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School hallway, no windows


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#1 Tadeusz Kieniewicz

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 11:32 AM

Hi all!
In a 10 days I'm starting a feature film which take place mostly in school. Production designer and director have chosen school that is not good for me in term of lighting. That means I don't have windows to lit from. below is the picture of the hallway:
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And now. I want to look bright and natural look with a little bit warmish tint. Fluorescent tubes are not enough for my exposure which I want to keep around F/4. What would you suggest to bring up light level. I don't have experience with that kind of celling so I thought that maybe someone here is familiar with that kind of celling.
I'll be runnig on Alexa plus rated to 800ASA with Cooke S4 lenses on steadicam and I'd like to be flexible with framing that means I want to shoot celling
ANY IDEAS??
thanks.

cheers. Ted.
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#2 Gregory Wilson

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 12:05 PM

Hi Ted,

That looks like a drop-ceiling, which means an aluminum frame with removable foam squares. Above the ceiling there should be ample space to add in kinos or other fixtures and replace the corresponding square with a thin milk plexi or something like that. That way you can get a nice overhead light and get the exposure you're looking for. Just a thought. Good luck!

Kind regards,


greg wilson
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#3 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 12:07 PM

Are you going to see much of the ceiling in the shots?

Edited by Brian Drysdale, 24 February 2012 - 12:07 PM.

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#4 Tadeusz Kieniewicz

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 02:49 PM

Are you going to see much of the ceiling in the shots?



Director want's to be as much flexible as possible so I'd like to have possibility to see whole ceiling.

A thought about removing square foams and putting 60cm4bank warm kinos and replace the foam with 1/2 or 1/4 #216 diffusion gel.
thanks.
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#5 Guy Holt

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 08:59 PM

...thought about removing square foams and putting 60cm4bank warm kinos and replace the foam with 1/2 or 1/4 #216 diffusion gel.


One of the biggest challenges in situations like this is getting light into the eyes of your talent. If you don't, your talent's eye will look dark and bruised because the very toppy light of the overhead fluorescents won't dig into their eyes. Unfortunately to get light into their eyes, you will have to hang lights below the ceiling. There are drop ceiling hangers (baby pins on scissor clips) available just for this purpose. However to hang anything larger than a 1k or to hang kino banks you will need something like the hangers picture below:

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You may want to consider the approach we took in the production stills above, where we hung 4'-4 Bank kinos with Opal coved below the fixture to make a "Bay Light." Coving the Opal under the light, redirects it horizontally so that it will dig into the talents eyes. You may also want to consider using a combination of hard and soft light as we did here to create contrast in a situation where the practical lighting is usually very flat. As you can see here, with the right rigging equipment, you can use drop ceilings like a studio grid. Use this link for more pictures of productions that used drop ceilings on location as if they were a studio grid.

- Guy Holt, Gaffer, ScreenLight & Grip, Lighting Sales in Boston
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#6 Tadeusz Kieniewicz

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 09:12 AM

Oh!!That is great. Tanks for great answer but there is one little problem. I want to shoot ceiling. I mean for sure it'll be in frame sometimes. Idea with rigging Kinos from ceiling is very good and I have tools for that for sure but I'm going for lot's of steadicam mastershots with wide angle around 21mm lens. I might keep camera angle from above the eye level and try to avoid shooting ceilig but I think It' won't work for this story.
I was considering using some diffused source from the camera handled by someone. But I'm afraid of that. It might look like MTV or TV programme.
It looks like the best way would be to plan master shots in a way where I can rig kinos from ceiling and leave some ceiling as part of set design with hidden kinos, instead of foam, and covered with 1/2 #216

The other idea is to put Kinos 60cm tubes into the notice board in the hallway or small but long lite or led panels (because of their self powered fixture?) Then set a dialogue scene somewhere around these boards.


Anyway Guy Holt thanks for your time and intrest. You're reply was awsome:)

Cheers. Ted
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#7 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 09:43 AM

Oh!!That is great. Tanks for great answer but there is one little problem. I want to shoot ceiling. I mean for sure it'll be in frame sometimes.


In these cases you often have to rig the ceiling so that the area of tiles in the actual shot looks normal, but the other sections have been removed to allow the positioning of lights. For very wide corridor shots, you may end up having to hide lights in the classroom doorways and adjoining corridors.

On one set build we had a removable section of ceiling made for a low angle shot, the rest of the set was open above the walls. In this particular shot there wasn't any ceiling about 10 cm outside the final camera frame.
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#8 Justin W. King

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 03:53 AM

You can have a light that moves behind the camera. You can also rig lights in such a way that if there is a missing tile in frame, that you just cover the tile in question.
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