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Lighting using a cellphone


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#1 Chris Spatafora

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 01:40 PM

Hi all,

 

I'm gaffing a short in 2 weeks, and one of the scenes is calling for an actors face to be illiuminated by a cell phone. We're trying to shoot this on the RED Scarlet, at T4, 320ISO, so I need about 64FC.

 

My issue is with getting enough foot candles to illuminate the face at those settings (he is strapped down to a table), and the monster that pops up just behind him (don't mind if it drops to 2.8). I'm told they also want to see the phone in the shot, that's my dilemma

 

To that end, I was wondering if there were anything I could build that would give me the effect I'm looking for. I've tried it with an actual flashlight app, but I lose too much once i get past just over 3/4 of a foot from the source, and the phone has to be right on top of the guy.

 

Any help would be very much appreciated.

 

Thanks!


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#2 Albion Hockney

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 02:16 PM

t4 at 320 a phone is not going to do it on its own even with the "flashlight" mode. I would tell the DP he needs to compromise his Exposure choices (higher iso wide open on the lenses) or you will need to fake the source meaning that it will not look as natrualistic of course.

 

 

You can probably look into the brightest phone on the market and see if it will do it....but I doubt it.

 

With a lightpanel or any other small daylight  soft source and some flags and black wrap you can probably get a similar look but as the talents face moves around or the phone moves around it will not match perfectly so thus being less natrual.

 

 

what are thinking about building....your saying a phone prop with a brighter source in it? .....maybe you could look into installing some LED's on the front of a phone and hiding then wiriting that into some sorta battery but that would take some serious work to get right probably ....have you seen the roscoe light pads maybe that could work?


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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 03:30 PM

I did a scene in a darkened theater in the second season of "Smash" where a character annoys another with his blinding bright cell phone in the dark -- I ended up shoot shooting at T/2 at 1260 ISO with a 240 degree shutter I believe.  I may have even gone to 1600 ISO. The iPhone had a black white screen cranked to maximum brightness. Now in this case, the phone had to seem insanely bright in a dark theater, enough to be annoying to the people sitting near the caller.

 

In this case, you don't need that much exposure, but T/4 at 320 ISO isn't going to cut it, unless you want to tape LiteRibbon LED's to the off-camera side of the phone.


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#4 Chris Millar

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 07:22 PM

Not sure of the complications but maybe fill a prop phone up with LEDs under a layer of diffusion - power via cable maybe, taped to talents arm etc...

 

?


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#5 Leonardo Brocato

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 05:21 AM

Try to have on the scene a big cell phone even bigger than the iphone, like A Samsung S3 o S4 with a big screen and tape it a Rosco litepad, the smallest fit in the screen and the Litepad HO i'ts also dimmable and very small,take a look, i have one for this using the only question i'ts the cable for the battery pack but maybe you could try to have an adaptor and plug it via Usb on the phone. They work on 12v but if you give it 6v or 4v from the phone it works with less power. But also there is a very cheap nonpro solution made by Ikea with round led for houses...... i'm know using those like litepads doing the pc monitor changing color in rgb, i'ts very cheap and ugly but  maybe could work better for your problem.
I understand that rent a litepad kit for one shot will be crazy so you can try this
http://www.ikea.com/...ducts/80192378/


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#6 Chris Millar

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 07:11 AM

But also there is a very cheap nonpro solution made by Ikea with round led for houses....

 

Yip, funny we have some Ikea jobbies in our place right here ;)

 

4 'pads' each with 9 LEDs in them, you could probably get 2 easily onto the space of a larger smart phone (just don't plug in the other two)

 

Supply says it outputs 12v, so you're good to go with batteries if need be...

 

Looking at the IKEA website also there's actually quite a few options, some maybe better, maybe the strips... - but these are ones we have:

 

dioder-led-multi-use-light__70153_PE1855

 

They're 'warm' if that means anything to you, holding up my HTC one on full white is much colder in comparison


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#7 Chris Spatafora

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 07:44 AM

Thanks for all the replies!

 

I'm liking the idea of the LEDs on the phone. I think I'll end up doing an empty otterbox with the LiteRibbon LED with some kind of light diffusion to make it look like a screen.

 

Even metering my friend's note 3, it still didn't give me enough.

 

They're 'warm' if that means anything to you, holding up my HTC one on full white is much colder in comparison

 

We are looking to keep it as cold as possible, but I love the idea that they can run off a 12V battery!

 

Would keeping it at T2.8-ish at like 400ISO and the Litestrip LEDs give me enough?


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#8 Chris Millar

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 04:12 PM

Would keeping it at T2.8-ish at like 400ISO and the Litestrip LEDs give me enough?

That, you'll have to test.

I'm thinking yes, but of course it depends on the rato you're after with respect to all the other exposures ;)

(If any? sorry, writing this on a phone so I can't go back and read the thread without e possibility if losing my reply so far)
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#9 Chris Millar

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 04:14 PM

Just read the thread properly and I see David had already mentioned LEDs !

Oop :/
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#10 Chris Spatafora

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 08:26 AM

That's what I figured. But at least I have a plan now!

 

Thanks for all the help!


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