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Favorite close up light?


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#1 Shaan Aslam

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 11:11 PM

This may have been asked before, and I know that it depends on the scene/situation/budget, but:

What do you find to be your favorite or even ideal close up light? What do you find yourself gravitating towards the most and why?

Personally, if at all possible, I like to shoot two tweenies through a 6x6 of silk and then place a 4x4 of 216 right off camera, or as close as I can to the actress/actor. If I can't manage that setup, for obvious whatever reason, I go with a fat boy kino through a 4x4 of 216.

I'm a student and have no idea what others do. Save for what I read in American Cinematographer, which is usually something rambunctious, ( 2x18K's through a 20x20. WUT)
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#2 Ari Davidson

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 12:23 AM

Budget permitting: 5k + Large Chimera w/full white

Typically: Fat Man through tough spun.
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#3 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 05:10 AM

Fat Man



May I be the first to say "huh"?
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#4 Shaan Aslam

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 03:43 PM

A "fat man" is a 4foot by 4tube Kino Flo. I don't know how local this term is, as I've ran into some people in LA who aren't familiar with it.
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#5 Zachary J Esters

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 06:21 AM

Hi Shaan!


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
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#6 Pj Earley

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 09:32 PM

5k hmi through Unbleached Muslin, Through half frost


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