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Lighting a moonscape

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by hwlights, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. hwlights

    hwlights Member

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    My high school is putting up an original show which, without trying to explain the plot, involves the main character dreaming about his childhood when he wanted to be an astronaut.

    For lighting this scene, I am trying to create a lighting look that is reminiscent of the iconic pictures of the first moon landing. Has anyone had experience with this kind of thing or does anyone have ideas about how I might be able to accomplish this look? I've figured out that it is a lot of high intensity front light deflecting off the earth that is the source, but are there any filters, gel colors or gobos that would help me simulate this effect?

    In terms of instruments we are on an extremely tight budget. We essentially have no money for new instruments but we do have a good number of source 4s and source 4 juniors, parnels and plenty of old leko's to fill in the cracks. No moving lights, gobo switchers or scrollers to speak of, so I am going to have to do all of this with the basics.

    Thanks for any help you can give me
     
  2. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    So you want the stage to look like this? [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMINSD7MmT4[/media]
     
  3. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Your going to want as much light from one direction as possible.

    Its too bad you could not talk to the Director of Photography from the moon landings. I am sure he is dead by now, but he made it look pretty real and there were no moving lights in 1969 :rolleyes:
     
  4. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    1. Richard Cadena's book says automated lights can be traced back to 1906.
    2. OUR first moving light source is 4.5 billion (+11) years old, (this Tuesday).
    3. I forgot to wish ControlBooth a happy sixth birthday on Friday, 01/30/09!:(

    hwlights, use as much light as possible (maybe six of your ERSs?) coming from one location (wherever you decide the sun is--light on the moon is not "deflecting off the earth"--it's regular light from the Sun, just like here.) The video shows it to be low sidelight coming from SR. A single source with near-parallel rays would be ideal, but you're not going to rent a MoleBeam. Keep in mind there's no blue sky; because the moon has no atmosphere, the sky is always black.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2014
  5. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    There is a mythbusters episode that was on a few weeks ago about the "faking" of the moon landings. They re-created all of the shots on the moon. I want to say they used a 5k or a 10k fresnel. Find the episode, take a look at what they did.
     
  6. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed Member

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    what i would do is, use the brightest fixtures you have... Put one on stage right, and one on stage left, both about eye level... if you can black out the rest of the set, be it by removing movable set pieces, or closing a black drape, it will help with the effect.

    for color, either a Rosco 62 (booster blue), or one of the blue color correctors will work.

    i bought a car from a guy who was on the NASA film crew... he insists the shots were real, but, how did they get the camera in position... LOL
     
  7. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    I hope you guys are kidding about the whole moon landing thing.

    As far as the show, yeah, just grab your biggest fixture and light it from one angle.

    Mike
     
  8. Chris Chapman

    Chris Chapman Active Member

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    Something that is forgotten about this one directional lighting on the moon is the reflectivity of the Moons surface. There is a substantial amount of bounce light on the Moon from the surface, so depending on your decking if you go from a high, bright, one source, you may find that all you are getting is stark shadows, when in reality there is a good deal of bounce light coming from below.

    If your floor is black, and it is "roughly" the same color as Asphalt, you can come close. If you have a wood or gray deck, your reflections will be off.

    But if someone is noticing your shadows are off, something is very very wrong with the scene in the first place.

    -Chris
     
  9. hwlights

    hwlights Member

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    thanks for the tip on the mythbusters ep. Obnoxiously enough our stage is unpainted maple, and the school will not give us the money to do anything about it. It is probably going to end up bouncing off weirdly, but if I really hit it from one angle then I think it will be at least close.
     
  10. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    Wow! Unpainted maple? I usually only see unpainted floors in concert halls.

    Mike
     
  11. NickJones

    NickJones Active Member

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    Im sure the people at NASSA had to face the same problems.... (this thread could easily become more about faking the moon landing than lighting a moonscape :grin: ) My soloution for anything complicated like this is mostly projections. Your school will own a projector and a few laptops I'm sure. So get a photo from google (Make sure you go extra-large images) and throw it up on the wall. Although you could probably do it with lighting effects and such like, if your budget is as low as mine, you probably won't care.
    Up to you
    Nick
     
  12. hwlights

    hwlights Member

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    That is certainly a thought. With we way we are going to end up having the set we would probably have to do a massive keystone on it. I know we have experimented with projecting onto the cyc before because you can get a really great look without much real work. I don't know how far toward the literal picture side of things the director would be willing to go (since we are pretty big on the symbolic/metaphorical theater stuff) but I definitely need to add that to my back of tricks
     
  13. iLightTheStage

    iLightTheStage Active Member

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    Maybe several parnels from a slightly upstage batten with either n/c or some dull blues. That angle would lose some of your reflection from the floor into the ceiling of the audience instead of into the set.

    For your floor, if it is within budget, could maybe try for some gray muslin or drop cloths stretched tight and taped down with gray gaff.
     
  14. ScottH

    ScottH Member

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    You describe the show as being a "dream" or "reminiscing" so dont be so literal with it. It doesn't have to look exactly like the moon landing. It does, however have to look exactly how the character dreamed it would as a child. So make it look like his dreams, feel free to add some color, make it fanciful, romantic, tragic, regretful (as the characters case may be). Be subjective then paint the stage with what you see in your head. If you were actually faking a moon landing (which it wasn't btw) then you could be super literal but come on, this is lighting DESIGN, not lighting re-creation people.
     
  15. seanandkate

    seanandkate Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    I might try to take the biggest, baddest fresnel I had and put it on the tip of an upstage bar and fly it in so it actually appears as the "sun." (You could suppliment this with other lights hidden behind the border). It will blead into the audience, but that would be a plus. Then supplement that with some low fronts from the opposite side that would fill the shadows with some "bouncing off the lunar surface" kinda light. If they play it downstage enough, your upstage should stay pretty dark. Then if you wanted to transition into something more "dream-like," that might look kinda cool . . .
     
  16. NickJones

    NickJones Active Member

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    Did I actually say something that someone is going to consider????
    GO ME!
    Nick
     
  17. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

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    Definitive proof that miracles do happen.:twisted::mrgreen:
     

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