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Fluorescent practicals/Slow Motion

Luke McCutcheon

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I'm shooting a a low-budget music video that includes a campy square dance scene in a community center basement. The look I'm going for is a slightly higher-key version of The Knife's

video: dingy, weird, and somewhat depressing. The room has 8 overhead fluorescent fixtures, and I want to embrace the fluorescent look. I'm going to be shooting most of the dance action at 120fps on a Sony


(w/ the relatively fast Zeiss Distagon/Planar lenses). I will have the budget for a few small lights but nothing major.


My questions are:


1. In keeping with a 180° shutter and not going too crazy with my ISO, does it seem like I'll be struggling to get enough light at that frame rate (we're shooing at night so no natural light) based on how many fluo fixtures are already in the room? Ceilings are about 12' high or so. For what it's worth, we're shooting in a somewhat loose, fluid, 'cinéma vérité' kind of way and it will be tough to hide lights all the time. Also, lots of wides...


2. On a similar note, I'm curious what people's impressions are RE: the

video as to whether or not the close-ups were lit with anything beyond the existing overhead practicals.


Thanks in advance!





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I like the look of the music video having that creepy bummed out middle of nowhere vibe. Seems the video was shot pretty much with just the practicles, as there are a lot of them. the fluorescent cyan look works pretty well since it is contrasting some of the warmer wall practicles hitting the warm wood walls (does your eye see cool cyan unless there's a contrasting color in frame?)


Ceilings seem pretty high as you could shoot without seeing them possibly? If you dont have enough light maybe a 1K or something matching the flourescents bounced off camera? take a light reading before shoot. Also dont forget about FLICKER!!! at that frame frame with house hold flourescents you might have a problem, or 120 frames in a multiple of 60 so you're fine? def test before hand, I'm no expert...


Seems the toughest task will be trying to gives separation between the dancers and the background walls. some sort of warm practicles in frame to creat a hot spot like the music video?

Edited by John Hale
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Thanks John. Flicker is definitely a concern, but I figure I'll have to maybe play with the fps a bit, and certainly be open something other than 180


shutter speed and hope to get something useable. Or live with a bit of flicker...


I was thinking that maybe a ring light on camera might be a solution and solve light intensity issues, give me edgy look, and help create separation (if it were to have a slightly warm colour temp than my overhead fluos)? Thoughts?

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