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Lighting Large Areas


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#1 Mike Frymus

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 06:44 PM

I just saw 'The Hunger Games' so, this is the freshest thing on my mind, so I will use this as an example.

When lighting large areas, such as the picture posted below, how would you light it?
According to the picture, there seems to be a large 20x20' frame with a large light bouncing off of it.

My question is, are there tungsten lights large enough enough to light, or are they using daylight HMI's for this?

Other than the large diffused light on the R&L sides, is there any other way to light large rooms/areas like this?

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  • The Hunger Games Arena.JPG

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#2 Ari Davidson

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 09:06 PM

Balloon lights. See Space Lights Posted Image
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#3 Mike Frymus

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 12:25 PM

Oh yes, I remeber those large balloon lights.
But won't the actors have a shadow underneath their eyes if you were to lit from above them? - Whether its a large room or a smaller room also lit maily above (Ex. Closed off office room)

And in the image were those tungsten or HMIs?
It seems to be an HMI since I haven't seen tungsten lights that large. But then your shooting daylight indoors?
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 12:51 PM

If they are directly under the balloon light they can raccoon; hence you fill; elsewise not necessarily.

They make tungsten heads up to 24K if memory served (Mole Richardson).
As for HMIs inside, sure, it's daylight, but you can either CTO the lights or use an 85 filter in camera if you happen to be on a tungsten balanced system. Else, you can shoot daylight and have no issues.

Those lights in particular, I can't tell, from a cursory glance at the image, but they're probably HMIs, as they're much more efficient than tungsten units, and once you rent 'em, might as well use 'em.
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#5 Mathew Rudenberg

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 01:19 PM

The standard practice for large sets is to build up a base level of ambient top light and then to finesse details on the close ups.

Balloon lights are great but expensive way to build ambiance since you need to top up the helium each day. They're particularly useful if you're shooting in a location where you are not allowed to rig lights (a historical building for example) or where you can't easily place stands (like an ice rink).

Also, they often make sense cost wise if you're only shooting in a location for a short while - it's often cheaper to bring in a balloon op and a couple of balloons rather then add a pre-rig day with a rigging crew to put up lights.

The standard practice for large sets is to use spacelights, often hundreds of them. On Lemony Snickets Chivo and Buckley used 1800 spacelights with a huge silk beneath them.

The reason toplight is used is simply because we spend relatively little time shooting upwards. The multiple hardish sources become much like a single soft source, and for closeups one may well block or turn of the lights directly overhead to replace with more pleasing eye level sources, such as the large bounce in the image you included.

While HMIs are sometimes used Tungsten is usually preferable as you don't have to worry about hot strikes and lights going down for no reason (as much).
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#6 Mike Frymus

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 03:07 PM

I just want to clarify on all this...

The standard practice for large sets is to build up a base level of ambient top light and then to finesse details on the close ups.

So, in the picture provided in the first post. How would the base ambient be done? Would they use a large soft source above the actors? - Why are they using the two large soft sources to the side then?
Or is going with the two large soft source to the left/right of the actors the better option, instead of the light above? - As seen in the picture.
*There is another identical soft source to the left of the actors. Just not seen on in this image.

So, how exactly would you pull off a wide show in this room and then on an actors close up? - Two different setups?
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Wooden Camera

Tai Audio

CineLab

Ritter Battery

Technodolly

Rig Wheels Passport