Jump to content


Photo

Beginner's Filmlighting


  • Please log in to reply
22 replies to this topic

#1 Zhyron

Zhyron
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 12 posts
  • Director

Posted 30 July 2005 - 03:48 PM

Hi.
First Post from little me. I seriously need help.

We're about to make a shortfilm. It takes place in a small apartment and the mood is overall a little bit depressing. It'll be filmed with 16mm.

But we need to know what equipment we need.

-Lights
-Gels
-Reflektors
-Filters

and so on. Anyone that know a good equipment package that we should get?
It doesn't have to be one that exists, just a list of what we need.

Hope someone can help us because we're running out of sources.
  • 0

#2 Tim J Durham

Tim J Durham
  • Sustaining Members
  • 742 posts
  • Director
  • East Coast, Baby!

Posted 30 July 2005 - 06:00 PM

Hi.
First Post from little me. I seriously need help.

We're about to make a shortfilm. It takes place in a small apartment and the mood is overall a little bit depressing. It'll be filmed with 16mm.

But we need to know what equipment we need.

-Lights
-Gels
-Reflektors
-Filters

and so on. Anyone that know a good equipment package that we should get?
It doesn't have to be one that exists, just a list of what we need.

Hope someone can help us because we're running out of sources.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hi,
What's your budget set aside for lighting gear? That's the first thing you need to determine, then how long you need the gear (shooting days).. What is the power situation where you will be shooting.. What's the percentage of day time to night time shooting (matching daylight is more expensive when it comes to lighting)...

If you can answer these questions, people can give you relevant suggestions.
  • 0

#3 Luke Prendergast

Luke Prendergast
  • Sustaining Members
  • 491 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Victoria Australia

Posted 30 July 2005 - 06:47 PM

What you want it to look like is the first thing to determine, then assess what resources you already have, then what is lacking in those resources to create your look. THEN start thinking about spending money. Starting with the budget is foolish.
Moody and depressing lends itself to available light, weak practicals and daylight leaking around the blinds. But you have given up very little information.
  • 0

#4 Zhyron

Zhyron
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 12 posts
  • Director

Posted 30 July 2005 - 06:50 PM

Hi,
What's your budget set aside for lighting gear? That's the first thing you need to determine, then how long you need the gear (shooting days).. What is the power situation where you will be shooting.. What's the percentage of day time to night time shooting (matching daylight is more expensive when it comes to lighting)...

If you can answer these questions, people can give you relevant suggestions.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


The gear will be lent to us by an organisation that works with independent filmmakers. They then have the connections to borrow from others or they already have the equipment.

We'll be shooting in an apartment as I said so we have 230V outlets in about 4 or more rooms.

The script calls for alot of evening/night shooting. We have the apartment all day for as many days as we need. The same goes for the equipment. Atleast i know we can have it longer then we need it.
  • 0

#5 Zhyron

Zhyron
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 12 posts
  • Director

Posted 31 July 2005 - 11:47 AM

What you want it to look like is the first thing to determine, then assess what resources you already have, then what is lacking in those resources to create your look. THEN start thinking about spending money. Starting with the budget is foolish.
  Moody and depressing lends itself to available light, weak practicals and daylight leaking around the blinds. But you have given up very little information.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Don't have that many resources except windows and some ordinary lightbulbs.
I'm not starting with the budget first since i can't do that when i don't know what i need.
I'd like to know what things i need so i can experiment a little on the scene
(without going overboard with equipment)

Just tell me what info you need to know and i'll do my best to provide it
  • 0

#6 Tim J Durham

Tim J Durham
  • Sustaining Members
  • 742 posts
  • Director
  • East Coast, Baby!

Posted 31 July 2005 - 02:08 PM

What you want it to look like is the first thing to determine, then assess what resources you already have, then what is lacking in those resources to create your look. THEN start thinking about spending money. Starting with the budget is foolish.
 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Determining how much you have to spend on lighting is foolish? What planet do you live on where you can design your lighting scheme to whatever degree your heart desires, then have the money to spend on it magically appear?

If you know you have little/no money to spend on lighting, you're not going to think about making your film look like "Blade Runner". You might start thinking about "The Evil Dead", though. And you'd know which direction you could go by knowing the limitations in advance.
  • 0

#7 Tim J Durham

Tim J Durham
  • Sustaining Members
  • 742 posts
  • Director
  • East Coast, Baby!

Posted 31 July 2005 - 02:30 PM

The gear will be lent to us by an organisation that works with independent filmmakers. They then have the connections to borrow from others or they already have the equipment.

We'll be shooting in an apartment as I said so we have 230V outlets in about 4 or more rooms.

The script calls for alot of evening/night shooting. We have the apartment all day for as many days as we need. The same goes for the equipment. Atleast i know we can have it longer then we need it.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

If you have the apartment day and night but most of the scenes are night, make sure you have sheets of foam core board big enough to black out the windows. That way, you can shoot the scenes that don't include the windows in the daytime. Then when you need to see the windows in-frame, you can shoot those at night and use the same instruments the whole time.

Don't get lights that draw more power than the circuits will support. So if you can borrow some 3200K fluorescents, they draw little power and are nice as soft sources. Keep the standard tungsten instruments small such as tweeny Moles or Pepper lights. Get different size bulbs for all the practicals that will show up in-frame, from 25w to 100w.

Get as much in stands, flags, bounce boards and grip equipment as you can. Since it is night, you need to flag light off of everything but the subject since there is not supposed to be ambient coming in from outside (within reason, ofcourse).

Start collecting stills of lighting styles that interest you for this project. If you post them, most times someone around here will be able to tell you how it was achieved.

Check out the thread that Kevin Zanit has been posting in the "In Production" forum:

http://www.cinematog...hp?showforum=56

See the ones titled, "These Days".

Lot's of great ideas and how-to's from Kevin working with a semi-low budget in a cramped house.
  • 0

#8 Chris Cooke

Chris Cooke
  • Sustaining Members
  • 246 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Lethbridge, AB Canada

Posted 31 July 2005 - 07:15 PM

It sounds like you might have access to an HMI or two. That would be great since you're only using the apartments power. HMI's output 3-4 times as much light per watt as a tungten of similar style. Also HMI's are balanced to 5600k which is great for that blue cast that you often try to achieve at night (when balanced to tungsten). Like Tim said, try to get some grip equipment or make it yourself because you won't want your lights spilling all over the place during night scenes. Also, use practicals in the shots and for depth and motivation. Use a tungsten source for your key.
  • 0

#9 Luke Prendergast

Luke Prendergast
  • Sustaining Members
  • 491 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Victoria Australia

Posted 01 August 2005 - 12:09 AM

Tim, if you read my post with brain in gear then you will see you have taken it arse about.
  • 0

#10 Tim J Durham

Tim J Durham
  • Sustaining Members
  • 742 posts
  • Director
  • East Coast, Baby!

Posted 01 August 2005 - 10:05 AM

Tim, if you read my post with brain in gear then you will see you have taken it arse about.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Really?

Let's see...you said:

What you want it to look like is the first thing to determine, then assess what resources you already have, then what is lacking in those resources to create your look. THEN start thinking about spending money. Starting with the budget is foolish.


in response to my having said:

What's your budget set aside for lighting gear? That's the first thing you need to determine, then how long you need the gear (shooting days).. What is the power situation where you will be shooting.. What's the percentage of day time to night time shooting (matching daylight is more expensive when it comes to lighting)...

which was in response to the original poster having said:

We're about to make a shortfilm. It takes place in a small apartment and the mood is overall a little bit depressing. It'll be filmed with 16mm.

But we need to know what equipment we need.


now, from THAT post, it seems clear to ME that he'd already determined the "look" he was after
and was now wondering what sort of equipment he needed. So now, when you re-read my post,
you might fathom that I was responding to the last sentence, "But we need to know what equipment we need." Perhaps you won't? But that was his question as I understood it.

So in light of this, when you stumble into the bar and spew:

What you want it to look like is the first thing to determine, then assess what resources you already have, then what is lacking in those resources to create your look. THEN start thinking about spending money. Starting with the budget is foolish.

Suddenly, that's not sounding particularly relevent, let alone polite. Is it?
  • 0

#11 Zhyron

Zhyron
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 12 posts
  • Director

Posted 01 August 2005 - 11:34 AM

I've looked thru so many movie stills to find something to show you but i'm turning up empty handed.

The first scene is outdoors, two brothers have lost their parents and are standing in the graveyard visiting their grave. The story is about how they handle their death.
I'd like a bleak feel to it. Kinda like

(broken link removed)

But not the sunny light more a cold feeling to it.

Inside the apartment is harder. Maybe i don't know how i want it or maybe i just can find the right pic. The movie isn't that dark so i don't want horror-flick-i can't see anything-kinda thing.
But it can't be to bright and sunny either (well of course not since it's in the evening.)
I wish i could give you more but i feel hopeless at this point.
If i find more i'll post it but maybe you have something to work on or have an idea of what i'm looking for.
I'll be glad for anything
  • 0

#12 Zhyron

Zhyron
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 12 posts
  • Director

Posted 01 August 2005 - 11:59 AM

Maybe something like this in the apartment

(broken link removed)

But more blue then warm. Want it neutral on the brink of blue and cold.
And not as dark because then we have horror flick again.
I want to give of the feeling that the guy is trapped in his own house.
This is a mental feeling and not something scary that does it.
But at the same time he's living with his brother that doesn't have this feeling so therefor it can't be too cold or scary.

I just get this neutral image in my head,

Realised with all those explanations we've pretty much moved away from the whole image i posted.
:huh:
  • 0

#13 Tim J Durham

Tim J Durham
  • Sustaining Members
  • 742 posts
  • Director
  • East Coast, Baby!

Posted 01 August 2005 - 02:04 PM

Maybe something like this in the apartment
But more blue then warm. Want it neutral on the brink of blue and cold.
And not as dark because then we have horror flick again.
I want to give of the feeling that the guy is trapped in his own house.
This is a mental feeling and not something scary that does it.
But at the same time he's living with his brother that doesn't have this feeling so therefor it can't be too cold or scary.

I just get this neutral image in my head,

Realised with all those explanations we've pretty much moved away from the whole image i posted.
:huh:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hi Zhyron,
Those pictures you included didn't come through, atleast I can't see them.
  • 0

#14 Zhyron

Zhyron
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 12 posts
  • Director

Posted 01 August 2005 - 02:11 PM

Here's the link

http://www.allmoviep...ibbean_001.html

http://www.allmoviep...m_hell_001.html

Edited by Zhyron, 01 August 2005 - 02:20 PM.

  • 0

#15 Luke Prendergast

Luke Prendergast
  • Sustaining Members
  • 491 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Victoria Australia

Posted 01 August 2005 - 05:34 PM

Tim, read the last two descriptions from Zhyron and tell me you got all that from "It takes place in a small apartment and the mood is overall a little bit depressing. It'll be filmed with 16mm."

"I'm feeling peckish and I have a fork."
"Well firstly, how much do you have to spend?"

Zhyron, good descriptions but your pics still aren't coming up. Neutral on the brink of blue and cold - The Bourne Supremacy has some great interiors that look to be tungsten film with tungsten lighting but daylight providing some fill and background. This an EXT but similar look:

Posted Image
  • 0

#16 Tim J Durham

Tim J Durham
  • Sustaining Members
  • 742 posts
  • Director
  • East Coast, Baby!

Posted 01 August 2005 - 07:42 PM

Tim, read the last two descriptions from Zhyron and tell me you got all that from "It takes place in a small apartment and the mood is overall a little bit depressing. It'll be filmed with 16mm."

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Let it go, Dude.

Zhyron, try the IMDB photo galleries. They are linkable:

http://imdb.com/titl...otogallery-ss-0
  • 0

#17 Zhyron

Zhyron
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 12 posts
  • Director

Posted 02 August 2005 - 06:08 AM

http://imdb.com/gall...ath_key=0325980

http://imdb.com/gall...ath_key=0120681


Hope it works
  • 0

#18 Tim J Durham

Tim J Durham
  • Sustaining Members
  • 742 posts
  • Director
  • East Coast, Baby!

Posted 02 August 2005 - 08:36 AM

In the beginning, you asked:

But we need to know what equipment we need.

-Lights
-Gels
-Reflektors
-Filters

and so on. Anyone that know a good equipment package that we should get?
It doesn't have to be one that exists, just a list of what we need.

Hope someone can help us because we're running out of sources.

But since you can borrow your gear, and those shots you posted giving some idea what you're after, the interior shot:

depp.jpg

looks to have some diffusion in front of the lens, so maybe a 1/4 pro-mist. I didn't see that movie, but this shot seems to imply that he is being lit by the candle light. That's one strong candle! Is this something you're planning on doing? There have been threads here in the past where people talk about their techniques for mimicing candle light or fireplace light. Try the search function. Some of them involved simple things like 1/4 CTO and waving your fingers in front of the light.

As for this shot:

pirates.jpg

Since you're shooting film in both daylight and tungsten, you will need to determine your film stock and then the proper color correction filter for one scenario or the other. What stock ARE you planning on using? Do you have access to someones filter set?

As for a shot like the one above, I suspect there is a great deal of lighting and grip gear involved
in that shot. Silks and bounce boards and huge HMI's. Try to not have your outdoor shoots between 10am and 4pm. Overhead sun is a killer. If it's low in the sky, you can use it to your advantage either as a key or an edge light (which is sorta what they did on Orlando Bloom in this picture) and then use bounce boards on the opposite side. So if you can't get big HMI's, get big bounce boards and make sure you have either people to hold them steady or the right stands, clamps and shot bags.
  • 0

#19 Zhyron

Zhyron
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 12 posts
  • Director

Posted 02 August 2005 - 08:59 AM

I just thought of something else aswell.
When filming, when you look in the viewfinder does it show the way it'll look on film or does it show the same as when you look at it with your naked eye?
  • 0

#20 Micah Fernandez

Micah Fernandez
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 82 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 02 August 2005 - 10:03 AM

No. With experience, you will be able to approximate how a shot will come out on the final print but while you are still unsure, use a light meter and a contrast ring (bare minimum) to help facilitate your creative decisions.

Don't trust the video assist either (a common mistake). The assist is only for the director's benefit of being able to watch the action unfold.
  • 0


Opal

Wooden Camera

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Abel Cine

Technodolly

CineLab

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

The Slider

Visual Products

Aerial Filmworks

Glidecam

Metropolis Post

CineTape

Tai Audio

Ritter Battery

FJS International, LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Willys Widgets

rebotnix Technologies

Paralinx LLC

Visual Products

Aerial Filmworks

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Wooden Camera

rebotnix Technologies

The Slider

Technodolly

Willys Widgets

Ritter Battery

Abel Cine

CineLab

CineTape

Rig Wheels Passport

Tai Audio

Metropolis Post

Opal

FJS International, LLC

Glidecam

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Paralinx LLC