Questions on day/evening & shadows


I'm working on lighting design in a small blackbox theater (22' x 12' stage), and am lighting a play that is a realistic outdoor setting, with morning, late afternoon, and late evening lighting states.

A problem I've run unto in the narrow space is that when lighting acting areas with the warm/cool method from 2 different angles, at a distance of 17', there's an ugly result of usually three shadows hitting onto the set & it's somewhat distracting from the audience point of view. Does anyone have any experience with this sort of problem?

I was wondering if a diffusion filter would help at all, or perhaps simply giving up on the angled warm/cool wash, in favor of mono-directional covers, accepting that some shadow will hit the set, and at least keeping it down to one...maybe a warm daylight, a cool evening, with one or two key lights to suggest moonlight or sunlight as necessary.

I am, of course, new to this, so any suggestions on the shadow or the day/evening effects would be greatly helpful!
well as far as realistic 'sun placement' goes just remember that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. As for the shadow problems, make sure you have enough top light, and maybe consider fresnels for front light. I've usually only found ellipsoidals useful as specials in studio settings. And with the fresnels, the general 3-point lighting isn't as apparent because of the amount of spill. Usually I would just hang plenty of toplights and some loosely focused fresnels for front light, making sure that I had both warm and cool capabilities. With fresnels, a single front light per area in a studio is usually acceptable. Of course, all the rules of lighting change depending on what particular space you're working in.

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