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Lighting a street race scene

Lighting street

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#1 Seth Baldwin

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 06:03 PM

Ive taken role of gaffer on a decent budget action drama short film,
We have a scene with multiple sports cars, police cars and stunts, the scene is a long straight road at an industrial estate and the DP and director are wanting a super grungy look with nothing but arri fixtures. Were not limited at all in terms of what we can rent besides obviously like an ARRIMAX or something too over kill but basically what I had in mind was very yellow straight outta Compton lighting but Im debating considering theres no street lights if it would be best to fake over head street light creating a hard source of light or to instead bounce it off the industrial state buildings near by to keep it soft. The director also really wants to show color differences between the different characters cars, in a way were lighting more for the cars then anything, so let me know what your take on this is.
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#2 Seth Baldwin

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 06:06 PM

Forgot to mention that yes, this is at the dead of night
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 06:19 PM

It's an industrial space so you could mount some bright lights on walls or rooftops to suggest security lighting, building flood lamps, etc.  If you see the fixtures in the shot, they would not look obviously like movie lights with yokes, mounted with clamps, with obvious cabling, etc.   If the director wants to see colors well, you might have to use "white" lighting, maybe only slightly warmed or cooled, so that colors are retained.


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#4 Seth Baldwin

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 06:33 PM

Good idea, yeah its a tricky one, considering she wants grungey but also wants the cars to look good. Exactly what clamping rig would you use? Would also wanna make sure the police lights look good too.
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 06:57 PM

Your rigging gaffer is just going to have to plan with the rigging grip as to how to mount lights to buildings and power them to hide as much of the rigging as possible.  Some of it may need to be painted to match walls or even dressed out with the help of art department (cables can be hidden with PVC pipes, etc.)  Depends too on how close it is to camera.

 

The straight run might need a few poles with lamps on them, ideally something like wooden power pole, wherever lighting from the nearby building wouldn't work.  "Grungy" means "realistic" to me -- and in real life, you'd only see something if there was some practical illumination so as much as you can dress into the shot without things looking too lit-up, the better.  Some areas could be lit by the car headlamps of bystanders parked to the side, or lights faked to suggest that.


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#6 Seth Baldwin

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 07:06 PM

Fantastic ideas, thank you
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 11:45 AM

For lights that will be seen in the shot, I'd think about fixtures that have shapes that look more industrial, like Skypanels, nooks, zips, i.e. rectangular or squarish, or small but bright round lights like PAR's, as opposed to large fresnels.


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