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Lighting moonlit forest road


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#1 Kevin Reid

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 03:02 PM

Hey guys, first time poster here. Have browsed the forums previously; great source of information.

I'm directing a short where most of the action takes place on a dark forest road. It's nightime exterior. I'll be talking to my DP over the next week, but wanted to get some opinions on here first.
Here's a reference pic for the type of lighting setup I'm after:
http://img402.images...lightingref.jpg

We're talking about lighting a 70 meter stretch of road, then some of the forest detail on either side. The character gets out of his car in the middle of the road, and pretty much stays within a 10 meter radius of the parked vehicle from therein.

I want to shoot this s16mm. Of course, a lot of people are saying "go with the Alexa" etc, but I'm not a fan of the digital look -- not for this project anyway. I'm looking for the tightest grain structure possible, so aiming to shoot with Kodak Vision3 200t. I'm under the impression that once you go over 200t the grain gets a bit much (unless such a look is desired)

I'm aware that nobody can give me definitive answers here, but general opinions or advice would be most welcome:

- Are we roughly talking a 12k HMI on height for the moon backlight, then a couple of 4k's and smaller lights to light the character and some of the surrounding forest below?

- Is it realistic to shoot this 200t? Will rating it 400 help the DP much? Will rating it 400 add much grain later? I hear the Vision3 stocks are great.

- How effection can grain reduction techniques be in post?

- Anything else I should be taking into consideration?


Thanks for reading; any help much appreciated.

Cheers,
Kev
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#2 Justin W. King

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 07:12 PM

Im not sure what your budget is like, but if there is no light from the beginning, you could look into going tungsten and using mole feys, along with other tungsten lights. You could put them on a genie lift. If you have a bigger generator, you could even use 9 light moles. Tungsten lights are not as expensive, although HMI's are more efficient. You can use a filer or white balance to get the cold look. If you see headlights in frame though this could be an issue, unless you found a way to warm up the headlights separately. I am sure the more experienced cinematographers and gaffers have better advice. You are going to want to make sure you get a few fog machines, and some pipes to distribute the fog.
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#3 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 09:49 PM

I think you're going to need either a 12k or 18kw HMI on either a condor, cherry picker or a tall scissor lift. You'll need to get it quite a way back from the stretch of road you are using or else the drop off in light levels from one end to the other will be severe. The still you posted looks quite neutral in color, so you could partially correct the HMI back to 3200k, although this will cost you some light.

You should probably consider shooting Vision 3 500T rather than 200T. 200T pushed a stop will probably have more grain than 500T.

My other advice is; don't second guess your DP by quoting advice from this site, either you trust him to do the job or you don't. I know from experience that there's nothing worse than having a Director or Producer quoting 'facts' that they learnt off the internet.
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#4 Kyle S Daley

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 11:25 AM

might seem like a no brainer, but i feel its worth mentioning. Make sure the road is good and wet to get maximum effect from your lights
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Aerial Filmworks

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