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Lighting for a short film-moonlight and fire


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#1 Mathew Collins

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 10:58 AM

Hi Everyone,

 

I am doing a low budgeted short movie. This happens in night in side an abandoned building room. There are 2 windows for the room.

 

There are 3 characters in the shot movie. During the story, the characters set a campfire.

 

I am planning for two possible light sources. 1) Moonlight coming thru the windows. 2) Light from the fire.

The camera which, I would be using Canon 5DM3 and a zoom lens with f/4 opening.

 

My doubts are,

 

1. What are the lighting equipments required for this type of lighting setup?

2. What would be the Color Temp to set?

 

 


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#2 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 12:50 PM

The type of the light source for the moonlight would also depend upon the set.  Do you have any pictures you can post?...

 

As for the color temperature, I'm assuming you'd want the fire to look orange and the moonlight to look blue.  So you can achieve this a number of different ways, but it all depends on what kind of look you are going for.  How blue do you want the moonlight to be and how orange do you want the fire to appear?  What will be the dominant color(s) in the palette?...


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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 30 December 2015 - 04:29 PM

The simplest thing would be to use HMI's and other daylight sources for the moon and firelight plus orange-gelled tungsten for the fire.  As for color temp, you'd probably use between 3200K to 4300K depending on how much blue you want out of the moonlight.  With digital color-correction, you can also pull down the blue channel chroma to get a more desaturated blue.

 

But some people prefer a much paler blue compared to the orange fire and will use tungstens with only 1/4 CTB on them for the moonlight.

 

As for lighting equipment for the moonlight outside the windows, it depends on how big, tall, and high the windows are and your budget, will you have a generator or are you limited to a household circuit, and how many circuits can you draw from, etc.

 

It also depends whether the firelight is the primary illumination for every shot and the moonlight is just very dim to keep the backgrounds from falling to black, or if more of the action takes place further from the fire, or the fire is very small, so that the moonlight becomes the primary source.


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#4 timHealy

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Posted 02 January 2016 - 10:55 PM

For all sorts of flicker effects in a box, Magic Gadget Shadowmaker is an awesome tool if you don't have a lighting board and a programmer. it can control 3-20 amp circuits with some quick and easy settings, from rhythmic to erratic fire or tv. It can control 3 - 2ks or 3 household light bulbs. or just one. The first circuit powers the whole device.

 

http://www.magicgadg...ct/shadowmaker/

 

best

 

Tim


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#5 David Landau

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Posted 03 January 2016 - 03:57 PM

When shooting at night, the light coming through the window doesn't need to be a very powerful unit.  As David mentioned, a lot will depend on your power source.  Mole, litepanel, Desist all make "2k" Daylight LED lights, which will give you a very nice blue through the window without gel and using only around 900 watts of power. There are also the Bee Hive plasma lights which are bright and use low wattage. For the fire, you could use two inkies or 150w fresnels on the floor, one with half CTO and one with a stray color. You can run them through a flickerbox or use two hand dimmers and have someone just dim them up and down erratically - never letting either go below 50%.  Balance for for 3200, unless you want the blue less saturated. But remember, in real life moonlight is around 5600k and our brains have balanced our vision to something around 2,800k. So letting the blue be blue is actually more natural. 

 

The main question is what is the emotional content of the scene? Is it frightening? Sad? Romantic? Each one would be lit sightly different, changes in the contrasts and whether you're adding kicks or backlight. Do you want the rest of the room to fall off into an unknown black oblivion or be a safe haven for the characters?


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#6 David Landau

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Posted 04 January 2016 - 09:13 AM

Correction - the "2k" daylight LEDs use only around 400w. The new Mole LED "5k" uses 900 watts.


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#7 Mathew Collins

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 07:49 PM

The type of the light source for the moonlight would also depend upon the set.  Do you have any pictures you can post?...

 

As for the color temperature, I'm assuming you'd want the fire to look orange and the moonlight to look blue.  So you can achieve this a number of different ways, but it all depends on what kind of look you are going for.  How blue do you want the moonlight to be and how orange do you want the fire to appear?  What will be the dominant color(s) in the palette?...

 

Bill,

 

The background of the story is 3 characters are suspected as a part extremist group but in actual they are not. While coming back to their village after watching a movie, police try to chase them and protagonists finally reach an abandoned house. There the short film starts from there. How they ended up there would be revealed in the story by dialogues.

 

The building have 2 windows.

 

I am thoughtful about the patch created on the floor by the moonlight. The protagonists would sit in that patch, make a campfire discuss things.

 

So the light sources I could think about in that situation are

1. moonlight cumming thru windows and

2. fire

 

Apart from that I think I need some to provide a visibility of the room. As the story is in progress, the protagonists would move around the room.


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#8 Mathew Collins

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 08:07 PM

When shooting at night, the light coming through the window doesn't need to be a very powerful unit.  As David mentioned, a lot will depend on your power source.  Mole, litepanel, Desist all make "2k" Daylight LED lights, which will give you a very nice blue through the window without gel and using only around 900 watts of power. There are also the Bee Hive plasma lights which are bright and use low wattage. For the fire, you could use two inkies or 150w fresnels on the floor, one with half CTO and one with a stray color. You can run them through a flickerbox or use two hand dimmers and have someone just dim them up and down erratically - never letting either go below 50%.  Balance for for 3200, unless you want the blue less saturated. But remember, in real life moonlight is around 5600k and our brains have balanced our vision to something around 2,800k. So letting the blue be blue is actually more natural. 

 

The main question is what is the emotional content of the scene? Is it frightening? Sad? Romantic? Each one would be lit sightly different, changes in the contrasts and whether you're adding kicks or backlight. Do you want the rest of the room to fall off into an unknown black oblivion or be a safe haven for the characters?

 

David,

 

>The main question is what is the emotional content of the scene? Is it frightening? Sad? Romantic? Each one would be lit sightly different, changes in the contrasts and whether you're adding kicks or backlight. Do you want the rest of the room to fall off into an unknown black oblivion or be a safe haven for the characters?

 

Yes. I want the rest of the room to fall off into an unknown black oblivion or be a safe haven for the characters. This because the characters in the movie just escaped from police.

 

I am attaching my plan as a diagram.

Attached Images

  • Diagram.JPG

Edited by Mathew Collins, 05 January 2016 - 08:09 PM.

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#9 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 05 January 2016 - 08:14 PM

Yes. I want the rest of the room to fall off into an unknown black oblivion or be a safe haven for the characters. This because the characters in the movie just escaped from police.

 

In that case, I would go for an overall warmer look but maybe still have the cool blue light coming in through the window to remind the viewers that there is still an element of danger outside of the characters' "safe zone."


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#10 Mathew Collins

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 10:33 AM

Just tried to light the scene with available lights due to the lack of budget. Kindly share your advice.

 

 

Right window- 240W Kino

Left window - 400 W metal halide (locally available - not  very good for film lighting.

Character- Key light - 240 W Kino with Garware in front of it

Character- Fill light -  80W tungsten inside a softbox

Background of the scene - Warm 250 W(5x50w) self made Kino type light with Garware in front of it.

Above the character - Cool 250 W(5x50w) self made Kino type light with Garware in front of it.

Attached Images

  • aavo00_1.jpg

Edited by Mathew Collins, 22 January 2016 - 10:35 AM.

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#11 Freya Black

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 11:32 AM

I think that looks nice considering the rather pathetic lighting availability! :)

 

Something I wondered is if it might be good to also shoot some footage of the actors running away from the cops.

You could not make it clear what they are running away from to solve having to show any more actors and also to make it more interesting.

If you have an exterior you can use for the building then you could show them all arriving in the building, and then when they are talking about it you could have some flash back to them running from the police. This would help break it up a bit to make it slightly less stagey. Anyway maybe you have enough on your plate already but thought I'd say!

 

Freya


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#12 Guy Holt

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 01:04 PM

Just tried to light the scene with available lights due to the lack of budget. Kindly share your advice.

 

Can you post a frame that shows the fire in the shot as well.

 

Guy Holt, Gaffer

ScreenLight & Grip

Lighting Rental & Sales in Boston


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#13 JD Hartman

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 09:09 PM

Garware??  This stuff?   http://www.garwaresu...-rejection.html


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#14 Mathew Collins

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 09:29 PM

Garware??  This stuff?   http://www.garwaresu...-rejection.html

 

We call 'Garware' locally as 'Butter paper'.

 

 

As shown in the video It is like a plastic paper. At the edge of paper which i have used, it is written as 'Garware'.


Edited by Mathew Collins, 22 January 2016 - 09:30 PM.

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#15 Mathew Collins

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 10:05 PM

 

Can you post a frame that shows the fire in the shot as well.

 

Guy Holt, Gaffer

ScreenLight & Grip

Lighting Rental & Sales in Boston

 

I am not planning to show the full fire in the initial part of the scene. Still a part of the fire is visible in the shoulder shot.

 

Color Temperature - 3800K

 

Background window - Right window- 240W Kino

Character- Key light -  80W tungsten inside a softbox + fire

Attached Images

  • aavo_2.jpg

Edited by Mathew Collins, 22 January 2016 - 10:06 PM.

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