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How to light a scene (bathroom commercial)

daxalain5's picture
Last seen: 2 years 12 months ago
Joined: 09/20/2011 - 7:24pm

hello there! I am doing a shoot next month and the challenge is to have a good lighting set up inside a bathroom. The commercial is about a urinal and how gross it can be (maybe 1-2 guys peeing and exaggerate the splash on the urinal etc.). My question is how do you properly light up a scene/place? I only have tried the regular 3 point lighting set up (interviews) and I am not really sure how to do it yet. I've been watching a lot of lighting tutorials but I can't seem to find the right one for me. Can anybody help me with this or send me a good tutorial link so I can study it more? Thank you guys!


composite1's picture
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
Plus Member Moderator

Dax,

Best thing to do is do a 'site survey' of the location or studio setup you plan on shooting and get a good look at what will be needed. You'll need to do this anyway so you can block off your scene as you match up what's on your storyboard with what's actually on site.

Take photos of the location/set from the angles you put down in your storyboard. Doing so will also help you add or remove shots from your shot list. Depending on your scene, you may or may not need 3-point lighting. There is no 'do all' lighting setup. You'll have to take into account what the mood of the scene is, size of the set/location and what kind/number of lights you'll need.

Seriously, you sound like you need a hell of a lot more time learning how this stuff works and practicing your craft without the 'Sword of Damacles' of contracts and money hanging over your head. Dude you are way behind the learning curve on this and going as is will get you into trouble. Before you can start thinking about doing semi-commercial work you need to be at the high-end of intermediate skill level. Technically, you're trying to prizefight after a lesson or two. There are no shortcuts to working in this business and without the proper skill level to work commercially is bad business....

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com


Charles Schultz's picture
Last seen: 1 year 4 months ago
Joined: 10/25/2010 - 10:38pm

Dax, do you have a hair light with a boom? I would use just the hair light and see what it looks like. Should give the nasty look you are looking for.


Woody Sanford's picture
Last seen: 6 days 4 hours ago
Joined: 10/19/2010 - 7:33am
Plus Member

Well, this may sound kind of gross but I would second lighting from above and keep it soft with a CTB on it. It will "Blue the white of the urinal but that would be my intent. Just a little Key light from high and behind the camera to give some shadow to the scene for depth. Use fake pee of course and make it good and yellow to "Pop" out from the bluish white porcelain. It would look like the set of the first "SAW" movie that was filmed in what looked like a shower room.

I would experiment with some wax sprays or something to just cut down on the shine from the porcelain (Bonus is it won't look so clean). You should be able to mess with the color of the scene and pee differently in AE if you have it and also zoom in on the splash and use a rain like effect to make it look like some got splashed on the camera lens, that is if you have access to After Effects.

Come to think of it, I'd get some stuff to kind of junk up the room and make it look like the typical "Truck stop" men's room and use a little DOF too. It'll just add texture and help sell the mood. I'm thinking watered down Tang mixed with a tiny bit of milk and some yellow food coloring might give you some great looking urine you could mess with in post.

So, I would light for "Drama" and for grading in post, kind of like a light "Hollywood teal" look and pee that stands out. Just running with the theme of it and with out seeing the room, that's about as nasty as I can get with it. :-)

Good luck with it and let us see what you come up with.

Edit: I just mixed some original gatorade and lipton green tea. Nasty looking and not totally clear so it should be easy to mess with color on it.


daxalain5's picture
Last seen: 2 years 12 months ago
Joined: 09/20/2011 - 7:24pm

@composite: Thanks for the honest comment. To tell you the truth, I just started this year and I know I have a lot os stuff to learn. I have done a couple of event videography and I have a little bit of experience doing short films with professional lighting. I know I can do it and this will be a good learning experience for me. :)

@Charles: I will try and do that. I will do a lot of test shots on this so I can achieve that look that I am looking for.

@WSanford: Those are really great ideas! I was trying to figure out how to put a "splash" on the lens and I think I can pull it off on AE. Also, I am thinking of doing a slow motion shot (twixtor) of the yellow pee falling down on the actor's foot/shoes to make it look disgusting. I still need to figure out a good story with a clever tag line in the end. We are looking at doing 30 sec 1 min commercial. I have someone to help me storyboard this and I will meet with the client next week. Thanks again man you are helping me a lot! :)



composite1's picture
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
Plus Member Moderator

Dax,

Long as you feel you can pull this project down successfully go forth my friend. It may not hurt to pull in someone with a bit more experience as an associate producer especially if there's real money on the line.

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com


D0n
D0n's picture
Last seen: 3 months 1 week ago
Joined: 11/09/2007 - 5:28pm

lighting liquids is really no different than any other pour or splash shot.... think bcaklighting an you''ll do fine..
as for the rest of your project.... build a set.... you'll be better off for camera angles and light placement...
but if that isn't in the cards... then I'd go this route with my lighting..
decide first weather we're going high key or low key... let the ambience dictate what style you need to set the mood... hard light or soft light..
then buy your lights at the hardware store and get some gaffer tape and clamps and got to work...

if soft light go with flourescent tubes... if hard light go with halogens...

keep your three point lighting in mind when lighting your subject.

set your ambient lighting up first, then set up your subject lighting... it really can be simple...


daxalain5's picture
Last seen: 2 years 12 months ago
Joined: 09/20/2011 - 7:24pm

Thanks again guys! @composite1: I actually contacted a videographer friend of mine that has years of experience and asked for a collab so hopefully he'll get back at me. That way, the work will be much better.

@WSanford: Thanks for the link! I actually go to video copilot a lot when it comes to motion graphics. The splash on the camera will definitely add to the effect and I also think that it is doable. Now, I was thinking of another effect where there will be some sort of (green) smoke because the client said that I need to emphasize the "Splashing" of the pee & the (invisible) "mist cloud" or smoke that the urine produces. If I can figure how to put that into my scene I will be good to go! :)

@Don: We are still in the process of finding a location and I think if we do find one, it will already have some sort of ambient lighting. Now, I think I might use that ambient lighting to my advantage and focus on lighting my subject(s). The idea in mind is that there will be 2 guys standing next to each other (peeing) in the bathroom and the you can see that one guy's pee is splashing and hitting the other guy's clothes/pants. There is also an idea that I want where I will do a slow motion close up (twixtor on after effects) of the pee as it hits the urinal and the guy's foot/shoe. We still need to pick an idea and make it solid. I want it to be funny/disgusting and put a clever tag line in the end. ;)

Oh by the way, the client is trying to sell a urinal cover that eliminates odor and splash. Just to give you guys an idea. :)


Woody Sanford's picture
Last seen: 6 days 4 hours ago
Joined: 10/19/2010 - 7:33am
Plus Member

Well, if you really want to sell splash guards have your talent wearing sandals when you do the splash on the foot. :-)


daxalain5's picture
Last seen: 2 years 12 months ago
Joined: 09/20/2011 - 7:24pm

@WSanford: Yep! The client and I actually had that idea but we'll see what we'll come up with as the final story. I will show you some shots of the slow motion and that splash shot edited on AE when I get the chance. Anyways, thanks again for the links and you have been helping me a lot! :)


daxalain5's picture
Last seen: 2 years 12 months ago
Joined: 09/20/2011 - 7:24pm

Anyways, here's a little commercial to show you something that I shot & edited 6 months ago. I think I am starting to get the hang of it but please let me know what you think. Thanks! :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekD4LgmQrFM&list=UUC9K0GaZ5XWr33HDDyvsh3w&index=7&feature=plcp