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Examples of 'day for night'


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#1 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 04:24 AM

For quite some time, I have been intrigued by the 'day for night' technique. When done well, it is quite impressive in it's illusion of creating a night time look during daytime. Though I can only think of two notable examples off the top of my head - The Deep and Thunderball. I was wondering what other good examples can people think of?

Ive been keen to try this technique myself on slide film. Whack a blue filter on the lens, underexpose slightly and shoot in late afternoon sunlight. I'll try and take advantage of side lighting and backlighting too.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 11:19 AM

Freddie Young was a master of this, there is some DFN in "Lawrence of Arabia" and also "Doctor Zhivago". I like modern DFN where they add stars, replace skies, etc. like in the early scenes on "Cast Away" before he learns to make fire. Use lots of ND in order to shoot at a wide aperture to reduce depth of field. Polas and ND grads can help with the sky.

Reflectors and lights are useful to selectively fill in spots where you want to see in the shadow side after you've underexposed the image.
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#3 Tim Halloran

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 11:56 AM

For quite some time, I have been intrigued by the 'day for night' technique. When done well, it is quite impressive in it's illusion of creating a night time look during daytime. Though I can only think of two notable examples off the top of my head - The Deep and Thunderball. I was wondering what other good examples can people think of?


One very important sequence in Malick's Days of Heaven. Can't recall for sure if it was Nestor Almendros or Haskell Wexler's work but it is the scene where Richard Gere and Brooke Adams sneak off into the "night." Though well-known of course for its magic hour photography, shooting this particular scene day-for-night allowed for some striking overhead sunlight which produced these beautiful glowing "halos" on the characters. Amazing thematic use of the day-for-night technique.

Tim
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#4 Joey Bania

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 08:04 AM

The first time I became aware of the DFN technique was in the scene towards the end of American Graffiti where Terry's car gets stolen. I guess it might therefore qualify as a bad example of DFN.
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#5 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 09:08 AM

The first time I became aware of the DFN technique was in the scene towards the end of American Graffiti where Terry's car gets stolen. I guess it might therefore qualify as a bad example of DFN.



It's funny though how in some of the wider shots of DFN in the scenes with the car parked up near the woods, the feeling comes much closer
to looking how things look when your eyes have adjusted to the ambient light. Wider shots in night scenes often look fake because they're so obviously lighted.

In "The Wild One" there are some DFN scenes with Johnny taking the woman from the diner for a ride on his bike and the way the
sky looks through the trees in the background and the light lands elsewhere, it feels like you're looking at an ethereal B/W dream on Mars.


Patrick, for fun you might also want to watch Truffaut's "Day for Night".
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