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shooting "Day for Night" or shooting at night?


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#1 Lee Tamer

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 04:30 PM

Im shooting a student film on a tight schedule. The next scene is a dialogue heavy scene that takes place in a kitchen at night. Since the film is on a tight schedule should I just shoot "day for night" or try to get the scene shot at night?

What would be easier? I know films with bigger budgets often shoot "day for night" on a sound stage.

Any advice?
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#2 Gregory Gesch

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 07:07 PM

Hi Lee. Depends on your shots and location, however if you do shoot at night you won't have to worry about blacking out windows, doorways etc and would probably find it easier and quicker.
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#3 Guy Holt

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 08:55 PM

Im shooting a student film on a tight schedule. The next scene is a dialogue heavy scene that takes place in a kitchen at night. Since the film is on a tight schedule should I just shoot "day for night" or try to get the scene shot at night?

What would be easier? I know films with bigger budgets often shoot "day for night" on a sound stage.

Any advice?


Unless, your location is not available at night, it would be a lot easier to shoot night for night.

- Guy Holt, Gaffer, ScreenLight & Grip, Lighting and Grip Equipment Rental and Sales in Boston.
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#4 Lee Tamer

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 09:04 PM

Will it look obvious that its daytime no matter what I try? Im sure there are ways to pull it off
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#5 M Joel W

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 12:41 AM

If you can seal up the edges to entrances and exits (and don't have any pesky skylights) it can be simple:

Cover the windows (from the outside) with duvy or even a couple layers of trash bags. Have art pull the shades or blinds to cover as much of the windows as possible.

Light as you want.
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#6 timHealy

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 11:03 AM

Shooting "day for night" is a term never used for shooting on a stage. It's on a stage everything is controllable.

Shooting "day for night" usually refers to exteriors. Depending on what you are doing it can be a viable alternative to doing something night for night. But it should be well thought out and planned to see if it would work for you and your scene. As with everything else on the planet, there are pros and cons to doing so. One thing is that everyone hates to work at night. Crew, actors, and producers. I worked on a Goldie Hawn movie ten years ago where the producer would call wrap if she felt Goldie was looking tired and not at her best. So our nights were never all night. That is a rare occurrence though.

Sometimes you just have to do night for night.

Shooting in an interior one might use the term "day for night" but not everyone would call it that. Shooting an interior, even with windows is fairly controllable like a stage. You can black out or tent windows and doors. You might call an interior day for night if you were utilizing a window and maybe putting heavy ND and CTB or something on it to take it down.

Just my 2 cents.

Best

Tim

Im shooting a student film on a tight schedule. The next scene is a dialogue heavy scene that takes place in a kitchen at night. Since the film is on a tight schedule should I just shoot "day for night" or try to get the scene shot at night?

What would be easier? I know films with bigger budgets often shoot "day for night" on a sound stage.

Any advice?


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#7 timHealy

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 11:13 AM

In addition, AD's, producers and production managers will generally fight to black out the windows and shoot during the day. Directors and DP's will generally fight to do night for night. The same is true if your schedule gets screwed up and the day interior you were suppose to do during the day is now shooting at night. AD's, production managers and producers will ask if the DP if we can paper the windows and blast a light at it. The DP and Director will probably fight to shoot during the day if they feel they need to see out the window. If it is a small window they can get away with papering or tenting. If the window is rather large and featured in a room, you might not be able to get away with cheating.

Now if everyone is working on a TV show, generally everyone will do whatever works best to get the days work done so everyone can go home.

again, Just my 2 cents.

best

Tim
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#8 Lee Tamer

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 02:34 PM

Ah ok, I thought shooting a night scene during the day meant "day for night".

Thanks for the tips, I think I have a general idea of where I want to go
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#9 Ben Brahem Ziryab

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 02:19 AM

I thought shooting a night scene during the day meant "day for night"

Wait, in what sense isn't this the case? If you're shooting an night exterior scene at day then that would be classified as "day for night". Regardless, I'd recommend not to.
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#10 Lee Tamer

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 08:52 AM

No its an interior night scene, i was confused by the meaning of Day for Night
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#11 klas persson

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 09:52 AM

If it is on location the term "day for night" should still be valid though? Anyway, the concept is the same(pretending the sun is the moon). Personally, I love day for night. Especially when doing side lit interiors.
So as an advocate for our best friend, The Sun, I thought I should make my case. ;)

Posted Image
Video here.
This is shot day for night where the actor is chased by the undead through a derelict house. It is a quite long, hand held, wide angle, action shot with a lot of whipping around the camera. Controlled chaos. I was careful not to shot through any windows, blanked out those needed and then doing some extra black outs in post.
At the end there is a day for night and night for night cross cut too.
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In the next episode I have a int/ext day for night scene shot in a car. This is maybe more interesting, depending what it is you want to do, as it is lit by a candle. Scheduled to be shot in the first morning light but wasn't until the sun was high in the sky.
Video here.
Posted Image
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Anything not orange in these stills is the sun.

Then in the fifth episode I had a long exterior shot day for night. Nothing to do with what you are doing, but could still be interesting. This was something I had hoped to do at night but the schedule didn't allow it. Wouldn't have had enough lights for some of the wider shots anyway.
The reason I was a little hesitant was because of the snow. And that I was doing all the post production. :) White backgrounds! I knew the actors would only be silhouettes without heavy and time consuming rotoscoping. But in the end, it looks cool so the work was worth it.
Video here.
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Edited by klas persson, 07 February 2012 - 09:55 AM.

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#12 Lee Tamer

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 11:48 AM

If it is on location the term "day for night" should still be valid though? Anyway, the concept is the same(pretending the sun is the moon). Personally, I love day for night. Especially when doing side lit interiors.
So as an advocate for our best friend, The Sun, I thought I should make my case. ;)

Posted Image
Video here.


I absolutely love this look. Is it with a gelled light shining through the window?
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#13 klas persson

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 02:26 PM

I absolutely love this look. Is it with a gelled light shining through the window?

That is just graded sunlight. There are also a couple of hidden and gelled redheads in there to make certain things pop out of the shadows. Normally I would expose and white balance directly in the camera for the look, but because I wanted the muzzle flash to light the room I exposed it naturally. Just watched the highlights.
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#14 Lee Tamer

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 10:31 AM

Posted Image

Here's my location.

One actor will be standing in front of the table. The other actor will be standing next to the kitchen island. I plan to keep the lighting simple. Im hoping to get away with only using the light above the table (raising it up higher) and using the light above the kitchen stove. There is a florescent light fixture above the island but I dont want to use it at all because of the mixture of lights. The fixture is turned on in the picture.

I plan on blocking off the screen door and the two windows. There is also a large window coming from the dining room which I will block off.


Could I get away with only using these two lights?
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#15 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 10:55 AM

Personally, I'd shoot that Night for Night, if I had the chance, so as to be able to light up some of the outside if needed. Give more Depth to the frame.

And, yes, you could use just those two lights, if you wanted to; especially on the wides. On a close Up I'd perhaps have a china ball or two ready to lower contrast/soften light up/cheat a bit. Depends on how you want it to look.
I'd also, perhaps, have some light spilling in from another room.
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#16 Lee Tamer

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 12:51 PM

Should I use blue color gels in front of the two windows if I wanted them in the shot? Should I place ND filters and blue gels on the windows or just blue gels?
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#17 Lee Tamer

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 12:57 PM

I was also thinking an HMI through the windows for a moonlight effect. Or would that look too artificial during the day?
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#18 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 01:02 PM

Should I use blue color gels in front of the two windows if I wanted them in the shot? Should I place ND filters and blue gels on the windows or just blue gels?


If there are no internal lights on, no practicals, no movie lights trying to balance exposure, etc. you don't need any gels on the windows, you'd just use ND filters on the camera to reduce depth of field and/or blue filters depending on how you got the blue effect (could be done just by using a camera or stock rated at 3200K.)

If there are room lamps on, then yes, you'd need heavy ND gels for starter unless it was dim outside, and again, whether you used blue gels just depends on the base color temp, the daylight is already full blue relative to tungsten practicals. But with a kitchen like this with some real practicals on over the stove and island, it would be a lot easier to shoot at night and rake the background with some blue lights rather than cover all that glass with gel, plus it has to be done neatly and tight to the glass, not just taped over the corners, because as the glass gets darker, it acts more like a mirror and any uneven surface in the gel looks crappy with reflections on the glass. And ND gels gets heavier looking when viewed from a raking angle, so you'd have inconsistent darkness outside depending on the camera angle.

Another option is to shoot the wider shots at magic hour when there is just a bit of weak blue skylight in the background, then in close-ups shot at night frame out the windows or recreate some blue light in the smaller view of the background seen in the tighter shots. Or the opposite, black out the off-camera windows and just gel the smaller window seen in the close-ups to get a dark blue background, but get the wider shots at twilight.

Gel can get expensive when you are using whole rolls up, at which point it would probably be cheaper and simpler to shoot at night and get some 575w HMI's for the background lighting.
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#19 Lee Tamer

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 01:20 PM

If I wanted to use the florescent fixture above the island in addition to the two practical lights, would it be better to use correction gels on the practical lights or gels on the florescent fixture, since it wont be in the shot. I'm assuming gel the florescent?

Would I want to use the florescent fixture at all?
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#20 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 01:53 PM

If I wanted to use the florescent fixture above the island in addition to the two practical lights, would it be better to use correction gels on the practical lights or gels on the florescent fixture, since it wont be in the shot. I'm assuming gel the florescent?

Would I want to use the florescent fixture at all?


Better to just switch the tubes to something closer to 3200k like Optima 32... But the tubes may be close enough that all you need is a little Minus Green gel wrapped neatly around the tubes, maybe 1/2 Minus Green would be enough these days if the tube is Warm White.
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