I'm DOPing a short film this week, just got back from the first shooting day of 4. It's a drama/thriller short film set in one house, for the duration of one night in the world of the narrative. The main rooms we are shooting in are small bedrooms, and a tiny bathroom.
Today I had one of those days where I wasn't happy with any of the shots, I knew why I wasn't happy, but I just couldn't figure out 'how' to fix the shot and make it the standard I am always going for. I'm guessing I'm not alone with this, like anything in the world, you have good and bad days.
For example, one of the scenes was a tiny 8x8foot (if not smaller) bedroom, of our main actress on her laptop whilst laying on the bed. With the kit I have available, I was able to raise a 2kw blonde just high enough from the exterior to light the room, which is on the first floor. This usually works for me for larger rooms, however with the room being so small, the light was just thrown and bounced all over the place. It would be interesting to figure out how you would light a similar scene? If you could have any lighting kit what would you chose to do this?
Another scene I struggled with a lot was a day for night scene in the small bathroom. We had to tin foil all of the windows to cheat that it was night time, which meant I could only light from the interior. There isn't even a way of getting a light into the bathroom from the exterior even if we were shooting at night. The bathroom was fully tiled with white shiny tiles, so whatever light I had in the room just bounced everywhere once again. I went for a blue gelled LED to give the bathroom a blue tint, and the 2kw with CTO 1/2 on the landing outside the bathroom, to create some colour depth when the bathroom door is opened by the character. Once the character was in the bathroom, her close-up was just flat/boring in terms of lighting. I tried adding a warmer LED to add some contrast, however even at the lowest intensity, this was bouncing everywhere and creating even flatter light on the subject. Absolute mayhem!
I guess it would be interesting to hear about similar experiences, and maybe how you solved them.