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Design Issues and Solutions Film noir

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by tekgoddess, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. tekgoddess

    tekgoddess Member

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    OK,
    I love a challenge and now I've got my mind wrapped around a black and white design that simulates the old B/W detective movies. Any ideas? Will my audience be bored to tears w/out the splashes of color they've come to recognize? Let's face, night is NOT blue but audiences identify it as nightime.
     
  2. thommyboy

    thommyboy Active Member

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    That is something that is taking a step past the original design for "City of Angels". In that they have 1/2 of the stage, and actors for that matter, entirely in B/W. The other 1/2 of the stage is the author writing the film noir Sam Spade type character.
     
  3. Sayen

    Sayen Active Member

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    I did a black and white show once to emulate a 1950's sitcom. I still opted to use light warm and light cool colors to soften the actors, and instead relied on the set to set the black and white feel. All white can be very fatiguing to the eye.

    Other than a few glaring white objects on stage, which should have been painted to a light grey, the audience loved it.
     
  4. coolbeam

    coolbeam Member

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    Use lots of R97 and R98.
     
  5. Serendipity

    Serendipity Active Member Premium Member

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    I definitely think you could keep it captivating using film noir style. Just running a quick google image search for "film noir" shows pretty dramatic or interesting lighting. If you focus on designing with shadows, as opposed to designing with color, I think it could turn out really awesome! I would use a lot of interesting angles, and keep a strong contrast between very soft and hard light. Perhaps using some well chosen gobos or diffusions would show changes between light sources separate from color...
    Sounds like fun to me, I think you should try!

    @coolbeam: What do those colors do besides tone down the fixture?
     
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  6. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    I'll just mention, Black and White is done mostly by set/makeup/props and so on. I have done this for a project, and I just used a light CTB to pull some warmth out of everyone and make them more black and white. It wasn't flattering at all, and I'm not sure if I'd suggest it, but it did help push the black-and-white idea. (Side Note: Black and White pizza that an actor eats during the show = most disgusting looking thing ever)

    Film Noir to me is more about shadow use then black and white (and its almost a sepia medium, not black and white). No saturate colors of course, but a few warm straws wouldn't be horribly out of place, provided your shadow placement fit the style. Oh, and those silly venetian blind templates.

    Basically, what Serendipity said.
     
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  7. Serendipity

    Serendipity Active Member Premium Member

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    See, it's all part of my evil plot. I'm going to convince people that I have good ideas, and then when your guard is down, start making up "facts," and see how many people I can convince. For example, did you know that STEVETERRY invented the pin splitter, and the "T" shape is in honor of his last name?

    And, thank you Charc. :mrgreen:
     
  8. Serendipity

    Serendipity Active Member Premium Member

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    Is this just an idea bumping around, or is it with a certain show in mind? If so, what sort of show is it?
    Just curious...
     
  9. joeb

    joeb Member

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    I worked on a design for the aforementioned city of angels and would agree with the use of R97 and 98. I think there's now a 397 which could give you a third option with a saturation between the two. Using grey gels seemed counterintuitive at first, but it produced a nice look on stage. I'd echo using those blind patterns and finding interesting angles. Depending on the set some nice low angles and harsh side lighting could do the trick. I'm also interested to know what show.

    As a sidenote, why does CB want to tell me that counterintuitive is not a word?
     
  10. tekgoddess

    tekgoddess Member

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    I saw a film of Joseph McCarthy and I just got a vision of doing The Crucible in 1954 b/w.
    I envision shadows and maybe even some flickering w/strobes when the girls are accusing Mary Warren in court. And can't you just see Elizabeth Proctor in a Donna Reed era kitchen? A risk, I know but I'm intrigued.
     

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