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Film noir adaption for theatre stage: Creating atmosphere

Discussion in 'Special Effects' started by chiaroscuro, Apr 26, 2016.

  1. chiaroscuro

    chiaroscuro New Member

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    We're planning to do a theatre production inspired by the "film noir" genre. I've already got a few ideas for dramatic lighting (loads of backlight, strong contrasts and the odd venetian blind using gobos).

    Now, I'd also like to capture that classic black & white atmosphere that comes with these films. Does anybody have any ideas how to best create this?

    Any other suggestions for creating the atmosphere are welcome, too. :)
     
  2. chausman

    chausman Chase Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    R99 Chocolate.
     
  3. DRU

    DRU Active Member

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    Definitely spend some time researching the color pallette for scenery, costumes, and makeup.

    Sent from my SM-J320P using Tapatalk
     
  4. JohnD

    JohnD Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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  5. chiaroscuro

    chiaroscuro New Member

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    Cheers to all of you guys for your hints, you’re great!

    Special thanks to @JohnD for pointing me to the wiki – I did a search on “film noir” topics in the forum before posting my question. Apparently the search does NOT cover the wiki. ;-) Now I’ve got loads of inspiration! :)

    @chausman: Interesting choice with the R99. Intuitively I thought about cooling colors like grey (R97/ 397 / 98). You’re suggesting a sepia scene, right? Do you have any practical experience, how this looks?
     
  6. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I've used R99 for a show set in a dusty, dimly lit, attic. It came off looking warm without looking brightly lit. For my purpose I quite liked it.
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard.
     
  7. rsmentele

    rsmentele Well-Known Member Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    In my experience the grey gels simply reduce output rather than adjust color. Maybe someone else will have a better explanation, but the grey gel is just like inserting an ND filter in the camera, it just reduces light output/input.
     
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  8. chausman

    chausman Chase Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    Pretty much what @RonHebbard said. We used it for the Kansas scenes in Wizard of Oz (along with some deliberate costume design) to look black and white, and in The Survivor (WWII era) to look bleak and colorless. It doesn't actually look as warm as you'd think on stage.
     
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  9. chiaroscuro

    chiaroscuro New Member

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    So my curiosity got the best of me: I've ordered a sheet of the "chocolate" filter. ;-) Can't wait to try it on our rehearsal stage! :)
     
  10. seanandkate

    seanandkate Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Here's an old thread where the merits / lack thereof were discussed at some length.
     
  11. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Well? (As in 'Well? How did you like it?)
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard.
     
  12. chiaroscuro

    chiaroscuro New Member

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    Eventually, I've got to test the filters (for the record: it weren't Rosco's R99 but Lee 156 ). Everybody thought it had an interesting effect. But in the end we decided it didn't really create the light for the kind of mood we want on stage. So the sheet goes on the shelf - who knows, it may fit in some other show? ;-)

    On a side note: I accidentally got my hands on some 1/2 CTB (Lee 202 aka R372), which I then tested in the same setting as well. This gave a rather cool effect, too (pun intended). Might be a bit too harsh, though, to use it as a base for everything (I also understand it might create eye fatigue?).
     
  13. Reggie

    Reggie Member

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    99 produces a Sodium Vapor look when used with a Tungsten Halogen source. Not sure why anyone would suggest that gel for any other use..... CTB is typically used for what audiences accept as moonlight in film. Maybe try 1/4CTB or 1/4 + 1/8th CTB
     
  14. chiaroscuro

    chiaroscuro New Member

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    The association with moonlight hit me, too, indeed. Thanks for the hint with 1/4 CTB.
     
  15. CPayneLighting

    CPayneLighting Member

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    My senior thesis project in college was a show in black and white. For lighting I used R3202 and R3203 plus R98 (to help adjust for amber shift). Plus I worked very closely with costumes, makeup and scenic designers for color choices. there are many different color blacks out there for paint, fabric and makeup. We used our light lab to look at everything under the lighting before it went onstage. If you have more questions or would like to discuss it further PM me. I can also share some photos if you'd like.
     
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