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How to do the big step ?


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#1 Dominik Muench

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Posted 23 September 2005 - 10:06 PM

Hi guys,

ive been shooting music videos and short films for a while now and i feel quite confident when it comes to lighting those, but how is it with big sets and feature films ? How did some of you approach this step when you had to shoot something big, with lots of wattage for the first time ?
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#2 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 24 September 2005 - 12:09 AM

Hi guys,

ive been shooting music videos and short films for a while now and i feel quite confident when it comes  to lighting those, but how is it with big sets and feature films ? How did some of you approach this step when you had to shoot something big, with lots of wattage for the first time ?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


To be really honest of how went into this: my first feature film was an indie, so it didn't have big, huge stage lighting demands,I mean we could do it, but there was no budget.

But when I did some adverts and feature later on, I was always reffering to my handbooks in times and especially Blain Browns one ''the filmakers pocket reference'' that has inside the output in FC of almost any lighting fixture till the day it published.
So I didn't have to guess if I need a 6K cinepar or a 12k one.
Usually I ask for a floor plan and put my lights on at my home office, (I guess most of us do the same).

It just needs best schedule in everything.

Have a gaffer that u trust with you is a great relief.

Bigger set-up just need a lot of time, so ask for it.
One thing you will need to be take care off is know what are the aesthetic demands and approaches, and do tests.Hairs, make-up or anything.Stay in close collaboration with the set designer and the director.
I hope that I have been helpfull,
Dimitrios Koukas
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#3 Bob Hayes

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Posted 24 September 2005 - 12:19 AM

There are lots of ways to approach big sets some key things I try to keep in mind is you don?t want to do a lot of relighting. I try to pick one great hero angle that it looks good in for my widest shots. Then think of side angles that take advantage of your main lighting set up. Think about cheating reverses to keep the huge lighting down.

You need to think of genie placement and two huge long runs that will distribute your power to the side of the set.

Also work on your architectural drawing skills. Start by drawing floor plans and sketching where you want your lights to go. This will help in communicating with a gaffer who may not get a chance to see the location or if he has seen it will give you something to talk over. Also by sketching it out you will see how many units you need.

On bigger shows I often take the time and extra money and light a 270 degree lighting set up. Then when I show up we are bullet proof and can light in any direction quickly.
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#4 Dominik Muench

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Posted 24 September 2005 - 01:50 AM

thanks for the help guys.

what me worries a bit is till this whole footcandle issue. how do i know how many footcandles i need ? i mean how do i know ok for this scene i need a 12k instead of a 6 k ?
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#5 Ram Shani

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Posted 24 September 2005 - 03:12 AM

thanks for the help guys.

what me worries a bit is till this whole footcandle issue. how do i know how many footcandles i need ? i mean how do i know ok for this scene i need a 12k  instead of a 6 k ?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



hi

how do you know if you need 650w or 2k ? its the same thing its about know what is light and how to use it (distance-diffusen-f/stop)

my rule of thumb is:

big light can be cut dawn

so if i have dout i use biger light

2- take a good gaffer with you and make him your partner.

ram
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#6 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 24 September 2005 - 09:12 AM

thanks for the help guys.

what me worries a bit is till this whole footcandle issue. how do i know how many footcandles i need ? i mean how do i know ok for this scene i need a 12k  instead of a 6 k ?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Try to have with u what I use and got me out of trouble many times, A bit old though, I hope that he has a newer edition.It's ''the filmakers pocket reference'' by Blain Brown from focal press,
It has photometric data of almost all the fixtures that there were available those days...1992 he-he.Most of them are beeing used till now, also check the Arri lighting site if you can find any photometric data brochures.There are many tables with FC's related to f/stops at specific ASA that u can use.
Dimitrios Koukas
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#7 Paul Bruening

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Posted 24 September 2005 - 10:29 AM

Here's another good book with both explainatory info as well as comprehensive tables that can answer all of your tech Q's: Set Lighting Technician's Handbook by Harry C. Box, ISBN 0-240-80495-3.

Basically, big sets mean big lights. The exposure and ratio rules are the same. Here are some categories that are different from tight lighting situations:

Backdrops are tall so the back lights have to be set high. So, keeping out lens flare and managing short shadows on the ground in front of subjects becomes an issue.

Your front light throws will be so long that you tend to have to run them way-up high just like the back lights. If you don't then shadows will fall all over back subjects.

If the set will allow ceiling or above grid-mount of lights you won't have to rent so many monster stands. Also, you won't have to worry about stands in the shot. Also, the lights can be closer to subjects and therefore smaller (you tend to mount more, smaller cans in that situation) I prefer the stands, but that's just me.

You gotta have lots of juice. That has to run down big feed lines. Underestimating feed lines can be a hassle that will shut down the production.

All the extra juice, lines and big cans means more opportunity for buzzes and noise in the sound rig. That may not be a concern if alll your stuff will be lip-sync.

Don't short yourself on the crew budget. The more you add light, the more you multiply your need for crew, set-up time, and costs.
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#8 Glenn Hanns

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 01:33 AM

Here's another good book with both explainatory info as well as comprehensive tables that can answer all of your tech Q's: Set Lighting Technician's Handbook by Harry C. Box, ISBN 0-240-80495-3.



Heres an excerpt:

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#9 Ram Shani

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 03:12 AM

hi

send me your e-mail

i have a very good software.


ram
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#10 Chris Keth

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 11:36 AM

hi

send me your e-mail

i have a very good software.
ram



What software is it? I'd be very interested in seeing it. I have my first largish setup to do soon. :blink:
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#11 Glenn Hanns

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 07:20 PM

hi

send me your e-mail

i have a very good software.
ram



Its glenn@uow.edu.au
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#12 Ram Shani

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 10:54 AM

hi

its a softwere for:

lamp power - light meter - lenses - time lapse - dof - filters - film lenght

ram
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#13 Riku Naskali

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 06:32 PM

I think it's http://www.cinematog.../Files/film.zip
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#14 Ram Shani

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Posted 13 October 2005 - 02:14 AM

hi

yes this is it

i didn't remmber were i download it from

ram
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#15 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 13 October 2005 - 02:18 AM

I think it's http://www.cinematog.../Files/film.zip


That's a nice software, but it doesn't help a lot with light fixtures,
U see it says for example tungsten light output in 1 meter, but u cannot calculate the same light for flood or spot adjustments.
It's really rough.
Dimitrios Koukas
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