I’m usually more of a camera operator for documentary, but next month I’ll be dping on a short film.
My knowledge in terms of lighting is quit limited so I would love to get some advice.
I’m also french so I do apologies for my english.
The project is very low budget so I won’t get access to much gear.
The camera is going to be an Sony A7s ( 3200 iso - Slog 2 / Variable ND Filter ) with some Samyang Cine prime lenses.
Light wise I’ve got access to :
- 2 CFL Softbox 1000W
- 1 HMI Cine Par 575W
- 1 Redhead 800W
- Diffusion frames, black flag, etc
I could possibly trade the 2 softbox / HMI for a single Fresnel 1000w or a LED 900 Pannel.
We are trying to go for a low-key lighting look to suits the dark mood of the story.
I’m going to talk about 2 scenes here and try to apply your advice/suggestions on all the others.
The first scene take place at night time in a kitchen: a father is cooking dinner for his daughter while chatting. The father is standing in the bar area and the daughter is sitting on the table.
We didn’t do the scout yet but I've received a picture of the location :
My idea was to place a softbox over the table to act as key lighting, directing the light using black wrap. ( + another softbox directed on the father if needed. )
I can’t decide whether or not to use the down lights as practicals, I’m afraid it wouldn’t match the low key look wanted. Which is why I’m thinking about using some more “classic” practicals placed on the background.
I also thought about using the small HMI thought a diffusion frame ( maybe also bounced it ? ) to add a bit of fill.
The second scene takes place at night in a lounge : the father is on the sofa watching the new, while having a drink.
On this location we are going re-arrange the whole space, probably hang some fabrics on the wall as well as other props to make it look more cosy:
Here I would like to use the TV as my key light. For that I wanted to use a softbox placed in front of the tv and wave some gels in front of it to emulate the flickering.
The other softbox would be place behind the sofa to act a fill, motivated by the practicals in the background.
Finally, I was thinking about hazing a little bit all the interior scenes to have some “texture”.
Having never worked with this type of lighting I found it quite hard to visualise how those setups would look on camera. I’m open to any suggestions / idea, and would love to hear how you guys would go about lighting those scenes ?