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Lighting fireplace scene


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#1 Palle Lindqvist

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Posted 04 November 2015 - 04:22 PM

Hi there, 

 

I'm about to do a shoot for a tv production which consists of 4 people sitting in front of a fireplace and having a 

conversation, but I'm struggling to find a good way to light it. 

 

This is the setup:

 

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 22.12.44.png

 

I guess my main concern is keeping the faces well exposed with a nice and soft light but avoiding lighting the

background all to much since it's white walls and the feel is supposed to be cozy and "christmassy"

 

I've considered using some kind of china lantern boomed in the middle of the group, but I'm afraid it will spill all over the place (but i guess it can be controlled somehow with blackwrap?) and also the light coming to much from the top when trying to keep it out of the frame. 

 

The other option I've been considering is using 2  4*4 kinos placed slightly behind each pair and maybe making that work as both a rimlight and a key at the same time. 

 

Oh, and what complicates the whole setup for me is that it will be shot with three cameras, one on each side of the two people and one wide in the covering the scene center on. 

 

What would you guys do in such a situation?

 

 

 


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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 04 November 2015 - 04:43 PM

Generally a 3-camera TV shoot is lit with cross keys from upstage, so you could try Kinos as sort of a soft back/cross key for the 3-shot, which would be a toppy 3/4 frontal key on the side angles, or you could go for one bigger overhead like from a large paper lantern or muslin ball. It can be skirted to help keep it from hitting the background behind the actor's heads but the fireplace wall, being closer, is going to get more of it.

 

I'd keep it dim and shoot at a wide aperture so that the fire acts as more of a key and would naturally fill under the eyes a little.


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#3 Jay Young

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Posted 04 November 2015 - 06:42 PM

You can also put bare quartz bulbs in the fireplace close to the fire as they have to take more heat than the fire gives out anyway, send them to switches and you can pulse the fire...


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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 04 November 2015 - 07:03 PM

It would be hard with three cameras, one looking directly into the fireplace, to hide the bulbs in the fire yet light the actors with them.  Unless the frontal 3-shot is done with a longer lens and there is some foreground element in the bottom middle of the frame that blocks some of the fire to camera.


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#5 JD Hartman

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 06:28 AM

You can also put bare quartz bulbs in the fireplace close to the fire as they have to take more heat than the fire gives out anyway, send them to switches and you can pulse the fire...

 

What about the wiring and sockets for those bulbs?  Close proximity to a lit fire, you've done this?  How close is close?  What material/grade was the wire insulated with?


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#6 Jay Young

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 07:49 AM

 

What about the wiring and sockets for those bulbs?  Close proximity to a lit fire, you've done this?  How close is close?  What material/grade was the wire insulated with?

 

David did it in... Big Sur? Deakens did it in The Big Lebowski, and I'm almost positive Semler did it in Dances with Wolves - Yes, you have to protect the wiring, and obviously not put it directly in the fire.

Although, one could just run bare copper solid core unshielded - but I bet some safety person would frown about that. The bulbs and ceramic can take the heat, but you really don't need a fixture to make a

bulb work. 

 

Finally, they make silicone impregnated shielded wire that is "fireproof" up to +350, which should be close enough for anyone.


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#7 Grégoire Bélien

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 11:20 AM

you might want to take advices from this video, it's a masterclass from DP Dean Semler : 

 

the use of flicker lights can be very impressive for the "fire effect" you want to have. 


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#8 timHealy

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Posted 11 November 2015 - 10:39 PM

A few light bulbs and a Shadowmaker can create any flicker effect you need. Its a great easy product. You can also use it in addition to using real flames in the fireplace if you see the fireplace but or course keep safety in mind with any fire on a film set. Keep plenty of extinguishers around.

 

Tim


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