Shooting at night

zack86's picture
Last seen: 9 years 6 months ago
Joined: 12/30/2007 - 2:08am

I am shooting my firstmovie soon. I'm using a Sony XDCAM HD F355. The two night scenes will be at an airport. I'm using 650 w Frenels plus a few others, 650 w too, all tungsten. I have a generatorbut the sound won't be a problem. I need help on how to light the two teenage male actors. Any thought on gels to use. I have to shoot at night because I'm filming the cargo freighters landing as part of the scenes. Also how far should the lights be from the actors? Any other ideas welcome. I want to try your ideas a head of time to see how well they work. THX.

Rob Grauert's picture
Last seen: 3 years 5 months ago
Joined: 02/16/2008 - 10:47pm

I've read that blue gels are a good options to create a night scene.

Also, instead of using strong key lights, use a strong rim light that is positioned high to act as moonlight and use a bounce card or reflector to illuminate the talents' faces.

I'm not an expert with lighting, this is just what i've read.

Anonymous (not verified)

Did you think to do evening shots and vfx into night scenes?

swat791's picture
Last seen: 9 years 7 months ago
Joined: 12/09/2007 - 5:21pm

"I've read that blue gels are a good options to create a night scene."

I was playing around with a blue gel over a window at noon- 1pm time. The light coming through the gel gave the room a night time full moon look. It was pretty neat looking...what I learn just trying things :)

ProJuiceTV's picture
Last seen: 8 years 7 months ago
Joined: 12/09/2008 - 10:33pm

You can do a lot with VFX in creating a night look. It really involves shooting close to the end or start of a day. You dnt want too much direct sunlight. Desaturate your footage and coulise it blue with a curves filter (or something similar). Remember that if it is a night scene, cars driving past would have lights on and street lamps etc... i kow your in an airport but think about backgrounds (through windows etc.)


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JMM's picture
Last seen: 8 years 4 months ago
Joined: 03/24/2009 - 1:19pm

im not a fan of postproduction editing to give the night feel,

I have already shoot a night scene whit the XDCAM F350 last month, i didnt wanted to put gain in the video at all to conserve the image integrity.


we used1 cars whit white diffuser to put some fill light on all the scene, its was raining heavy so we only used 3 little arri light 500w whit 1 street lamp like100 feet away. It sound like you have some good lightning equipements for the scene.

Try to use blu gels for set light, put also keep a clean one for the actors key light, so it give you the option to tweak it in postproduction and play whit the blue light whitout changing the actor skin tone too much.

You camera should give you a low light message, well the 350 did it, but the footage was great, keep it up whit your experimenting before the real night, because it could be a pain to manage the light configuration live on the scene.

I would suggest you to have a clean key light, and some white fill, blue light for set and for actorsbacklight.

Television Technician
Sorry for my english im french

ProJuiceTV's picture
Last seen: 8 years 7 months ago
Joined: 12/09/2008 - 10:33pm

That video looked great!!

I've created a tutorial for creating a night scene from day footage if anyone wants to check it out too!!

Day To Night