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INT. NIGHT FOR DAY


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#1 Ckulakov

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Posted 24 June 2005 - 11:11 PM

Dear Filmmakers,

I need to shoot a indoor scene with the windows covered using 500w photofloods to make it look like daylight coming through windows and NOT to brake continuety.
I put full blue CTBs on the lights but It still doesnt look good enough. Any interesting setups that worked for you please post them. Any sugestions on how to set up the lights and any other techniques. I really need help.

Thank You in Advance
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 12:06 AM

First of all, if you are shooting at night, then why correct the photofloods to 5500K? You can shoot under 3200K balance for a daytime look (it's just white light on a tungsten-balanced camera / film stock), and not lose two stops from the CTB gel.

Second, 500w photofloods are not bright enough to shine through a window and create a sunlight effect. Do you see the windows in the shot? If so, what are you doing about the view out the window?
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#3 J. Lamar King

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 12:14 AM

Can you give us any more explanation as to what you are trying to do? Why don't you feel it looks right? Are you trying to light from within the room but you want mimic light from a window?

At the minimum I sometimes use a baby or Junior with a 4x frame of Opal or 216 to make light from a "window" in a room. Then ping-pong something like a mighty or mini-mole into a big card then to a cieling or wall on the opposite side near camera for ambience. But there are many, many ways to create a light that's supposed to be from a window. It helps a lot if you get some ambience up in the room and fill things in for a higher-key look.
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#4 Ckulakov

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 12:38 AM

I am shooting a lunch scene of a table with light apearing to be hitting from behind the camera onto the table from a set of windows. I am trying to make it look the same for every shot.

Mr. Mullen If i shoot tungsten balance with the photofloods it appears slightly on the warm side. but when I shoot with the windos open and real daylight coming through with daylight balance it looks on the cooler side.

Also should I diffuse the light or make it look direct? and should I gel the lights any different kind of gel.
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 10:33 AM

I thought you said you were shooting at night for day, so mixing with 5500K light was not an issue. If you are shooting at night, under 3200K, there's no reason why you can't get it to look neutral white, on 3200K stock or a video camera balanced for it.

If you're mixing with real daylight, then yes, you need blue photofloods.

Lighting from the camera direction seems rather flat. Why not light from the side more?

I'd probably put a bunch of photofloods through frame of diffusion to create a soft box effect, like soft window light, but coming more from one side. Then perhaps add a little soft fill if necessary, but not too much. Or just use a white card to catch the key light and bounce it back into the shadow side.

But balancing for 5500K daylight is hard with small tungsten bulbs; since HMI's are probably out of your budget range, have you considered making a fluorescent soft box with daylight tubes?

Or just gel the daylight windows to tungsten, and light from the inside with tungsten.
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#6 Tomas Koolhaas

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Posted 02 July 2005 - 03:38 PM

Hello,
There seems to be some confusion as to whether you actually are shooting at night or day, if you really are shooting night for day I would suggest you follow David's advice and also see if this is any heplp.

If you shoot the light fom the same angle as the camera or "flat", the whole scene will be covered by your one "window" light (causing it to be scrutinzed closely by the audience), which you said is not looking convincing, probably because photofloods aren't the best choice for what its seems you are going for.

If you shoot more TOWARDS the light/window as opposed to from it, there are two things that you can do that have helped me make night look like day in the past: frame the outside of the window out of all shots if possible, have the window to one side of your character(s) (you may want it to be on the far side of the camera if you are staying on one side of the 180 degree line).

Give your character a warm edge coming 'through' the window, shoot a pattern (a window with branches infront of it works for me) from the window onto a wall behind your characters (make this a bit brighter than your key so it reads as direct sunlight, as opposed to soft bounced sunlight) a good light to use for this is a larger fresnel with the lense swung open.

Then hit your subjects with a soft side key (from the window side, same side as the warm edge) you could use daylight balance kino's or an open faced light through diffusion or whatever you want.

Really it's up to you but I would say that certain things dennote daylight in the viewers mind, in my experience a mixture of soft and hard (direct and indirect sunlight) always seems to look more real, and things like hot sunlight creating a pattern on a wall always adds authenticity and beauty. Also you could try shooting a smaller unit into the cieling for some soft top fill.
Good luck.
Tomas
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