Jump to content


Photo

Lighting a movie theater


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 Johnny Derango

Johnny Derango
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 10 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 17 October 2005 - 07:07 PM

I'm getting ready to shoot a music video which mostly takes place inside a movie theater. I'm just look for advice from anyone who may have previously shot inside a theater. The main thing I am wondering about is about using a projector as backlight. Is it practical to get a 2nd projector to use as the backlight since the real projectors beam will be too high? And are duvy skirted space lights a good option for fill?? I'd appreciate any advice.
  • 0

#2 Glenn Hanns

Glenn Hanns
  • Sustaining Members
  • 160 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 17 October 2005 - 09:44 PM

I'm getting ready to shoot a music video which mostly takes place inside a movie theater. I'm just look for advice from anyone who may have previously shot inside a theater. The main thing I am wondering about is about using a projector as backlight. Is it practical to get a 2nd projector to use as the backlight since the real projectors beam will be too high? And are duvy skirted space lights a good option for fill?? I'd appreciate any advice.



Try getting a third projector and projecting onto foam-core for a realistic fill.
  • 0

#3 John Pytlak RIP

John Pytlak RIP

    (deceased)

  • Sustaining Members
  • 3499 posts
  • Industry Rep
  • Rochester, NY 14650-1922

Posted 17 October 2005 - 10:02 PM

Try getting a third projector and projecting onto foam-core for a realistic fill.


From the description, it sounds like they want to show the audience looking towards the screen, with the projector beam coming from a projection port in the background. A bit of fog helps here. Some theatres have the booth lower in the theatre, but many are above the balcony or top rows of the stadium seating.
  • 0

#4 Dimitrios Koukas

Dimitrios Koukas
  • Sustaining Members
  • 569 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Athens, Greece, London UK

Posted 18 October 2005 - 05:42 AM

Try getting a third projector and projecting onto foam-core for a realistic fill.


Or, he can simulate this with some lights falling on the foam core and switching randomly on and off, It is a nice idea to use a ''cooler'' light to simulate the projector's lamp colour temperature.
As for the backlight, just use a fresnel or similar light. even a parcan can do the job, how narrow or wide it will be it depends of the distance of subject to camera.
Like mr Pytlak said a bit of smoke will help a lot.
Dimitrios Koukas
  • 0

#5 Michael Nash

Michael Nash
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3330 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Pasadena, CA

Posted 20 October 2005 - 04:34 PM

I know we've discussed theater interiors many times before, so check the archives for more suggestions. You may have to go back a bit.

One trick I've done is to put a light inside the projection booth and aim it through the window, so you get a "natural looking" backlight from the proper angle. I say "natural looking" in quotes because it's not really natural; you don't get much spill onto the audience when the projector is properly focused on the screen! ;) But it looks appropriate to have a slight rim from that source.

Spacelights overhead can give you a good soft ambience, but you have to keep the level pretty low or else you destroy the look of "darkness." Instead I'd concentrate on giving a subtle rim or edge for separation, and then "key" the faces with light motivated by the movie screen.

There are lots of tricks that work well for that, but the movie screen itself makes a great bounce source. Try multiple lights on dimmers with different colored gels bounced off the screen.
  • 0

#6 Johnny Derango

Johnny Derango
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 10 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 20 October 2005 - 08:18 PM

I know we've discussed theater interiors many times before, so check the archives for more suggestions. You may have to go back a bit.

One trick I've done is to put a light inside the projection booth and aim it through the window, so you get a "natural looking" backlight from the proper angle. I say "natural looking" in quotes because it's not really natural; you don't get much spill onto the audience when the projector is properly focused on the screen! ;) But it looks appropriate to have a slight rim from that source.

Spacelights overhead can give you a good soft ambience, but you have to keep the level pretty low or else you destroy the look of "darkness." Instead I'd concentrate on giving a subtle rim or edge for separation, and then "key" the faces with light motivated by the movie screen.

There are lots of tricks that work well for that, but the movie screen itself makes a great bounce source. Try multiple lights on dimmers with different colored gels bounced off the screen.


Thanks for the advice, I'm slowly starting to put together a plan. Should be a fun scene to light
  • 0

#7 Michael Nash

Michael Nash
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3330 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Pasadena, CA

Posted 23 October 2005 - 05:17 PM

There's a cool shot in Pearl Harbor where Josh Hartnett is watching a newsreel. The projector window is framed over his shoulder and they momentarily aim the beam straight into the lens, giving lots of lens flare. It's completely unrealistic yet in the context of the movie it works and looks really cool. In a music video, I'd think you could get away with a lot if you wanted to.
  • 0

#8 Mitch Lusas

Mitch Lusas
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 99 posts
  • Director
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 24 October 2005 - 05:55 PM

I neat little trick for the flicker is an HMI (with snoot) shooting through a big fan on low speed. You can either use this as direct for more realistic lighting, or bounce it, which would provide a more aesthetic lighting scheme.

A neat experiment would be to place different colored gel between the fan blades to simulate color changes.

Have fun.

Mitch Lusas
Virginia Beach, VA
  • 0

#9 Johnny Derango

Johnny Derango
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 10 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 24 October 2005 - 06:10 PM

I neat little trick for the flicker is an HMI (with snoot) shooting through a big fan on low speed. You can either use this as direct for more realistic lighting, or bounce it, which would provide a more aesthetic lighting scheme.

A neat experiment would be to place different colored gel between the fan blades to simulate color changes.

Have fun.

Mitch Lusas
Virginia Beach, VA



Thanks, that is a great idea Mitch, totally worth testing.
  • 0


CineTape

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Metropolis Post

Opal

Paralinx LLC

Ritter Battery

Abel Cine

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Glidecam

Rig Wheels Passport

Wooden Camera

Visual Products

CineLab

FJS International, LLC

Willys Widgets

rebotnix Technologies

The Slider

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Aerial Filmworks

Tai Audio

Technodolly

CineTape

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Paralinx LLC

Wooden Camera

Aerial Filmworks

CineLab

Glidecam

Tai Audio

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Abel Cine

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Technodolly

Rig Wheels Passport

Metropolis Post

rebotnix Technologies

Opal

Willys Widgets

FJS International, LLC

Ritter Battery

The Slider

Visual Products