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Lighting an indoor scene with 'window' light, help


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#1 Chris Hurn

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Posted 19 July 2005 - 08:57 PM

Hi there.

I have been reading up about lighting etc. for a while now, ever since Mr Mullen helped me out with my first set of questions on studentfilmmakers.com. I am not a cinematographer or anything, I'm 16 (I want to do directing) however, since there is nobody around to help me light for my films, I have to do it by myself.

I have been thinking about the 'light through window' effect for a while and tried to look around about how to go about doing it, however I'm still not clear about it. Attatched is a still from the "last samurai" (Sorry couldn't find a bigger one, I took this out of the web trailer) and shows what I would like to achieve. As you can see you can see the 'edges' of the light, so it sort of looks like a soft, spot-ish light coming through the window.
I'd like to rent a few lights and play around with them, but I don't have a lot of money (as a student) so it would be nice if someone could point me in the right direction. Where do I put the light? Just outside the window? won't that be too harsh and bright, and cause lots of reflections everywhere? Let's say I wanted to capture the same 'feel' the last samurai screen has.

I read about using an HMI or something, but I'm not sure. Also if I were doing this at night, what would I need to do? I guess I'd have to gel the light with a CTB gel (am I right?). But on a very low budget would I need anything else? like reflectors or anything, or fill lights? I would be wanting a sort of spooky, moonlight feel (at night).

Let's pretend this is a smallish bedroom. Keep in mind I don't have any generators or anything and anything I plug in would be into a standard household socket.

-----------------------------
--------window here-------
       /                   \
      /                      \
     /      light here     \


------------------------------

I also read I'd need to use some fog or 'diffusion?'. I found a product called 'diffusion in a can'. Is this okay instead of using a fog machine?

Thank you!

-Chris
Wellington, New Zealand

Attached Images

  • lastsamurai.JPG

Edited by Chris Hurn, 19 July 2005 - 09:00 PM.

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#2 Tim J Durham

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Posted 19 July 2005 - 09:10 PM

Hi there.

I have been reading up about lighting etc. for a while now, ever since Mr Mullen helped me out with my first set of questions on studentfilmmakers.com. I am not a cinematographer or anything, I'm 16 (I want to do directing) however, since there is nobody around to help me light for my films, I have to do it by myself.

I have been thinking about the 'light through window' effect for a while and tried to look around about how to go about doing it, however I'm still not clear about it. I also read I'd need to use some fog or 'diffusion?'. I found a product called 'diffusion in a can'. Is this okay instead of using a fog machine?

Thank you!

-Chris
Wellington, New Zealand

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hi Chris,
Check out this thread from Kevin Zanit:

http://www.cinematog...wtopic=7823&hl=

Production notes on his lighting schemes with photos. It will give you a good idea about how to light through a window. And the photos show the actual set-up outside the window. As far as getting the shafts of light inside the window, you do need some fog. Diffusion would only make the source and highlights glow. Have not personally tried "Diffusion in a can" but give it a try. It's cheaper than a fog machine.
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Broadcast Solutions Inc

Glidecam

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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Wooden Camera

Tai Audio

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Visual Products

Paralinx LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

Metropolis Post

Opal

Willys Widgets

Technodolly

rebotnix Technologies

CineLab

Aerial Filmworks