Help!

Rose03

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Nov 1, 2018
Location
Millerton, NY
Ok so I'm trying to get a guy by doing some lighting for him. The catch? It's film lighting, something I've never had experience with before. I have four Altman 3.5qs, one B&M Fresnel, a Strong Trouperette II follow spot, two pars, a four pot dimmer, controller, and no gel nor stands. What do I do? I'd like to do well and get a date, but do I have enough to pull this off?
 
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Les

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Feb 24, 2004
Location
DFW, Tx.
This is the sweetest post ever.

What type of location are you lighting? Interior/exterior? Film lighting is not my forte, but from what I do know, it needs to be bright and (generally) soft. Do you have a budget for any rentals? The main thing I can think of needing would be more studio fresnels and some c-stands.

If it's an interior shoot, I could see the 3.5's being useful for gobos like window shades cast on to walls, etc. The 3.5Q isn't always kind to gobos, but the types you would use in film (breakups, windows, etc) are usually resilient and don't need to be too detailed.

I only have cursory knowledge in gels as well. But I would assume that you might need a few sheets of CTB (correct-to-blue) and potentially some frost.

Hopefully more people will post who have more knowledge in film/TV than myself, but I really just want to wish you the best of luck. Hope you get that date!
 
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MNicolai

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Sarasota, FL
Film lighting usually involves c-stands to mount the lights on and cooler color temperatures than you'll get with tungsten. You can get come CCB gels to cool the tungsten down to a more neutral white. A certain amount of correction can be done in the camera or in post, though the closer you can be on location the better.

Film/photography often involves larger scenes that need the lights more like wash lights than spots, and spread apart from the subject (backlight, key light, fill light, etc). You can use some diffusion gels to soften the spots and make them behave a little more like softboxes. Sometimes it's a little tricky using tungsten for location lighting though -- 750w-1kW fixtures can be hard to find power sources for depending on where you're filming. That may mean you need to locate some extra power cables to reach some extra receptacles that aren't all on the same circuit breaker.

Anything's possible depending on the circumstances and what they're trying to achieve. At the risk of making a bad joke, many times it's not about your equipment but how you use it.

This is one of those situations where sometimes a friend of a friend has some equipment kickin' around that you can borrow for a week or two. YouTube is great for ideas. (focus more on the concepts than the gak. Photographers love to take about "gear" and dedicate entire blogs and pages of their portfolios to it -- sometimes that means they miss the forest for the trees on basic concepts you can achieve just as well with clip lights from Home Depot.)



 

JonCarter

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Joined
Apr 18, 2011
Location
Meridian, Idaho, US
First, talk w/the DP (director of photograph). Is this (real) film or is it video? If it's film, color temperature of the lighting will need to match what the film is designed for, probably either 3200K tungsten or 5600K daylight. Will it be location or studio? If the latter things will be pretty much under your control; if the former you'll either have to supplement what's there or overpower it. (Or of you can, shut it off & do things yourself.) If it's exteriors and you're supplementing daylight, arcs may be necessary, or filtrering tungsten to daylight color (very inefficient.). What is the picture? Is this a feature of some kind or an industrial or medical or a TV commercial? Lighting and equipment are quite different for a high-key comedy or a spookey-looking thriller or showing the uses of electric motors in a factory or a toothpaste commercial. More info needed!
 

Rose03

Active Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2018
Location
Millerton, NY
From what I've gathered the video will be shot indoors and outdoors. It will be on location as we only have tea money. I do realize I'll need stands for this, would it be possible to cobble together my own? We also don't have the money for gobos so I was thinking I could cut some out of tinfloil. As for gel I was planning on stealing some from the local theater since they're wildly rich and are mostly LED now. Due to redshift should I avoid dimming any of my lights?
 
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macsound

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Joined
Jun 15, 2018
Location
San Francisco, CA
You could possibly take a ladder and bolt a horizontal strut to the top so you could hang a couple of lights off it.
In general though, you're probably going to need more lighting inside than outside and none of your lights are bright enough to compete with the sun. Like mentioned above, getting power for theatrical lights in someone's house is going to be difficult. Might look into renting a generator or atleast going out ahead of time to figure out where the circuits are.
 

RonHebbard

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Premium Member
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Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
You could possibly take a ladder and bolt a horizontal strut to the top so you could hang a couple of lights off it.
In general though, you're probably going to need more lighting inside than outside and none of your lights are bright enough to compete with the sun. Like mentioned above, getting power for theatrical lights in someone's house is going to be difficult. Might look into renting a generator or at least going out ahead of time to figure out where the circuits are.
@Rose03 and @macsound Isn't one of the common, low budget, exterior lighting tricks to use hand-held reflectors (or sheets of white cardboard) to reflect the sun onto your subject from an alternate ( fill ) angle rather than attempting to compete with the sun's key lighting?
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 
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Van

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2006
Location
Portland, Or.
@Rose03 and @macsound Isn't one of the common, low budget, exterior lighting tricks to use hand-held reflectors (or sheets of white cardboard) to reflect the sun onto your subject from an alternate ( fill ) angle rather than attempting to compete with the sun's key lighting?
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard

For Outdoor shoots a 'Bounce' is the way to go. Get some Foam core. If you can find the stuff that is Black on one side and white on the other you can use it to reflect sun or kill bounce off of other objects in the area. Another effect is to use foil backed insulation or, one of those shiny car window soft foam reflectors. Those tend to give a more mottled bounce and the light is more "interesting". Having one grip holding a bounce, just off camera can totally fill out a look. It can also look like crap if not done well. < I like watching movies and commercials and seeing if I can tell where the Grip with the bounce was standing>. A big bounce, outside a window can be a great stand in for a 10k on a sunny day.

Being a stage lighting guy, the weirdest thing I noticed about film lighting (on happenstance tours of a film lot, and minute work experience) is how much florescent lighting was used...
The Florescent fixtures used in film are not typical household florescent fixtures. I'm sure there are other manufactures but the ones I've used the most are Kino Flow's they have special ballasts and coating to address flicker and color temp. Normal florescents would flicker too badly and appear extremely green.

... Due to redshift should I avoid dimming any of my lights?
If your fixtures are all halogen at 3200-3600k° then yeah, run everything at full. You worry about getting light on the actors and let the DP worry about the f-stop. The DP is in better control of how 'bright' the scene looks. You'd be amazed at how often night time scenes are shot in afternoon light; it's all about the camera work. You mostly want to squirt light at a consistent temperature at as much of the scene as possible, or whatever they want lit. <sometimes you don't want the background lit just the talent>



Good Luck! and I agree with @Les ; this is about the sweetest post I've ever read on here.
 
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