Posted 10 January 2013 - 06:21 AM
My favorite close-up shot I've done was one in which the key light was a China Ball on a dimmer, which I used on a 16mm film shoot (drama) about two years ago. It happened as sort of a happy accident: I was originally using the light to simulate an overhead lamp of a conversation at a restaurant's dinner table. When the actor got up to stand next to the table and we framed for the dolly in close-up shot, my light meter was getting a great reading for his key from that China bulb, and it looked beautiful as it was, so I did not move the China bulb as we did for every other shot in that scene. The China Ball also provided a very beautiful catch light in his eye as well! There was also another close-up shot in that same scene where we used the 5K with an 8x8 silk (not too close to talent), which was actually our fill light in a previous shot. My gaffer suggested a chimera for the 5K originally, but I wanted the light to be more malleable, for easy altering on the fly, so the 5K with silk was what we went with. Then of course, I could move the silk closer or further away from the 5k for more or less diffusion, and add or subtract scrims/nets for more or less light, etc.
There was also a different shoot (fantasy) in which I've used a Par can through Opal for the keylight, and it also had a very satisfying effect.
I haven't necessarily gravitated toward one of these lighting setups yet (I like to change it up frequently for the additional experience), but my favorite shot was acquired with the China Ball! I would definitely use it again, but I haven't had to yet!
Zachary J. Esters