Jump to content


Photo

Lighting a street scene in the night


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 Bernhard Walzl

Bernhard Walzl
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 10 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 02 May 2012 - 05:45 PM

Hello!

I will be shooting a scene in a park in a couple of weeks and I would like to get some advice and other ideas how to light it.

Basically there is a superhero who rescues a chick, which gets attacked by a man. First, a shot of a man holding a knife on the neck of a women. then a wide shot of a pathway and the superhero comes out of the dark. Then some over the shoulder, mid shots and close ups of their faces while they talk. (The scene ends with the attacker running away and a cut to the superhero kneeling on top of him).

Posted Image
Posted Image

So as the location I have a park (which is confirmed, and electricity is available). I am curious how to light this the best way and would like to know your opinions!

First I thought about having a moon light which is all over the scene, but this would cause troubles in the wide shot.
So I think having a practical light visible, like a street light, would be better, because this would give me reason to light the actors.

I would put dedo lights in their back to create some back light but I am not sure how to set the arris so that the scene doesn't look overly lit. storyboard 7 is flipped because the light is on the other side.

This is a map of the location:
Posted Image

And here some pictures:
Posted Image
Posted Image


I have access to a bunch of Arris with 650W and 1K, blondies with 2K, 3 Dedo lights and an HMI with 1.2K (altough I would like not to use this particular light)

Thank you very much for your help!
Bernhard
  • 0

#2 Bernhard Walzl

Bernhard Walzl
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 10 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 02 May 2012 - 06:05 PM

I also have some Kinos and all sorts of reflectors and traceframes, etc...
  • 0

#3 Guy Holt

Guy Holt
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 535 posts
  • Gaffer
  • Boston

Posted 03 May 2012 - 07:02 AM

I have access to a bunch of Arris with 650W and 1K, blondies with 2K, 3 Dedo lights and an HMI with 1.2K (altough I would like not to use this particular light)


Check out this thread - http://www.cinematog...showtopic=55922 - everything that applies to night interiors also applies to night exteriors with the added problem of lighting deep
background which is where the 1.2 HMI may come n handy. You have enough lights to get into trouble with if you don't have sufficient power. How much power do you have access to and how far away is it?

Guy Holt, Gaffer, ScreenLight & Grip, Lighting Equipment Rental & Sales in Boston
  • 0

#4 Bernhard Walzl

Bernhard Walzl
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 10 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 04 May 2012 - 02:35 AM

Hello!

Thanks for your links, I will have a good read through.
Only because I have access to all those lights doesn't mean that I will use them all. My generator has only 7000VA, so I am limited anyway.

I like having the practical streetlamp in shot at one stage, that gives it the right feel and also some justification for my backlighting, etc.
I thought about placing a blondie next to the street light, out of shot, maybe with a quarter cto to make it warmer. My first thought was, to give it some fill, enlighting the whole set with 3 Arri's with 650W. I guess I will have to dimm them down and use diffusors and a quarter blue and some green to make it moody and dark. What do you think about this mixed lighting idea?

I also could only have the blondie and for the close ups I bounce some light with a poly in their faces? Dedos will be placed in their back for some backlight.

It will be shot against a line of bushes and trees so there is no need to enlight any background.

Thanks for your feedback,
Bernhard
  • 0

#5 Guy Holt

Guy Holt
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 535 posts
  • Gaffer
  • Boston

Posted 04 May 2012 - 07:12 AM

I like having the practical streetlamp in shot at one stage, that gives it the right feel and also some justification for my backlighting, etc.
I thought about placing a blondie next to the street light, out of shot, maybe with a quarter cto to make it warmer.


As you can see from you location stills, you will need to turn off or wrap the street light in Duvetyne so that its' sickly green doesn't pollute your lighitng - it won't mix well with your tungsten lights. If possible, I would
suggest rigging the Blond on the street light to create a pool of top light that will give the Thug an ominous look. You can then bounce that back to give her a more flattering look. I would still suggest you back light the
bamboo trees with your 1.2 HMI so that you have some detail outside the pool of light that will define the edges of your frame and dig into the background. How successful you will be depends somewhat on the make and
model of the 7000KVA generator - is it a Honda EU7000i?

Guy Holt, Gaffer, ScreenLight & Grip
  • 0

#6 Bernhard Walzl

Bernhard Walzl
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 10 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 05 May 2012 - 01:39 AM

Hi!

Its this one: http://www.kennards....enerators&lvl=3
The green light in the picture isn't actually green, it is my iphone behaving funny in low light :)

Thanks for all your comments,
Bernhard
  • 0

#7 Guy Holt

Guy Holt
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 535 posts
  • Gaffer
  • Boston

Posted 06 May 2012 - 10:41 AM

Its this one: http://www.kennards....enerators&lvl=3


You won’t be able to use that generator unless you plan to overdub your audio. The problem with open frame portable generators like that is by the time you move them far enough off set that you don’t hear them, you have significant voltage drop from the long cable run. To the problem of line loss, you have the added problem that as you add load the voltage drops on portable generators. It is not uncommon for a generator to drop 10-115 volts under full load. The combination of voltage drop on the generator and line loss on a long cable run can cause voltage to drop to the point where HMI and Kino ballasts won’t strike and Quartz light brown out.

The trick to recording clean audio with portable generators is to use a generator, like the Honda EU6500is, with a 240V-to-120V step down transformer that has a slight voltage boost built into it. The Honda EU6500is inverter generator to begin with is much quieter than the other portable generators and even Honda’s older movie blimped Honda EX5500. Part of what makes the new Honda EU6500is so quiet is it's "Eco-Throttle." The Eco-Throttle's microprocessor automatically adjusts the generator's engine speed to produce only the power needed for the applied load. It can do this because the inverter technology of the Honda EU6500is enables it to run at different RPMs and maintain a constant frequency and voltage. Where conventional generators like the Honda EX5500 and ES6500 have to run full speed at a constant 3600 RPM to produce stable 60 hertz (cycle) electricity, a Honda EU6500is only needs to run as fast as required to meet the load demand. Since their engines do not have to run at full speed, and given the fact that an inverter generator generates 20% more power per revolution of the engine, makes the Honda EU series of inverter generators substantially quieter than conventional models.

The net result is that the EU6500is operates between 34 to 44 dBA at 50 ft. - half as loud (ten decibels) as the comparable EM7000is and ES6500 generators and comparable to full size movie blimped generators like the Crawfords. But you can't park a Crawford right on set and record sound without picking up the generator either. With sound specs this good all you need to record sound with a Honda EU6500is without picking up generator noise is a real distro system that will allow you to move the EU6500is off set (like you would a Crawford), minimize line loss over a long cable run, and provide plug-in pockets conveniently close to set. That is where the transformer comes in.

Posted Image
A Distro System consisting of a 60A Full Power Transformer/Distro, 2-60A GPC (Bates) Splitters, 2-60A Woodhead Box distributes power from a modified Honda EU6500is. Even though the generator is 100' away to reduce noise, plug-in points remain conveniently close to set.

[/center]
To record sync sound without picking up any generator noise, all you need to do is add 200' of heavy-duty 250V twist-lock extension cable between the generator and a transformer/distro. This is usually enough cable to place the generator around the corner of a building, or to run it out of a van or truck - which is usually all the additional blimping you need with these generators. The heavy-duty 250V twist-lock cable eliminates multiple long cable runs to the generator and minimizes line-loss; as well as, eliminates the voltage drop you would have using standard electrical cords.

Posted Image
60A GPC (Bates) Splitters and Woodhead Box.


To assure full line level (120V) on set, use a transformer/distro designed to compensate for the line loss you will have over an extended cable run. That is, use one designed to slightly boost the voltage on the load side (secondary). With these "boost transformers," if you were to feed the supply side (primary) of the transformer 240 volts from the generator, 127 volts would come out on the secondary side where you plug in the lights. This slight boost enables you to place the generator further from set where you won't hear it, yet assure that the supply voltage on set does not drop too low. Make sure the transformer/distro is equipped with a 60A Bates and three 20 A Edison circuits so that you have plug-in pockets conveniently on set.

Posted Image
60A Woodhead Box running Power-to-Light PFC 800W ballast (left) and PFC 1200W ballast (right.)


For more detailed information on using transformers on set, I would suggest you read an article I wrote on the use of portable generators in motion picture production. If you haven't yet read the article, or looked at it in a while, it is worth reading. I have greatly expanded it to be the definitive resource on portable power generation for motion picture production. The article is available online at http://www.screenlig...generators.html.

Guy Holt, Gaffer, ScreenLight & Grip, Lightng & Grip Rental in Boston
  • 0


Paralinx LLC

rebotnix Technologies

Ritter Battery

Metropolis Post

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Glidecam

Aerial Filmworks

CineLab

FJS International, LLC

CineTape

Visual Products

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Rig Wheels Passport

Abel Cine

Willys Widgets

Tai Audio

The Slider

Opal

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Technodolly

Wooden Camera

Willys Widgets

Visual Products

rebotnix Technologies

Metropolis Post

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Technodolly

Glidecam

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Wooden Camera

Ritter Battery

Tai Audio

CineTape

Rig Wheels Passport

Aerial Filmworks

Opal

The Slider

Abel Cine

CineLab

Paralinx LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

FJS International, LLC