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Lighting this sequence


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#1 Tiago Pimentel

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 12:20 PM

Hey guys,

 

I want to do a wide shot for a sequence that's supposed to have an oneiric feeling, where the father picks up his 3 year old daughter and starts dancing with her. I want to shoot this in a wide shot and here's my concept:

 

It's a wide shot of a small room, the camera is placed at a high angle. It's night time, so there's just simulated moonlight (which I was thinking it could be done as hard light going through some sort of cocoloris to create window shade in the walls) and a small lamp placed on a table, standing in the middle of the room. When the two start to dance, I wanted to slowly dim the moonlight until completely off to a point where only the actors are lit (supposedly by the lamp). Everything else is pitch black.

 

I realize, in a small room, there's no eggcrate in the world that would allow for a side lighting, without any spill on the walls... So I was wondering if I could get away with some sort of light placed on the ceiling, with skirting to allow the light to fall just on the actors. But since I don't have a big budget, I have to think of an alternative to any kind of structure that would allow me to place the light above the actors. Maybe I could get the chandelier replaced by a china ball with a LED bulb. I could get some cinefoil around the china ball to direct the light down towards the actors.

 

Any suggestions? :)

 

Thanks!


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#2 Bruce Greene

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 12:26 PM

It would be helpful to see a photograph of the room.  But, without that, my only thought is to use a boom to place your light above the actors and out of the frame of the high wide shot.  Hope this helps!


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#3 Tiago Pimentel

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 02:46 PM

Good point Bruce. Here's a photo of the room. I was thinking I can't go as wide as I wanted, because I still need to place the lights and tripods inside to simulate the moonlight, along with some sort of cocoloris...

 

e1ad184a6e037209bdb2f0fee6e061a8.jpg


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#4 Bruce Greene

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 05:54 PM

I'm afraid that this room is so small that, no matter what you do, you'll never achieve a black background.  And it may be too small to place a boom as well.  If you can't find a bigger location, try to get a "pole cat" to span the walls and hang your light from that.  Of course, by lighting from above, you'll also light a lot of the floor which will fill most of your frame from a high angle shot.

 

The only other solution I can think of is to shoot a plate of the room, without furniture, and then bring the furniture into a green screen stage and shoot the actors there and composite it later.  I know, not a simple or inexpensive solution, but probably the best.  If the actors don't interact with the set dressing, you can leave it in your plate and skip bringing it to the green screen stage.

 

Good luck.


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#5 AJ Young

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 11:15 PM

Whats your post production workflow as well? You might be able to use power windows and qualifying to increase the effect in the color grade.

 

I'd recommend lite mats; I've taped them to ceilings and they've held for a few hours with regular checking.

 

I agree with Bruce; very small room. Might be approaching impossible, but nothing ever does!


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#6 Tiago Pimentel

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 04:17 AM

Thanks guys. I understand that it will be very hard to do what I want in this shot. I was wondering if it'd be easier if I start with a wide shot and then change to a medium shot to pull it off. I could also get a black carpet on the floor to avoid light spill. Maybe getting a 1/4 Hollywood Blackmagic in front of the lens to let the actors glow a bit. And then, in Resolve, really crush the blacks... I don't like to leave things to post production but...

Edited by Tiago Pimentel, 08 September 2017 - 04:27 AM.

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#7 JD Hartman

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 05:27 AM

Bruce has made some good suggestions.  Building a two wall set would be easier than trying to shoot in that room.  What about dressing a much larger room as the bedroom?  Paint is cheap.


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#8 Tiago Pimentel

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 05:44 PM

Ok, I tried a lighting scheme that was a bit different that what I originally had in mind. I think shooting a plate would probably be the best solution, but a little out of our budget... I had two lights moonlight balanced (one to simulate a window and the other to fill) and a tungsten. I dimmed both moonlights, one at a time, leaving just the tungsten at the end. I also opted in getting the actor to kneel instead of rising up, which allowed me to close the shot a bit more. It didn't go completely dark, but the effect is there I think.

 

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Edited by Tiago Pimentel, 09 September 2017 - 05:46 PM.

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#9 Tiago Pimentel

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 10:13 AM

Guys, I remembered that, besides the contrast that I already got from the lights I used, I can also enhance this effect in Resolve (I guess this was what AJ Young was talking about) by using keyframes. I can start with a much brighter scene and, as lights start to turn off, I can do a keyframe sequence on the offset wheel (in Resolve) to further darken the image. Something to discuss with our colorist...
 
Another thing that's bothering me is that the initial image seems a little too blue to me, even though the color temperatures were accurate according to the time of day (in this case, night) that this scene takes place. In post, maybe desaturating the shadows a bit to get a more neutral tone?
 
Thanks!

Edited by Tiago Pimentel, 12 September 2017 - 10:14 AM.

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