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night for night with two 135w pocket hmi's


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#1 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 21 August 2005 - 05:50 PM

hi all,

the subject and description explains most of it. i'm doing a night for night shoot and have two 135w pocket hmi's along with the basic collection of gels and diffusion but not much else besides stands and gaffer's tape, and maybe a small maglite for that sparkle in the eyes?

the scene is a romatic meeting between two teenagers in a park in a small town, and the director hasn't told me more than that it should look cool and interesting. there are a few street lights around and maybe some distant bridge, highway or something i can use as a background. i'm scouting further this week. i'm very unsure how much light these hmi's output, but it seems like it should be enough to light the couple at least in some interesting way?

i'm shooting super 16 vision2 500t. thanks for any suggestion, and let me know if i have provided too little info.

/matt
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#2 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 21 August 2005 - 06:25 PM

oops, 125 watts of course. :-)

/matt
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#3 Dominic Jones

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Posted 22 August 2005 - 09:11 AM

Well, for my tuppence worth I'd say that your best bet is going to be shooting the 500T uncorrected, which will give you plenty of light to play with from the 125's and will give you the blueish look of moonlight right out of the box.

You might want to stick a 1/4 CTB or something like that on the HMI's (or even a 1/2 CTO if you want whiter moonlight) as a lot of people seem to dislike HMI's on tungsten stock for moonlight....

Otherwise, if you want more interesting colours and you're shooting with shops or bars/clubs in the bg, you could use a pink or cerise gel for a neon effect, etc etc.

As for positioning the lights, there's obviously quite a lot you can do as long as you always want to stay in CU - wider shots may prove to be a problem, though. I personally, for the look it sounds like you're after, would probably think about opting for something like a back-cross with a bounce high and central-ish for your frontal fill. And yes, if that's not strong enough to catch then a smallish flashlight would work well for eyelight. You might want to try a few different grades/types of diff out on the 125's, as it's nice to have diffused soft back-cross light, but intesity might be a challenge with such small fixtures.

Oh, and if it's possible to do so, wet the streets and get as much streetlight, moonlight and shop window light reflecting off the ground as possible - that always helps a scene have that beautiful romantic hollywood look, as well as stopping the whole background being dark...

Edited by Dominic Jones, 22 August 2005 - 09:13 AM.

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#4 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 10:13 AM

thanks. we ended up using two redheads and a 2k generator instead, and a blonde for interiors when we had access to more power. and we shot f-400t instead. and the location changed. :-)

anyway, here are some results if you're interested:

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#5 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 10:14 AM

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comment away.

/matt
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#6 Dan Goulder

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 12:21 PM

Nice looking footage, Matt. Just curious. Is the first frame, which appears to be a daylight interior, lit by anything other than natural light coming through the window? Also, how did you light the female close up, which is the fourth frame from the bottom? Lastly, was any additional lighting used to augment the daylight shot in the bottom frame? Were all frames, day, night, and in between, shot with Fuji 400T? I like the results you got, and am very interested in how they were achieved. Keep up the good work.

Edited by dgoulder, 20 September 2005 - 12:29 PM.

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#7 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 03:53 PM

Nice looking footage, Matt.  Just curious.  Is the first frame, which appears to be a daylight interior, lit by anything other than natural light coming through the window?

thanks. no it's actually not natural light. the window was covered with diffusion and a blonde shot through it. the other window in the room was gelled with cto, not much light coming through it but i didn't want the shadows to go blue, and then foamcore on the low right to make his face a bit more 3d.

Also, how did you light the female close up

a blonde bounced off a piece of foamcore and then through a 4x4 diffusion frame, about four meter away, at an angle where it just started to wrap over to her right eye, and flagged off the back wall, the white left wall providing fill automatically. there's also a slight kicker from high up on the right, a hard redhead source. i think we flagged it off so much that it's hardly visible in this particular shot.

Lastly, was any additional lighting used to augment the daylight shot in the bottom frame?

all day exteriors were shot in natural light with foamcore bounce for fill and the above mentioned flashlight as an eyelight on the closeups. it was mostly overcast both days of shooting, but we created that look ourselves on some shots by shading the sun with diffusion or placing the scene under a tree. the exception is the greenhouse scene in which we used the blonde with a half blue to simulate morning light at noon. burning out the sky in telecine helped sell that too.

Were all frames, day, night, and in between, shot with Fuji 400T?

yes.

/matt
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#8 santo

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 08:29 PM

I like the look, very natural. It appears you're improving in your lighting if I base it on what I've seen elsewhere. Also, the composition is better than what I had seen before.

I notice you're using the foam cores. They're great aren't they? I like them because they don't add any extra color like silver or gold reflectors do and seem more "contemporary" somehow. Maybe it's because they sort of reduce the color a bit in the fills? A monochromatic white light shined in there.

Anyway, I like what I see here for the most part.

Criticism wise, perhaps the figures appear too dark in relation to their backgrounds. If they were kicked up just a notch, perhaps there would be a subconscious move on the part of the viewer to focus on them more. Not much, just a little extra light on them vs. the background. The figure in solitude seems too dark as does even the couple in the forest. It is a dangerous area as you don't want to overexagerate them in relation to the background and make it appear unnatural, but a subtle bump up would help make them the focus of the shot. Interiors, look at painters of natural light like Vermeer for example -- the figures are always slightly brighter lit than the background so they don't get lost.

Edited by santo, 20 September 2005 - 08:36 PM.

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#9 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 08:50 PM

I like the look, very natural. It appears you're improving in your lighting if I base it on what I've seen elsewhere. Also, the composition is better than what I had seen before.

thanks. good ideas on the separation issue too. i did want it to turn out the way it did but i'll keep your ideas in mind for another time. it's easy to do if you have hmi's and it can look really beautiful. i'll look some more at vermeers work for sure.

however, while i think my lighting skills have imporoved tremendously over the last year i've always been quite strong in composition if i may say so myself. i suspect you're comparing to the "surrealist" cdoass video which was shot on super 16 but scanned as regular 16 due to a broken s16 gate, which of course threw the composition off completely. but i've explained this to you many times before, so i don't quite see why you always have to bring it up. it just makes me feel uneasy puts me in a defensive position i don't like to be in. i posted that clip to get editing ideas, not to brag about my cinematography, but if i had known that it (you) would follow me around forever i wouldn't have. it wasn't even released as you know. we reshot it completely.

/matt

Edited by mattias, 20 September 2005 - 08:52 PM.

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#10 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 03:19 AM

frukost.jpg Well,
look at another colour timing option, I did this for fun, sry I am messing up with your job, just playing here.
Dimitrios
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#11 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 05:36 AM

feel free to experiment, but be careful with what monitor you're doing it on. what it seems like you've been trying to do is already the look it has on a tv. your version would be way too hot i think. but i appreciate all suggestions. these stills came from the dv offline and have only been best light corrected in the scanner.

/matt
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#12 santo

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 07:17 AM

however, while i think my lighting skills have imporoved tremendously over the last year i've always been quite strong in composition if i may say so myself. i suspect you're comparing to the "surrealist" cdoass video which was shot on super 16 but scanned as regular 16 due to a broken s16 gate, which of course threw the composition off completely. but i've explained this to you many times before, so i don't quite see why you always have to bring it up. it just makes me feel uneasy puts me in a defensive position i don't like to be in. i posted that clip to get editing ideas, not to brag about my cinematography, but if i had known that it (you) would follow me around forever i wouldn't have. it wasn't even released as you know. we reshot it completely.

/matt

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Huh? I remember that now, I actually remember saying it was actually kind of interesting. Maybe if you review that thread you'll probably see that. I was thinking about other stills I've seen in the past from what I guess are student projects and whatnot? Some of it was in black and white. Double-X or something, I can't remember. And something else, too. Not that they were badly composed at all, but these seemed a little improved somehow. Could just be my taste.

Geez, no reason to get upset. I feel sorry I gave my opinion.
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#13 santo

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 07:23 AM

frukost.jpg Well,
look at another colour timing option, I did this for fun, sry I am messing up with your job, just playing here.
Dimitrios

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


That looks pretty good. Sort of accomplishes my suggestion and makes the figures a little brighter and more a focus of the scene without getting stagey. Probably something somehow halfway between this and what mattias has might be enough, in my opinion.

Edited by santo, 21 September 2005 - 07:32 AM.

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#14 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 07:45 AM

That looks pretty good. Sort of accomplishes my suggestion and makes the figures a little brighter and more a focus of the scene without getting stagey. Probably something somehow halfway between this and what mattias has might be enough, in my opinion.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Santo,
Even that I don't like your avatar m8, at least we ve found something in common.

Dimitrios
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#15 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 07:47 AM

feel free to experiment, but be careful with what monitor you're doing it on. what it seems like you've been trying to do is already the look it has on a tv. your version would be way too hot i think. but i appreciate all suggestions. these stills came from the dv offline and have only been best light corrected in the scanner.

/matt

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Hot?
I didn't change the colour, just added more highlights.
( brighten the whites)
Dimitrios
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#16 Chris Keth

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 10:33 AM

Hot?
I didn't change the colour, just added more highlights.
( brighten the whites)
Dimitrios

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



That's exactly what he means by hot. On ym monitor, at least, the highlights blow out quite a bit more than I'd prefer.
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#17 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 12:40 PM

Geez, no reason to get upset. I feel sorry I gave my opinion.

sorry, i apologize. you've never been that kind to me in the past, on the contrary it feels like we've argued about everything there is to argue about, so i guess i was way too sensitive. :-)

/matt

Edited by mattias, 22 September 2005 - 12:47 PM.

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#18 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 23 September 2005 - 01:22 PM

That's exactly what he means by hot. On ym monitor, at least, the highlights blow out quite a bit more than I'd prefer.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Unfortunately not in Ikegami monitors especially the ones that u use as a reference :)
Dimitrios Koukas
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#19 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 23 September 2005 - 06:32 PM

the point is that the original is a jpeg pulled from a dv file on mac, each step adding its own idea of how color should be represented, and no matter how you twist it you can't adjust to any common reference. i could post a dv clip, you could correct it on your broadcast monitor and send it back, that would work. or i could upload the jpeg with a solor sync profile which you could color correct on your calibrated computer monitor, that would also work. otherwise finding a common reference is impossible. when i read this post on a pc at work the images are way too dark, while on my mac they look ok, and if i connect my mac to my tv they get really bright. well, you see what i mean, right?

/matt
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