HMI give a hint of a moon light somewhere in the background, or, what I think could look the best, shoot the whole thing in the magic hour. But I guess for the magic hour the 800w´s would really be too weak, won´t they?

so I guess my main question is if someone has a better idea, or if you see some major flaws and if it´s possible to do with the 800w´s. I would try to post some location stills as soon as we have a location.

Thanks in advance for your opinions and help!

all the best,

Dror
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 11:13 AM

Digital wouldn't really work as you'd still have the light comming off of the lamps illuminating everything even if you but a black thing mask over them. 500T under 1 stop will be totally fine. IIRC here in Philadelphia on the '18 stock T1.3 got me good exposure under street lights w/o any other lighting.

What i'd do is go with 1K PAR 64 VNSP or NSPs. Very cheap to buy/rent. Lightweight too. I'd then run them to breakers/switches the electrics and turn off as the car goes by. After, of course, blacking out the original street lights.

I like the Pars as you get a very punchy beam out of them on a budget. I think a whole rig for a par, when I bought one, only cost me like $130 or so and to rent, when I get 'em is something like $10/day per head.
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