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Lighting required to shoot a forest during night for a thriller short film

lighting night thriller shoot short film forest

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#1 Dhana Sekar Vijayakumar_62096

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 11:37 AM

Hello everyone,

 

We are planning to shoot a short film which is based a thriller cum horror subject. We are shooting in 5D Mark III, during night. I don't have any idea of lighting the exteriors during night. So, it would be very helpful if anyone from here says what kinda lights and filters i can use for my shoot. Pls do help me out in this. :) 

 

Regards,

Dhana sekar. 


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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 12:39 PM

Since I assume it's a moonlight effect, you'll have to decide if you're going to light or if you're going to use a day for night effect. The lighting required depends on how large an area you're talking about and the action that's taking place, An advantage with the 5d is that its got good sensitivity.

 

Points to consider are the power requirements and if you're going to record sync sound, because that can limit the powering options because of generator noise.

 

I think if we knew a bit more about the scenes you're filming we could be more precise.


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#3 Alexandre de Tolan

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 05:19 PM

Second Brian's comment...


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#4 Guy Holt

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 06:20 PM

 I don't have any idea of lighting the exteriors during night.  

 

Here are some recent threads on lighting at night that may be of help:

 

http://www.cinematography.com/index.php?showtopic=58618

 

http://www.cinematog...ght#entry399691

 

http://www.cinematog...=62140&p=401790

 

Good Luck,

 

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


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#5 Dhana Sekar Vijayakumar_62096

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 11:18 AM

This is the image which where we have planned.. These were taken in my mobile. So, clarity would be very low.  :( IMG_3057.JPG


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#6 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 11:31 AM

What's the action? The nature of the horror the characters are facing? Is the regular planting pattern important?


Edited by Brian Drysdale, 02 March 2014 - 11:31 AM.

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#7 Alexandre de Tolan

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 03:33 PM

What's the action? The nature of the horror the characters are facing? Is the regular planting pattern important?

 

And what type of lighting gear can you get your hands on? Are you planning to shoot such wide shots as the photo you've posted?


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#8 Michael LaVoie

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 05:31 PM

A wooded area at night would be mostly a colder moonlit look.  Often it's hard sources from as high up as you can get em.  Like an HMI Par way up in the back.  You can fill in faces with daylight Kinos to match the light.  The reason I recommend cooler lighting is because there's no motivation for warmer light such as a streetlight or cabin etc. Your base look at night in nature is cool.  Then you can add flashlights or fire or any number of practical lights.  Car headlamps etc and there will be some contrast in the color.  Which is a more traditional look.


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#9 Casey Schmidt

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 04:09 PM

Dhana, yes the biggest question here is what type of gear do you have? Lighting a night exterior can be quite simple with a couple day 5600K  back lights and some fill light either bounced with a big 12X or supplemented with a few soft sources like Kino's or equivalent.  The nice thing about your image of the forest is that the tree clusters are spread out enough for light shafts to fall through the gaps since the branches aren't full up with leaves quite yet. (Get away with using a smaller light! = less money spent. ) If you keep your shots tight, this will help a lot. Night lighting gets expensive really quick for wide shots that need deep background lighting. 


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#10 joshua gallegos

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 11:08 AM

I think every horror movie scene at night, in a forest should be lit the way Tobe Hooper lit 'The Texas Chain Saw Massacre', he did it without a budget with 400ASA stock. 

 

I like how it looks quite realistic by letting the background go completely dark, it's very good blocking.


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#11 Dhana Sekar Vijayakumar_62096

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 01:33 PM

Hello everyone, 

                      Thanks for sparing your time. Here I  have attached 2 more photos in a single photo.. There we do have a chasing scene, one character will be running all around that place in fear. I have planned to shoot some wide shots too since he runs fast in extreme fear. I wish to finish my shoot in a low budget. That's what I fear about. And, in that image,

 

1. Image where that character will be running seeing back in extreme fear and running all around. We will be shooting in various angles, since he runs in a speed and runs around, dashes and falling down, and some shots we have planned to do in that area. 

 

2. Image where a Devil kinda character (say a Half burnt lady) will be sitting in that highlighted place. A character will be walking backwards in fear and something touches his shoulder when he moves backwards. He sees back slowly, we have planned to establish the full character in a Horror kinda lighting. 

 

These things are some of the main things in our short film.. 12.jpg


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#12 Casey Schmidt

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 03:50 PM

Dhana, do you have a realistic list of available equipment and or G&E budget? It's hard to make recommendations with ought knowing some ball park of what you may or may not have access to. Is this a no budget "spit and gaff tape" scenario or is there a thousand or two dollars? cheers, Casey


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#13 Alexandre de Tolan

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 05:56 PM

I think every horror movie scene at night, in a forest should be lit the way Tobe Hooper lit 'The Texas Chain Saw Massacre', he did it without a budget with 400ASA stock. 

 

I like how it looks quite realistic by letting the background go completely dark, it's very good blocking.

 

That's why there are so many options as DOPs out there. I dind't watched the movie and this downsampled Youtube version don't really helps but I find it terrible!

 

I know that horror movies aren't the most truthful scenarios out there and many of them are brought to life with less than credible solutions concerning photography but when I look at this it seems that a spot light comes from nowhere and follows the characters who knows how and why?!...

 

I don't see any motivation at all for the pin pointed light that follows the girl and the killer for that matter. Why is that light there? If the light chooses to follow the characters to whatever they might go who's guiding that light? Or is it a devil's work?

 

For me it would be a better option to fly a 10K HMI from a condor and scrim it's sides to create a punchier path of light (gelled CTB as moonlight), motivating the girl to follow it as we all humans usually do regarding light in obscurity.

 

Regarding the OP question, lighting as to do with credibility at one side and deliberately lying on the other. That said, 90% of good film lighting comes when we deliberately lie to make things credible within a certain narrative (story), content in mind. So to help you light that scene there are some very important questions that need answer:

 

1st - What's the emotional content of that scene and what mood are you after?

2nd - How this scene will gonna fit with the overall mood of the project?

3rd - How many people (actors) participate in this scene?

4th - What tools can you get your hands on to make it work? (I've already asked you this in an earlier post)

5th - What's your schedule and how many assistants will you have to make this work?

 

Picking my earlier choice can make sense within a context but on the other hand it can make no sense at all in another one! The case in point being the most obvious part of it… Tools! If I cannot gather the means to rent a condor, a 10K HMI, pay a Gaffer and his assistants to rig it my initial idea serves nothing and no one.


Edited by Alexandre de Tolan, 05 March 2014 - 05:59 PM.

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#14 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 07:04 PM

In 1974 HMIs had more or less just come out, they didn't have 12k HMIs at the time and that film's budget wouldn't have allowed it. The nearest light would've been a carbon arc brute.

 

I don't think people can really make suggestions until they know the budget or lights available.

 

.


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#15 Alexandre de Tolan

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 07:15 PM

In 1974 HMIs had more or less just come out, they didn't have 12k HMIs at the time and that film's budget wouldn't have allowed it. The nearest light would've been a carbon arc brute.

 

I didn't knew that film was from 74. I must admit that I'm not a horror genre fan :)


Edited by Alexandre de Tolan, 05 March 2014 - 07:16 PM.

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#16 John Miguel King

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 04:26 AM

Wendy Light in a perfect world, innit.


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#17 John Holland

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 08:21 AM

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was shot on 16mm Ektachrome Commercial 7252 film with a speed of 25 ASA . HMI's were not around in 1974 ,so it would have been Brute Arcs.
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