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Idea for lighting a forest


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#1 Jordan Alber

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 11:27 AM

Hey there,

I'm an aspiring cinematographer and at the moment am working on a short film. I have an idea but would like to know other's opinions on the matter before I go out and rent a bunch of lights. Any feedback would be much appreciated.

Our script requires me to to light a forest at night during a short dream-like sequence. Within the story, there are these pebbles that visibly shine in the moonlight, which the protagonist needs to follow home (similar to the story of Tom Thumb)

This is the idea I had on how to light it:

1k or 2k JEM ball with several tone setting gels (Potentially a steel green or something) on it to give light to the background forest and potentially give a backlight to the actors
2k or 2.5k HMI with a diff-frame and some moonlight gels to give the characters a soft moon fill light
Dedo's with similar moonlight gels to spotlight the pebbles
Kinoflows (havent decided the gels yet) as main keylight for closeups


Does this seem like a good idea?
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 11:38 AM

Depends how large of an area to cover, but on a tight budget, I'd always go for a few 1K pars; just incase. Good to pick things out and get shafts of moonlight with a good throw.

For the pebbles; perhaps you should consider building them out of resin with LED lights on the inside? Then they can actually glow! Just a thought.
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#3 John Thomas

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 03:51 PM

Depends how large of an area to cover, but on a tight budget, I'd always go for a few 1K pars; just incase. Good to pick things out and get shafts of moonlight with a good throw.



Black theatrical par cans are super lights. They are cheap to rent and hide in the woods well. You can do a lot of damage with them when used as back edge lights. ("the angle of reflection is equal to the angle of incidence." ) Consider the 500watt versions as you can run 10 or more of them on a 6500w portable generator. Rent extra bulbs so that you can turn a wide flood into a very narrow spot when you need to. With a couple variacs and a few sheets of blue gel you can get some contrast of color. I think that 2k scrims will spring clip on the front if you need to knock the light down. Good luck
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#4 Nor Domingo

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 12:38 AM

Check out the thread in this forum entitled "Big Sur" by David Mullen. He has some screen grabs there and discusses how he set-up his forest shot. Just to give you an idea.
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#5 Tom Guiney

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 05:10 PM

-pars
-honda 2ks

You can get a lot of bang for your buck with either black par cans as were previously suggested or even more efficient, source four pars/altman starpars. Go with a spot lens or no lens and they punch really hard. Great for deep deep background stuff. Inexpensive from a theatrical style rental house. Really do go to the other rental house; getting theater stuff from film/video rental houses is significantly more expensive, at least in new york.

What I like to do in these situations is get a couple little honda 2k generators since they're so little and portable, get a bunch of pars, and send them way out deep in two different directions. Bring the honda 2k with you and put it right near the light. Saves a LOT of stingers.

I love the glowing LED resin pebble idea! Seems a bit of a science project though. What's your budget like? Does it include science projects?

Hudson sprayer for very portable wetdown sheen on your pebbles. Don't know if it works through a sprayer, but add a little glycerin to the water, that's how that super-drippy-beady athlete sweat is done in various athletic gear shoots.put that on the pebbles for extra wet-look glistening.

good luck

Edited by Tom Guiney, 20 October 2011 - 05:10 PM.

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#6 Tom Guiney

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 05:19 PM

-pars
-honda 2ks

You can get a lot of bang for your buck with either black par cans as were previously suggested or even more efficient, source four pars/altman starpars. Go with a spot lens or no lens and they punch really hard. Great for deep deep background stuff. Inexpensive from a theatrical style rental house. Really do go to the other rental house; getting theater stuff from film/video rental houses is significantly more expensive, at least in new york.

What I like to do in these situations is get a couple little honda 2k generators since they're so little and portable, get a bunch of pars, and send them way out deep in two different directions. Bring the honda 2k with you and put it right near the light. Saves a LOT of stingers.

I love the glowing LED resin pebble idea! Seems a bit of a science project though. What's your budget like? Does it include science projects?

Hudson sprayer for very portable wetdown sheen on your pebbles. Don't know if it works through a sprayer, but add a little glycerin to the water, that's how that super-drippy-beady athlete sweat is done in various athletic gear shoots.put that on the pebbles for extra wet-look long-lasting glistening.

re: your plan- sounds reasonable. think about getting that 2.5 very high and far away, never mind the frame. Big sturdy stand like a Long John or mambo. Moonlight is really quite hard when you look at it. Ultradistinct shadows. It just looks soft because its dim.

Dedos for the pebble shine? perhaps if you can get them close to the pebbles, but that wont be as easy in your wide shot. What about glow-in the dark paint? Or just get them glisteny and get just the right edge on them. Bring a leko or two with tighter barrels for a precise long slit on the line of pebbles. cheaper than dedos and more effective at a distance. and more precise.

3/4 back and sidey "keying" with your kinos sounds right.

good luck
TG
airboxlights.com
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#7 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 07:57 PM

Dayglo paint on the pebbles and a UV light source?

If you can ensure that nothing else in the frame is UV active, you can flag it on and off the pebbles to make them glow on cue, all in camera.

Also cheap from theatrical style places.
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#8 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 09:28 PM

+1 on the Star pars. I own one and it has a lot of punch for a 575w source. Also the ability to change out lenses makes it more versatile than a ParCan. Plus it has barn-doors. A bit heavy, though, so make sure you have some good stands. I normally just throw it up in a C Stand, despite that being kind-of bad form.
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#9 Jordan Alber

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 04:47 PM

Thank you all for the useful responses you have all given,

I have worked my shoot now around using Pars are the primary light source to illuminate the forest, and am looking into the LED fake stone idea and the dayglo paint and UV light!
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