Two unique scenes, lighting input needed by you guru’s

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    • #36828
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      I am about to shoot two scenes with my new GL2 from a short I wrote.

      One is a man and a woman in a bar late at night. She is the bartender, he is a patron. I want a warm cozy feel to it, a bit dark around the edges and the people and bar to stand out.

      The other is just the main character, sitting in a dark hotel room alone. This scene is very emotional and dark. I want severe dark areas and lots of shadows.

      One of my biggest weaknesses is lighting effectively. Any hints or tips that can help me? Below is my equipment list I have now, but I have a miniscule budget. Any help would be great.

      Equipment:

      Canon GL2
      Soft FX3 filter and ND filter for camera
      Fluid head tripod
      Headphones
      Shotgun mic
      2 – Shop lights with dual 500W bulbs each (each bulb can be on or off)
      1 – Bescor VS-65 AC/DC On-Camera Light with Twin Vertical Barndoors
      1 – Pack of various colored Gels

      Oh and the use of a bar πŸ™‚

    • #163558
      AvatarTomScratch
      Participant

      Hi,
      Take a look at two films by Wong Kar Wai for reference. The first story in Chungking Express for bar lighting; and In the Mood for Love, for hotel room lighting. The main review in IMDB for Chungking states that it was shot with available light. IMO it is easier to appreciate his approach to lighting than his approach to storylines. (However, in his body of work, Chungking Express is a standout captivating (almost) unpredictable charmer.)
      REGARDS … TOM 8)

    • #163559
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      I will gladly watch it, but how can I mimic it without lighting experience and a tutorial of some kind?

    • #163560
      AvatarTomScratch
      Participant

      Boldly Boldly 8) Boldly πŸ˜€

      Try out different things. Your light kit is limited so you may need to rely heavily on available light, like Kar Wai. Experiment with your gels on your shop lights like there’s no tomorrow. Get to the sets ahead of time and do various lighting arrangements, checking out ideas you’ve considered in advance, e.g. storyboard your lights. You will need a video monitor on site to see the impact of your setups. Have an assistant who knows how to move hot lights, so that you can give directions, based on what you see in the monitor, to your assistant on how to adjust the lights. Your wattage should not cause a problem, but you will want to survey the wall socket situation to avoid blowing a fuse. In a high wattage on location situation, lighting assistants run around testing sockets in order to spread the watts over more than one fuse.

      If your bar set has neon lights, you may need to adjust cam shutter speed to prevent distracting fluttering of this type lighting.

      A high percentage of short independent films have compromised sound. The public notices and complains more about gritty quality sound than they get torked about the quality of lighting (unless the shadow lighting is really nasty with obvious video noise). Be as fussy with your audio as you are about your lighting if not more so.

      REGARDS … TOM 8)

    • #163561
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Oh believe me, I am. Audio was a major issue on our first short film and I have been hammering away at it ever since.

      I normally run the GL2 in Frame Mode, 16:9, and in full manual with the shutter speed set to 1/60. For neon lights, what should I shoot at shutter wise that works well?

    • #163562
      AvatarTomScratch
      Participant

      Re Audio: Well All Right! πŸ˜€

      Neon: Use the monitor to see what works. It may not be a problem or it could be a big problem. If you need to shoot at 1/30th that will be fine; 1/15th will be a look you may not be able to live with, even if there is little movement in the "action" — although Kar Wai sometimes achieves an effect that looks like 1/15th; probably done in post-production however. Most extreme remedy (if you need remedy) would be to kill the neon, which would wound the look/feel of the shot.

      Hope you have a good Shoot!

      REGARDS … TOM 8)

    • #163563
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Do you think using the soft FX3 filter on the GL2 would be a good idea in that environment?

      I want a warm cozy feel.

      Obviously for the Hotel scene where i want stark contrasts, that wouldnt be a good option.

    • #163564
      AvatarTomScratch
      Participant

      Hi,

      You’ll just have to cha-cha-check it out! It may work great, but the only real test is the result.

      One thing to keep in mind about filters is that while they may give you an effect that you want or may even be indispensabe (e.g., a polarizer on one of those days), they can sometimes add an unwanted effect.

      An extra piece of glass/plastic on there in the vicinity of bright lights, including sun "light," can sometimes produce a visible reflection in your lens/shot called flare. It can be an artistic plus or very annoying and require a retake. Look for flare in your monitor. It can be hard to see or recognize as a problem on the cam’s LCD. Also, Flare Happens even without filters; a good reason to use your monitor as you adjust your lights.

      Have a great shoot!

      REGARDS … TOM 8)

    • #163565
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Great advice Tom …. you ought to be a teacher (PROBABLY ARE?)

      To the original poster:

      Use that corn-fangled Internet as your Library of Congress. Read, Print topic articles, Read some more. Search using all sorts of component words like VIDEO LIGHTING SOFT LIGHTING HARSH LIGHTING EFFECTS, etc and fal-de-rah.

      That’s how I learned this trade … and judging by my viewers, I learned well.

      Good Luck, keep us posted on the movies release – would love to see it.

      Sketch

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