Jump to content


Photo

How to shoot a scene with a man on fire?


  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 Niall Conroy

Niall Conroy
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 92 posts
  • Other
  • Ireland

Posted 10 January 2012 - 04:54 PM

Hey guys,

I'm shooting my grad film in a few months time - I have 2 scenes in which a man is set on fire - more specifically it's a sleeping man who is laying in a sleeping bag in an alleyway during early morning. At no point does he stand up - always remaining laying down on the ground. The man is eventually extinguished with milk.

It wouldn't be a full body burn. I'm planing on just lighting the bottom part of the sleeping bag - with the fire hopefully not going above his waist line.

Does anyone have suggestions of ways in which to execute these types of scenes? are there alternatives to actually setting a man inside a sleeping bag on fire - such as camera/editing tricks with superimposing? (not sure about CGI as I wouldn't really know who to go to, the cost involved, or if it would even look 'real' in the end)

any thoughts or comments much appreciated
  • 0

#2 Chris Millar

Chris Millar
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1642 posts
  • Other

Posted 10 January 2012 - 05:01 PM

Is the camera locked off ?

What is the perspective ?

Do moving objects/cast occlude the view of the fire at any point ?
  • 0

#3 Niall Conroy

Niall Conroy
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 92 posts
  • Other
  • Ireland

Posted 10 January 2012 - 09:08 PM

Is the camera locked off ?

What is the perspective ?

Do moving objects/cast occlude the view of the fire at any point ?


well...that's a tough one to explain over this forum.

It will most likely be a combination of locked off + handheld (predominately handheld)

it occurs twice in the film - both similar scenarios

both taking place in an alleyway with a body laying on the ground (motionless at first, then slight movement with flailing of hands towards the end/extinguishing)

It is supposed to be quite a high octane sequence

And yes, there most probably would be moving objects in front of the fire, but only towards the end of the sequences - in one case a man extinguishing fire with milk + the other time with a man beating the fire out with a coat.

however - during the parts where the fire is being interacted with by the man - i'm sure we could have an actual fire - as the shot will be most likely tight OTS and would not need to show the burning mans upper body. (I can't imagine any effects doing a good enough job to simulate a fire being extinguished in real time)

However for the parts leading up to the extinguishing - there would be no obstructions or interactions with the fire

I hope that all makes some sense?

I could potentially post the scene from the script - but I'm not sure how much that will help matters.
  • 0

#4 NickMarshall

NickMarshall

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • Digital Image Technician

Posted 14 January 2012 - 11:04 AM

I honestly think you would be much better off finding a practical solution. CG fire is a really tough one to get right, and bad CG will ruin the shot more than a slightly underwhelming practical effect IMO.
What you could do to help a little is to shoot some fire plates to extract, keep the shots quite tight and have some of the practical fire creeping into the frame to make the effect look a bit more dramatic?
I really think your time would be better spent finding a good way to do this practically - it will look real (because it is) and your talents reactions will be better. Of course, this is just my opinion though :)
  • 0

#5 Niall Conroy

Niall Conroy
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 92 posts
  • Other
  • Ireland

Posted 14 January 2012 - 07:06 PM

I honestly think you would be much better off finding a practical solution. CG fire is a really tough one to get right, and bad CG will ruin the shot more than a slightly underwhelming practical effect IMO.
What you could do to help a little is to shoot some fire plates to extract, keep the shots quite tight and have some of the practical fire creeping into the frame to make the effect look a bit more dramatic?
I really think your time would be better spent finding a good way to do this practically - it will look real (because it is) and your talents reactions will be better. Of course, this is just my opinion though :)


I completely agree, Nick. Real fire will always look best. Plus i wouldn't want to be sitting in post with great footage but a lackluster fake fire.
  • 0

#6 NickMarshall

NickMarshall

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • Digital Image Technician

Posted 15 January 2012 - 12:04 PM

Exactly, And the problem with fire is that it emits light, so even if the CG fire itself looks great, if you havent got totally convincing fire light on set or it doesnt quite match the CG fire, it still wont look right. That and the fact that the fire and smoke will need to interact with the movements of the actor all work to make that a really tough effect to pull off.
You could probably spend as much time and money just doing good fire lighting on set as you would finding a way to do a practical effect safely, and thats before you have to worry about getting totally photoreal CG fire ;)

Hope it help, would be great to see your results whichever method you take.

N
  • 0


rebotnix Technologies

FJS International, LLC

Tai Audio

Technodolly

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Ritter Battery

Visual Products

Willys Widgets

Abel Cine

Metropolis Post

Glidecam

Rig Wheels Passport

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Opal

CineLab

Paralinx LLC

Aerial Filmworks

Wooden Camera

CineTape

The Slider

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Abel Cine

CineTape

Metropolis Post

The Slider

Tai Audio

Opal

CineLab

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Aerial Filmworks

Paralinx LLC

Glidecam

Wooden Camera

Visual Products

Willys Widgets

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

FJS International, LLC

rebotnix Technologies

Technodolly

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

Ritter Battery