Jump to content


Photo

Lighting a movie theatre


  • Please log in to reply
No replies to this topic

#1 Matt Lazzarini

Matt Lazzarini
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 53 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Toronto, ON

Posted 17 June 2005 - 09:53 PM

Hi all,

I ran a search but couldn't find much, so I hope I didn't miss anything. First-time poster, so take it easy on me ;)

In about two weeks, I'll be shooting a spec commercial for a competition the Toronto Film Fest is having in conjunction with Motorola - basically, you have to incorporate both an anti-cell-phone-in-theatre message with an anti-piracy message in the same ad. The best spot gets screened before every showing at TIFF, which means 900 shows. Pretty good publicity B)

I'm really looking forward to this shoot, as it'll be my third DOP gig this month, with some good stuff to add to my reel - now if only I can find out a way to get what the mystics call 'paid'. Apparently it has to do with receiving 'money', which sounds fantastic. I look forward to being able to pay rent and maybe eat.

We're going to shoot S16, on the new Vision2 Expression 500T. I'm very impressed with this stock and chose the 35mm version for a short back in January. I've heard the 16 blows up well to 35mm, which I think is the plan for the winner. It also suits the small lighting package, which consists of the following (we're getting some assistance from our former school, Humber College):

Arri 650w kit
500w Bambino kit
Dedo kit
2x 1200w fresnel HMIs
750w Leko
1k Redhead w/chimera
6 by 6
12 by 2
Usual grip stuff - C-stands, cardellinis, foamcore, etc

After some discussions with a former teacher and awesome DP, Marcus Elliott, I've been thinking of this as a lighting setup:

First off, shoot the key clean, with any blue tint added in post. I'm used to adding color in camera through gels, but I'm thinking about going the other way this time. Thoughts?

For tight shots (which will compose the majority of the spec, especially if we have to cheat an auditorium as a real movie theatre), I'm thinking of erecting a 6 by at roughly 45 degrees to the subject with the white part of the griff and shooting two 650s on dimmers into them, to get a nice bounce but at enough of an angle to still look sexy.

Dimming one or both lights should give a nice screen flicker effect. I've always found it more realistic to have the light on the subject's face fade up and down rather than flicker slightly, especially in a movie theatre scene. Less so for a television screen.

For wider shots (if there even are any), replicate the setup but with the 12 by and one or both HMIs w/ CTO on them.

For the backlight/movie projector, we're gonna fog the room (hopefully haze it if I can push the budget for a haze machine). I'm thinking of using the 750 Leko as the projector beam, with a foamcore disk spun slowly in front of it with holes cut out and various colored gels to simulate it.

I'd rather not have anybody in the theatre go into darkness, as I'm not particularly fond of that. Rather, I was thinking of making some sections of the audience, farthest away from the subject (especially in any medium shots) be at key, with those in between being maybe 1-1/12 stops under. In normal movie theatres, those closest to the walls are usually brighter than those in the middle, mainly because most screens keep their lights on throughout the movie, albeit dimmed down.

Any thoughts from all of you 10x more experience than me would be much appreciated. And any films you can recommend that I could use for reference (including your own) would be helpful. Thanks!
  • 0


Metropolis Post

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

The Slider

rebotnix Technologies

Visual Products

FJS International, LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

Opal

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Aerial Filmworks

Ritter Battery

Technodolly

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Glidecam

Willys Widgets

Abel Cine

CineLab

CineTape

Wooden Camera

Tai Audio

Paralinx LLC

Aerial Filmworks

Glidecam

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Tai Audio

Abel Cine

FJS International, LLC

Willys Widgets

Visual Products

CineLab

CineTape

Rig Wheels Passport

Ritter Battery

Metropolis Post

Opal

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Wooden Camera

Paralinx LLC

The Slider

Technodolly