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Achieving a practical low to high key lighting change?

cinematography lighting

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#1 Bradley Stearn

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 06:19 PM

I've been bought onto a music video as DOP super last minute, and literally have a few days to location scout and plan everything. I've had to put a lighting rental list together without even seeing the locations which is crazy, although i've seen photos and have done my best to understand everything. The music video is going to have a high key american high school feel to it, we are shooting in the UK so in terms of production design theres a lot for the art team to do. One of the locations we are shooting in is a hallway of lockers, it's quite short, about 20 feet long. One of the scenes that the director has asked me to light involves a practical light change from being low key, to quite a lot of daylight/sunlight entering the hallway. I can't seem to attach our location photo due to file size, however above our lockers is a 3 foot gap leading into another room. My plan is to place my lighting in that room, creating an artificial row of windows above the lockers. These windows will be out of my shot, just above our top edge of frame. 

 

For my high key daylight look, plan to make use of a 1.2kw HMI, along with a couple of 250 HMI pars through trace frames to fill the hallway with daylight ambience. Shooting at 5600k in camera. I then plan to have something like a 650w tungsten through a window shaped cookie, casting a beam of warmer 'sunlight' along the back wall of the hallway, and probably another smaller tungsten unit doing the same towards the foreground of the hallway. A fairly basic 'skylight' and 'sunlight' setup I suppose, it should look natural. Potentially a little bit of atmos to diffuse the tungsten lights.

 

For the low key setup the idea is that the windows are now covered, as if the blinds are down, and only the internal lights are lighting the set. I will probably turn off the actual practical lighting, and make use of my own. The plan is to mega boom a 4ft 4 kino over the top of the lockers, so it is position lengthways down the corridor as a top light, lighting only a portion of the hallway. Potentially a very soft fill coming from just above and behind the camera to light the set a few stops under what the kino is doing.

 

Below are some random examples of lighting, not exactly how I plan to make it look, but a clear representation of the difference in lighting between the two setups. 

 

maxresdefault.jpg

823-12_d1.jpg

 

Now the tricky thing is that the director wants to try and do a practical change from our low key setup, into the daylight setup, during a key shot in the scene which is a close-up of the female lead in the music video. It doesn't have to look natural in any way, just needs to be an obvious change. I'm thinking about having the tungsten lights on dimmers, and then flags in front of the HMIs that are then swivelled away during the change, flooding the set with the daylight ambience. 

 

I really haven't done a setup like this before, especially with kit like this either, so would love to hear how others have achieved this kind of change in the past. Im looking forward to reading the replies. 

 

 


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#2 Jay Young

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 05:57 AM

You could do it with one person per light, and a loudspeaker.

 

Just count down and have all the crew ready to go with the change over.

Just make sure your tungsten sources provide the same amount of key/fill as the HMI's.

 

I was trying to find a video that was recently moving round youtube where they did this long take but change the entire scene, lighting, set about every 10 seconds. 

It was quite complicated, and everyone had to hit their marks precisely - it was well rehearsed.


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