Jump to content




Photo

Lighting Strategy Feedback


  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 Sebastien Scandiuzzi

Sebastien Scandiuzzi
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 35 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Seattle

Posted 07 June 2016 - 07:56 PM

 

Hey Everyone, 

1970's coming of age story. Scene is the turing point in the film. The lead is a young girl who boards the bus alone hoping to find a better life. The cinematography has been consistently 'natural light' mainly because of budget, we definitely have been supplementing when we can but most of the film has been day exterior and there's not much we could do beyond neg fill and bounce. The bus drive starts off dramatically, she notices a man a few rows in front of her masterbating (int/night). As the bus continues, its a long drive, she transitions from fear to hope (int/day/sunset). Because the lead is under 18, we are running into union problems and parent's worries with driving at night, so we having to cheat and doing a poor mans process (without the process trailer) in a parking lot and blacking out the windows for day for night. 

Here's my plan for the night, dramatic scene. 

Ambient fill: 3200K single tube Kinos (3 end to end on passenger side, same on driver) tucked away in the overhead luggage 

Key: Hard overhead 'puck lights' above the lead girl and in the seat ahead of the 'masterbating man' (I can't justify him having his overhead light on, plus, I'd like him to be more silhouette).  

Fill: Taped mini flows on seat backs in front of lead girl (if needed) and for the man (opposite side of camera for silhouette effect). 

Question, I'm not a fan of doing it this way but if we do go this route by blacking out all the windows, whats a good solution to add a few passing cars? She would be traveling on long roads without much traffic but still, not having any atmosphere just screams day for night. Since there are more then a few setups, I can't do dusk for night either. Was thinking of passing some light through a few of the blacked out windows across from the lead girl by creating a sort of blacked out tent to pan a few sources through? 

Sunset/Int. Mood is happier/hopeful. Bus is both moving.

Keeping with the established aesthetic of previous scenes, I'm aiming to keep it simple. The windows will be gelled with ND and since I won't have a generator nor does the bus have enough power so I'll use either bounce or use 1x1 LEDs (4) for fill for the lead girl when she is looking out the window, I need to see what she is looking at (landscape) as well as seeing her reaction, pivotal moment. I'd love for the light to be more directional but since we are filming in Washington State cheating for 1970s Northern CA, the landscape is more important then the direction of the sun. If it is flat, I'm thinking of double or single net but if there are better suggestions, love to hear them. Budget is a big factor, we don't have much. 

Love to know if there is an easier way, a better way, or any thoughts in general. I'm filming June 11/12 and have 1 day of prep. 1 Gaffer, 1 Key Grip. 

I'm attaching the bus, which needs a ton of work and Art Dep is already working on it, windows will have pull curtains, sheer. 

Apologies for the long post!! Thanks in advance!

 

Attached Images

  • IMG_1403.jpg

  • 0




#2 Sebastien Scandiuzzi

Sebastien Scandiuzzi
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 35 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Seattle

Posted 08 June 2016 - 12:08 AM

Maybe I should have written a few controversial tags: #digital>film, #allfilmafter1970sucks, #(insert name)isthebestcinematographerever, #RED>Alexa :)


  • 1

#3 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 18788 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 08 June 2016 - 01:05 AM

I guess you don't have much choice but to tent the bus, except that one grip isn't enough to safely build a tent around a bus, plus it needs to be fairly large to keep it back from the windows and have room to pass a light through.  You might be better off in a big empty garage so you can just put some large blacks on frames outside.

 

ND is tricky, especially if you can't afford hard acrylic ND panels.  For one thing, ND looks heavier when viewed at a raking angle, and second, it's hard to get rid of the ripples.


  • 0

#4 Sebastien Scandiuzzi

Sebastien Scandiuzzi
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 35 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Seattle

Posted 08 June 2016 - 01:37 AM

I guess you don't have much choice but to tent the bus, except that one grip isn't enough to safely build a tent around a bus, plus it needs to be fairly large to keep it back from the windows and have room to pass a light through.  You might be better off in a big empty garage so you can just put some large blacks on frames outside.

 

ND is tricky, especially if you can't afford hard acrylic ND panels.  For one thing, ND looks heavier when viewed at a raking angle, and second, it's hard to get rid of the ripples.

 

 

Thanks David, 

 

Good idea for a garage, maybe they can find one but budget wise, I don't think they'll be able to afford enough crew needed to tent, so it might not work. Ugh. Wonder if panning a lower wattage light from inside the bus could possibly 'sell' it? The shots are mainly mediums, to  closeups

 

What do yo think of the lighting scheme for the night? I'm trying to recreate the overhead 'reading lights' but the ones on this bus don't work and I'm not sure I'd want to use them anyways. I would be able to frame out any lights we do use but not sure what would be a good small hard source. Was thinking of Lowel Pro Lights with a snoot; basic LED adhesive lights from hardware store, bouncing light into a card tapped above her... or is there a better solution? 

 

Sebastien


Edited by Sebastien Scandiuzzi, 08 June 2016 - 01:37 AM.

  • 0

#5 JD Hartman

JD Hartman
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1488 posts
  • Gaffer
  • Edison, N.J. U.S.A.

Posted 08 June 2016 - 05:43 AM

Does the bus run and move, because it look like it's sitting in a junkyard.  That might preclude moving it inside a garage or other structure.  Fixing the reading light/replacing a few bulbs might be cheaper and quicker than installing some type of store bought replacements.


  • 1

#6 Miguel Angel

Miguel Angel
  • Sustaining Members
  • 562 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Spain / Ireland / South Africa

Posted 08 June 2016 - 06:49 AM

Well, 

 

If production can afford another grip for the prep day you could use aluminium tubes and rig them on the bus on one side or on both to create a big tent which is very cheap and definitely can be done in one day (tubes cost almost nothing and the G&E department have loads of them), then you can attach black solids to the tubes to create your black tent, however, as David said, you need to have at least 3 or 4 meters to make sure that you can place some lights outside to create the moving lights. 

 

For the "moving lights" my suggestion would be to place mirrors in front of each window, high and slightly tilted towards the windows. 

Then, you can aim a couple of lights straight to the mirrors while panning left and right the light. 

 

You can even add a couple of triangular moving mirrors here and then and aim some coloured lights at them while moving the triangular mirrors so you have some colours "from the city" or "from cars". 

 

If you are looking for simplicity, would it be possible to fix / replace the light which is in the middle of the bus? If that's a light of course! Then you can supplement with a couple of Bi-colours.

 

On the other hand.. can the bus being driven at night from the set to the girl's house? :D :D :D ;) 

 

Have a good day. 


  • 1

#7 Sebastien Scandiuzzi

Sebastien Scandiuzzi
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 35 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Seattle

Posted 08 June 2016 - 09:16 AM

Does the bus run and move, because it look like it's sitting in a junkyard.  That might preclude moving it inside a garage or other structure.  Fixing the reading light/replacing a few bulbs might be cheaper and quicker than installing some type of store bought replacements.

 

Thanks JD. I know, it looks horrible in the picture but its drivable. In no way is it perfect working order but it works. I tried to turn the reading lights on, did a check of the fuses but wasn't able to get them to work, hence the alternate solutions. 


Edited by Sebastien Scandiuzzi, 08 June 2016 - 09:20 AM.

  • 0

#8 JD Hartman

JD Hartman
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1488 posts
  • Gaffer
  • Edison, N.J. U.S.A.

Posted 08 June 2016 - 09:22 AM

Could be something simple: burnt out fuse; bad switch.  A quick diagnostic with a meter or even 12v test lamp.


  • 1

#9 Sebastien Scandiuzzi

Sebastien Scandiuzzi
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 35 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Seattle

Posted 08 June 2016 - 11:13 AM

Well, 

 

If production can afford another grip for the prep day you could use aluminium tubes and rig them on the bus on one side or on both to create a big tent which is very cheap and definitely can be done in one day (tubes cost almost nothing and the G&E department have loads of them), then you can attach black solids to the tubes to create your black tent, however, as David said, you need to have at least 3 or 4 meters to make sure that you can place some lights outside to create the moving lights. 

 

For the "moving lights" my suggestion would be to place mirrors in front of each window, high and slightly tilted towards the windows. 

Then, you can aim a couple of lights straight to the mirrors while panning left and right the light. 

 

You can even add a couple of triangular moving mirrors here and then and aim some coloured lights at them while moving the triangular mirrors so you have some colours "from the city" or "from cars". 

 

If you are looking for simplicity, would it be possible to fix / replace the light which is in the middle of the bus? If that's a light of course! Then you can supplement with a couple of Bi-colours.

 

On the other hand.. can the bus being driven at night from the set to the girl's house? :D :D :D ;)

 

Have a good day. 

Ha ha!! Good idea :) Much better then my idea of giving the Mother the wrong location address.  :)  ;)

 

Love the mirror idea! From your description, wouldn't the mirror need to be positioned below the windows if the lights were of passing cars or was your suggestion to simulate street lamps? And since they need to be1970s headlights (sealed beam halogen), I'm thinking of using par cans with gel (if needed)? 


  • 0

#10 Miguel Angel

Miguel Angel
  • Sustaining Members
  • 562 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Spain / Ireland / South Africa

Posted 08 June 2016 - 05:43 PM

Hi!

I was suggesting the idea of the mirrors being up high and tilted to simulate the street lamps, 3 or 4 would be more than enough as you said that you are going to go for mediums and close-ups. 

 

The triangular mirrors should be on the ground or a bit (just a tad) higher if you want to simulate headlights. 

 

But definitely the best idea is driving the actress to her house at the end of the day while taking a bit of a detour! XD haha

 

Have a lovely day! 


  • 1

#11 Sebastien Scandiuzzi

Sebastien Scandiuzzi
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 35 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Seattle

Posted 08 June 2016 - 11:44 PM

Hi!

I was suggesting the idea of the mirrors being up high and tilted to simulate the street lamps, 3 or 4 would be more than enough as you said that you are going to go for mediums and close-ups. 

 

The triangular mirrors should be on the ground or a bit (just a tad) higher if you want to simulate headlights. 

 

But definitely the best idea is driving the actress to her house at the end of the day while taking a bit of a detour! XD haha

 

Have a lovely day! 

 

Really helpful, thanks Miguel!


  • 0

#12 Satsuki Murashige

Satsuki Murashige
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3081 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 09 June 2016 - 12:19 AM

Could you shoot the bus night interiors as green screen instead of poor man's process? Could be more convincing than tenting unless you are planning lots of camera movement.
  • 0


Aerial Filmworks

Ritter Battery

Visual Products

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Abel Cine

Glidecam

CineLab

Tai Audio

CineTape

Zylight

Willys Widgets

Paralinx LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

The Slider

Technodolly

Pro 8mm

rebotnix Technologies

rebotnix Technologies

Technodolly

Glidecam

Rig Wheels Passport

CineTape

Tai Audio

Paralinx LLC

Visual Products

Willys Widgets

Aerial Filmworks

CineLab

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

The Slider

Zylight

Abel Cine

Ritter Battery

Pro 8mm

Broadcast Solutions Inc