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Lighting 2 people next to a window in restaurant

window restaurant exterior

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#1 Michael Ognisanti

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 06:19 PM

I think I’ve seen this discussed before but would still love any advice I can get for this scenario.

 

I have a shoot with 2 people talking in a booth at a restaurant in front of window (think opening scene Pulp Fiction).  I need to expose for the exterior because the characters will be looking out into the street at someone getting into their car.

 

The scene is fairly long so I am worried about relying only on natural daylight from the outside with the sun repositioning so much.

 

We are probably limited to house power.

 

Here are my questions:

What kind of output would I need to provide a subtle fill on the characters inside the restaurant?  Would 4 bank Kinos be enough?

If I did supplement the exterior would an Arri m18(assuming I can get one with such a low budget) be enough to add at least some directionality and consistency from the window light?  Keeping in mind we are seeing outside the window so positioning it out of the shot might be a challenge.

 

Lighting package consists of

4 bank Kinos

2 bank kinos

Joker 400 Chimera 5’ Octabox

maybe Arri m18

Arri tungston 3-light kit, 1k, 650, 350 

 

Camera: Red Dragon ASA 800, 

Lenses: Zeiss cp.2

 

Thanks for the help,

Michael

 


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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 11:32 PM

It depends a lot on whether the view is front-lit or backlit because if backlit, then you are exposing more for the shade and it is easier to also get detail in the booth right next to the window.  However, if the view is front-lit, particularly if there are white buildings, then it's near impossible to not get a silhouette in the foreground if you want to hold detail in the background... unless it becomes overcast.

 

You could cross/edge light with 1.8K Arri's on each side of the frame, fill with Kinos or Skypanels as long as the reflection is above the frame line or buried in a bright detail in the view.

 

Another trick if the windows are large and long enough but you are only seeing a portion in your frame is to just ND gel the smaller view you are seeing but leave it ungelled all around so more ambience gets onto the actors.

 

Take a still camera to location and take some photos, you can see how much detail you will get in the shadows compared to the view.


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#3 aapo lettinen

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 04:51 AM

if the ambience colour is OK for it, you can reflect the window ambience back towards the actors with very large bounces and /or shiny boards depending on the situation. matte silver surface is generally good for this. then you can add the rest with hmi and kino light and use them to correct for the high color temperature of the ambience. a bounce /reflector is not generally enough without additional fixtures in most situations though and the colour temperature is very high...

 

one approach would be to hang kinos or other wide fixtures behind the actors over the frameline in a row maybe about 3m wide so that they extend the natural light coming from the window and wrap around actor's faces a bit so that you can do the rest of the lighting from the sides and maybe add some fill from the camera side if needed.  

 

I tend to use lots of shiny boards and kapa reflectors to direct and fine tune light to compensate for minor changes in lighting. I personally would maybe cross light with hmi's from the window side as David suggested, adding diffusion and possibly scrimming the part of the beam going directly towards actors but leaving the top of the beam unaltered to use it for fill purposes if needed, maybe do the kino backlight thing if needed, and use only shiny boards /kapa reflectors on the camera side for fill and creating accents (using either the diffused+scrimmed part of the hmi light OR the raw top part of it depending on how much light is needed. 


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#4 Michael Ognisanti

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 08:47 PM

Thanks for the tips guys!

 

I will know on the scout whether the view is backlit or frontlit and from there be able to determine what kind of intensity we will be dealing with. 

 

Crosslighting with the HMI's and filling with kinos seems like a good plan and should be a quick setup with our tight schedule.

 

Appreciate the help.


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