I have a challenging shoot coming up and would appreciate advice from anyone who has tried something like this. I have to simulate a day interior time-lapse - basically just a room with shadows from a window pane and furniture tracking across the floor as if during an entire day. I can’t do a real time time-lapse because we only have the location for one day, and have no idea what the weather will be doing - plus we want more than one take per day. So here is my plan. I would appreciate any input with regard to how it can be improved, or whether it might even work at all:
We are shooting at night, so as to control as much of the light as possible. I am renting an Arri M18 to be our sun, and putting it on a small crane which will sit on a Matthews Doorway Dolly. I am putting that dolly as far as possible away from the exterior wall I will be shooting the light through - probably around 25’. The exterior wall I am shooting through will actually be faked by putting up duvetyne walls with a small gap, into which I will place the window pane I am using to cast shadows into the interior of the room. I will balance the interior light and the “sun” by using some kind of fill lights inside the room - maybe Kinos or maybe tungsten lights with a little CTB to minimize the color differential between them and the HMI sun. I will create the moving shadows by craning the M18 up and down while dollying it across the floor. My plan is to add a small amount of atmosphere into the room with a DF-50 hazer, to try to make the sunlight streaming through the window somewhat visible.
My biggest concern is making the M18 look like the sun inside the room, and not like a big spotlight hitting the floor or walls. I have experimented a little with smaller lights and it is pretty challenging to prevent this spotlight effect. I think using the edge of the beam to cast the shadows rather than the center of the beam may be helpful. But I would really appreciate any advice from anyone who has experience with this. Thanks for your help! Dave