I'm shooting a short film and there is this scene that is shot inside a small room that takes place near sunset. I need to simulate the golden tones of the sun getting inside the room where a little girl is sitting at her table, drawing. I'm guessing I'll need haze to see the light but I'm having some problems imagining where to place the lights, with the room being so small...
I took a photo of the room from the perspective of where the camera will be (please ignore the reflections on the mirror...).
I have access only to tungsten lighting (3x 1k units). My idea was to put a 1k fresnel through a big diffusor and come up with some sort of way to flag the upper end in order to simulate the window. But there's just so little space inside the room that is hard to figure out where to place the lights. To make matters worse, her table has a mirror that needs to be there, so it makes everything harder since I have to be extra careful with unwanted reflections... I really need help to get creative here. Maybe if I rotate the table 45º to the right, placing the girl on her back against the camera and simulate the windows from the right side of the frame (where the real window of the room is). And of course the bed is distracting, so I'll probably put a different blanket there (something not white).
When you don't have a lot of lights of firepower, this is an approach I've used many times: use the few lights you have as direct low hits instead. Ignore the face, cut these lights so that they hit somewhere below the face (torso, midriff, or just legs). If you're lucky, sometime just the spill from the floor or furniture is enough to bounce up into the faces a little. OF not, use a little soft push or "room tone" to suggest some indirect cool daylight has bounced around ion there. Also - spread out the sources, so that one might be doing your subject, another one a background or a foreground. Sun rays are parallel in nature, so by spreading your harder sources out, they'll look more realistic. If they're all in the same spot just pointing in different directions, it looks less believable.
I always carry PARcans on every shoot I do just for this purpose. They're great for sneaking a little direct sunlight hit into a set beneath softer key, or something else.
Thanks Adam! That sounds better than what I going for. So basically the idea is spread two or three of my 1k tunsgten fresnels and point them directly at the floor or at least at low angles (probably a good idea to use the barn doors to direct the light). Since I'll have a practical (see link on first post), I'll need to balance the tunsgten that's simulating daylight. But it's supposed to be sunset. Would you use CTBs to balance to daylight or leave it without any gels? The practical is dimmable so I can also correct it to whatever color temperature I need.
Edited by Tiago Pimentel, 13 August 2017 - 04:32 AM.
use the few lights you have as direct low hits instead. Ignore the face, cut these lights so that they hit somewhere below the face (torso, midriff, or just legs). If you're lucky, sometime just the spill from the floor or furniture is enough to bounce up into the faces a little.
I thought only no-marks like me fell to that sort of shenanigans - I considered it cheating!
And that isn't even a parcan (though it is, strictly speaking, a PAR) It's not so obvious on this medium but there's a much wider shot where the splash of "sunlight" is more noticeable.
The fill on the camera right side of her face is fluorescent.
I don't have any PARs but the difference should be that my fresnels are just harder, so if get some diffusion, I might get the same effect, right? I was actually thinking of not placing any kind of diffusion and just add a 1/2 CTO on the tungsten fresnels to get the golden look into it (camera white balanced to 3200k). So I should point the fresnels at the floor or the legs, right?
Can you guys see the picture I posted on the first post? I realized that I've put a dropbox link and I'm not sure everybody can access it. And I still haven't figure out how to upload pics in this forum...
Sunset light coming through a window is a combination of the soft cool skylight and the warm hard sunlight. You can either use two light sources, one large, soft, and cool, and a second hard, warm one for the sun... or you can use one unit and use a diffusion frame to partly cut it from above (a soft topper) to create a hard slash mixed with some soft light coming from the same direction. Then you can clip warming gel to the bottom of the diffusion frame to color the hard light warmer than the soft. You can even clip blue gel to the diffusion frame to cool that light off further.
Thanks david! For a 10m2 room, and using one fresnel, how much power would you say that fresnel should output? These lights are dimmable so maybe i could dim and avoid using the warming gel... but then a full cto might not be enough...
At risk of answering for someone else: depends how high you want the sun to seem. If you want people to move toward it and away from it without massively altering the angle or brightness, which you might, then the light will need to be far away and more or less horizontal (and bright, and well-collimated). If you want people moving through patches of light, use lots of lights higher up. To me, "sunset" means the sun is near the horizon, though, as would be required for it to look orangeish, so perhaps a fairly flat angle is appropriate.
Thanks Phil. In order to work at a flat angle, the light would have to relatively low in height, right? Perhaps at the same height as the actual window of the room. Maybe even lower for the desired effect, not sure. Especially because in the center of the room there will be a little girl sitting on a chair, so if the light is supposed to hit her torso or legs, it has to be low, I guess.
Edited by Tiago Pimentel, 15 August 2017 - 02:55 AM.
Guys, let me just resurrect this topic by saying that I'm trying to do a first shot of this sunset scene with a bit of a stylized look a la Kaminsky. I uploaded two photos (both taken with my phone). The first is, more or less, the angle of where I'll be shooting. I just hazed it a lot for you guys to see, but my goal is to have beams of light to come from behind that table (from bottom to the top).
Here's the photo
I'm only using open face 1k lights with dimmers, so it's really hard to get focused beams. What's the trick to get those defined beams, without flooding the entire room with haze. Should that light be the only one there? Other light might shade the other beams... I'm a little lost, my experience with haze is not that big...
Here's the photo of the room from above, so you can have a better look (there's a light on the left but I wasn't using it):
The beams are caused by the light being broken up by whatever it's hitting. The shadow of the object is what creates the beams. In your picture, you can see that the hinges on the mirror are casting a shadow and creating a beam, but it's not happening anywhere else. If multiple beams are what you're trying to achieve, you could try cutting a bunch of holes in a square of blackwrap, and placing it in front of the lamp.
Yes, haze needs to be backlit, or 3/4 back for best effect. You can also sometimes side light and still see beams. A lot of it has to do with the color of the background. Dark colors mean more visible beams. Also, too much haze means that everything just goes flat and murky. Less is sometimes more.
Thanks Stuart, that makes sense. What about other lighting? If I just light this with one backlight, I'd have to silhoette the girl that will be sitting at the table. Is that the only way? I'm trying to film this with a sunset feel but also mystical at the same time.
Looking at your still, anyone sitting at that table would be plainly visible. Depending on the mood, you might not need another lamp. If you do add one, you run into the main problem of using haze, which is that you can see where sources are. That might not be a huge issue for you, but remember to keep her key from a back to side position. If you try to front light her, that haze will turn into a murky low contrast mess.