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Int. Night Scene. How can I light it?


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#1 Vitor Delduque

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 11:50 AM

Hey!

My name is Vitor. I'm a cinematography student and I'm recording a short film in Brazil :)

We pretend to record an interior night scene this weekend: lights out, moonlight comming from a big window of 3x5 meters, in a 9 meters height room.

Sooo.... Do you have any sugestion about how can I light this with the equipments bellow? My first idea was -basically- light the ceiling from below and use it to fill all the room. And put some lights outside to simulate the moon.

The equipments we have here are:
-A6000 Sony Alpha
-24 f2.8 Nikon
-50 f1.8 Nikon

-6 1000w quartz flood lights with bandoors
-Ctb, 2x ctb and cto
-Diffusion paper (I mean... The paper we use in kitchen to make cookies, haha).
-Black flags (0.6x0.6 meters, 1.2x0.6 meters and 1.2x1.2 meters)

Thats it.

I love this page and all the coments here. You all makes me feel confortable to wright my firt post :)

Thank you veery much! And sorry about my english, haha
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#2 Dawna Sirard

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 12:02 PM

Hi Vitor,

 

I don't have an answer for you but I'm in the same situation with a shoot (night scene, lights out, moonlight, etc...) - so I'll be watching your post for info.

 

Good luck with your shoot!

Dawna


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#3 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 12:12 PM

well, ok i'll give it a whirl.

I think the problem is you're kinda dealing with the wrong lights--  though it depends on how you want it to look of course.

For the moonlight, what I would want to do would be bounce the 1Ks with 1/4 or 1/2 CTB and maybe a little plus green (1/4) into a large, maybe 12x12 ultrabounce outside the window so you have a soft moonlight coming in from up high (basically the 12x12 is raised above the window on stands and the lights are angled into it). and let it wash into the room.

Then inside the room I'd use lamps with 60w bulbs and dimmers on them (maybe even 11w frosted bulbs without dimmers) for hits of light here and there. It needs to be brighter than the moonlight but not soooo bright that it overpowers the moonlight (you may need to scrim your 1ks, i'd use 3 probably outside into the 12x12).

 

Then wherever the talent happens to be for the scene I'd "push" the key, be that the moonlight or a lamp in the room with a 24" chinaball or, ideally, a Jemball (but that's expensive). If it's a regular lamp then I'd go for a PH212 bulb on a dimmer in the china ball to be bright but also warm like the rest of the lights in the scene-- again not SUPER bright, but the brightest part of the frame, slightly, so the eye is drawn to it.

 

If lit by moonlight then I'd probably use a Cree 100W LED as it can be dimmed  and is "daylight" like the moon-light would be. I'd wrap it in a little CTS (1/2) to get it close to the moon-light color temp and also use a dimmer to keep the brightness just right.

 

Now this is assuming you can rent/beg/borrow/buy these things for the shoot.

 

If you can't, then why moonlight? I hardly ever have moonlight in my bedroom here in LA, and unless your location is out in the country, I personally find moonlight distracting (i think most of us know in cities we see no moon) so i'd maybe make it some other kind of night feeling light.

The way to make it "feel" like night, I think it to make sure the light coming in the window, whatever color and source it may be, is DIMMER than the lights in the room, maybe even 2 stops dimmer. If this is the case, then you have a dim gloaming coming in the window, maybe it's a streetlight or something, and a brighter light in the room from a practical augmented and wrapped with one of your tungsten lights through a good deal of diffusion and flagged well to confine it just to the talent area


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#4 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 01:59 PM

Along similar lines as Adrian, I think having a large soft bluish source outside from above the window would look right.

If you get a large white bed sheet and tape it to some PVC pipe, you can make a large very lightweight diffusion frame. If you can get some heavy duty combo stands (even good c-stands might be ok), two Mafer or Cardellini clamps, and lots of sandbags, then you can raise the frame up about a meter and angle it down.

Always have two guys holding the stands at all times, because such a big diffusion frame will become a huge sail and could easily fall over or fly away and hurt somebody. If it's windy, don't do it.

Then take your lights, put them on the ground and aim them up into the bed sheet. Space them apart so that you can fill the whole frame and you will have a nice big soft light. Because those lights will get very hot, make sure not to put them on anything that will burn. Ideally, you would have 1/8 apple boxes will baby plates screwed into them, but you can also place them onto sandbags.

For the blue color, you can either put CTB on the lights, or just change the color temperature on the camera to below 3200K. You could try 2500K to start out.
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#5 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 02:02 PM

I dunno about a color temp change here Satsuki; mostly because if there are any lights in the room they turn on, it'll mess up their rendition. I think gel really is the only way here, assuming there will be other illumination aside from just the moonlight.

 

(god i hate moonlight! I think i've only ever done it once and I hate it!)


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#6 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 02:20 PM

I'd agree if he wanted practicals on in the room, but he said he wanted a 'lights out' scene with moonlight as the only source. So I'm assuming he wants all of his lights to render the same cool blue color.

Yep, moonlight is very tricky. I think it can look really good when done right though. I keep thinking about those scenes in Michael Mann's 'Manhunter' and 'Heat' where he shoots day for night and just gels the windows super blue. I've got an ocean view in a relatively dark beach town and at times it does look like that. LA definitely has a different vibe, but I think you still do get moonlight mixing with the sodium and mercury vapor streetlights at times because of the low buildings.
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#7 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 02:21 PM

Ahh i missed that.


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#8 Vitor Delduque

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 03:13 PM

Woah,

A lot of good comments! Thanks! - Taking notes, haha -

So, let's go inside the story: the house where all happens is a camp house, away from any city. This scene is about a blackout. The only source left is the moon.

I'd like to fill the interior without too much shadows. Just enough light to make the room visible. And use the moonlight to contrast the subject and define some shadows (from the big window) on the ground.

I'll try to post a reference from the storyboard!

Thanks veery much for all these awesome answers :D
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#9 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 04:07 PM

I'd like to fill the interior without too much shadows. Just enough light to make the room visible. And use the moonlight to contrast the subject and define some shadows (from the big window) on the ground.


Some reference frames from other films or still photos would be helpful. It sounds like you want very soft contrast with the image gradually melting away into the shadows? Sort of like David Fincher's 'Panic Room'?

That's going to be challenging with the equipment that you have, but basically you need a big soft underexposed window light and then soft, subtle ambient fill light inside. Kino Flos and LEDs would be a better tool for this than bouncing 1K tungsten, as that will spread everywhere.

Also, you can try adding a little haze and some mist filters like Tiffen Smoque, Low-Con, or Pro-Mist to help lower the contrast and spread the light into the shadows even more.
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#10 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 04:13 PM

You know; to be honest, Maybe you should think of something else interesting to do. That soft toppy "ambience" look, I dunno, I think it's just kinda mergh, ya know? Do something bold, be brave, be crazy even.


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#11 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 05:07 PM

It's a student project - I think whatever Vitor ends up doing will be a good learning experience! The soft ambience look is a good lighting exercise that requires control and a delicate touch to avoid looking flat.
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#12 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 04:55 PM

True true.


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#13 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 03:19 AM

What you refer to is what I call "room tone". It's basically just a bounce in the ceiling that just gives a very low ambience that's 2-3 stops under, barely perceptible, just to keep the blacks from completely inking up.  I often color this light with whatever light I want to be in the blacks, so that I'm helping along the grade, so to speak. It's almost like flashing the film or using a VariCon in the old days.

 

For moonlight, a good way to do it not too hard is to place a 4x8in bounce above the window on the outside and bounce your lights into that. That way you get a directional but soft moonlight coming in from window which also fills in the wind sills. If you want to go bolder, then cluster the lights together and go direct. I would still put them through some very thin diffusion make the multiple units look like one. You don't want multiple shadows.


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#14 Albion Hockney

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 06:42 AM

Adam, do you have an example of doing the ceiling bounce with color in it?  Would be very interested to see the results from that however subtle it is - that is a cool idea. 


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#15 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 07:02 PM

I did it a lot on the feature Don't Knock Twice, actually. Did it on many of the night interior scenes in the big mansion - especially the darker ones where there was only moonlight coming in. But don't have any good stills or examples to show at the moment. I'm trying to get some clips from he distributor I can show, but so far no luck. You know how that goes...

 

If I can give any tip, it is: always carry a Source 4/Leko light in the package. Sometimes you might ned to cut a very sharp or specific patterned light and place it in a far corner of ceiling or something, just out of frame line, to give a little light or backlight. Very, very useful. And also works very well for "room tone" without spilling everywhere. They have saved my ass more than any other light throughout the years.

 

A good example of when it saved my ass was on the Eminem video for Rap God. Em was going to levitate towards the ceiling in the most climactic rap scene. Director want to shoot it from below, so even though the ceiling was pretty high, by looking up, there was no place to hide a big toplight or "god-light" shining down on Em. Nor was it possible to hang anything there. What to you do? Well, we ended up double sided-taping a bounce card up into ceiling, skirted it with some black cloth we taped and shined two Leko's into the bounce card from ground just off frame. Voila, godlight/toplight created. You can see it from 4:28 in the video. You even see the skirt around the bounce card in some of the shots.

 

https://youtu.be/XbGs_qK2PQA?t=4m28s


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#16 Jae Solina

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 03:54 AM

I did it a lot on the feature Don't Knock Twice, actually. Did it on many of the night interior scenes in the big mansion - especially the darker ones where there was only moonlight coming in. But don't have any good stills or examples to show at the moment. I'm trying to get some clips from he distributor I can show, but so far no luck. You know how that goes...

 

If I can give any tip, it is: always carry a Source 4/Leko light in the package. Sometimes you might ned to cut a very sharp or specific patterned light and place it in a far corner of ceiling or something, just out of frame line, to give a little light or backlight. Very, very useful. And also works very well for "room tone" without spilling everywhere. They have saved my ass more than any other light throughout the years.

 

A good example of when it saved my ass was on the Eminem video for Rap God. Em was going to levitate towards the ceiling in the most climactic rap scene. Director want to shoot it from below, so even though the ceiling was pretty high, by looking up, there was no place to hide a big toplight or "god-light" shining down on Em. Nor was it possible to hang anything there. What to you do? Well, we ended up double sided-taping a bounce card up into ceiling, skirted it with some black cloth we taped and shined two Leko's into the bounce card from ground just off frame. Voila, godlight/toplight created. You can see it from 4:28 in the video. You even see the skirt around the bounce card in some of the shots.

 

https://youtu.be/XbGs_qK2PQA?t=4m28s

Wow! Ive been an eminem fan since he first came out and seeing behind the scenes stuff in the final product is priceless hahaha. I didnt even notice that flag before. Thanks Mr. Frisch thanks for sharing. 


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#17 Jae Solina

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 04:39 AM

I did it a lot on the feature Don't Knock Twice, actually. Did it on many of the night interior scenes in the big mansion - especially the darker ones where there was only moonlight coming in. But don't have any good stills or examples to show at the moment. I'm trying to get some clips from he distributor I can show, but so far no luck. You know how that goes...

 

If I can give any tip, it is: always carry a Source 4/Leko light in the package. Sometimes you might ned to cut a very sharp or specific patterned light and place it in a far corner of ceiling or something, just out of frame line, to give a little light or backlight. Very, very useful. And also works very well for "room tone" without spilling everywhere. They have saved my ass more than any other light throughout the years.

 

A good example of when it saved my ass was on the Eminem video for Rap God. Em was going to levitate towards the ceiling in the most climactic rap scene. Director want to shoot it from below, so even though the ceiling was pretty high, by looking up, there was no place to hide a big toplight or "god-light" shining down on Em. Nor was it possible to hang anything there. What to you do? Well, we ended up double sided-taping a bounce card up into ceiling, skirted it with some black cloth we taped and shined two Leko's into the bounce card from ground just off frame. Voila, godlight/toplight created. You can see it from 4:28 in the video. You even see the skirt around the bounce card in some of the shots.

 

https://youtu.be/XbGs_qK2PQA?t=4m28s

Could you possibly also share the lighting set up for the same music video timestamp's 0:26 and 2:13? What aperture do you guys usually shoot eminem at since he moves around too much lol. He is probably an AC's worse nightmare.


Edited by Jae Solina, 23 March 2017 - 04:42 AM.

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#18 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 08:22 PM

Thanks. I tend to shoot wide open.

 

That's a big soft/front light box we suspended above him. The lights in the background were just from the location in Detroit.


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Metropolis Post

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