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How to create this ambient lighting in 'The Conjuring' ?


Jordan Watson
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Hey Guys,

I have just taken a screenshot of 'The Conjuring' , and was wondering if anyone knows what type of light fixture was used to create this type of look?

There are other scenes where it's obvious there is 'moonlight' coming from the windows, however this is coming from the ceiling as seen in the reflections on the microphone right of screen.

Thanks in advance!

post-63981-0-82033200-1388275062_thumb.jpg

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It does look like a very soft source outside a window, mostly because it's a pool of light rather than a general ambience. Notice the way it doesn't touch the rear wall on the right, or the short wall to the left of the door. It also appears to be cut off the tops of the walls as well. If there's no window in that position, I'd guess at a fresnel through a soft box with an egg crate on it, and some grip work to flag it off the back walls.

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Hi Phil,

I'm not sure if there is/isn't windows in this room, however in another similar scene, there is a backlight used in another 'lights off scene'. There are 2 windows, both with 'moonlight' coming through, however there is an additional light coming from the ceiling?

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I don't see any ceiling light, the glass globes of the chandelier would have been top lit, being so close to the ceiling, the soft light is clearly coming from the right side of the frame, near the top of the wall judging by the slight downward angle of the shadows, but not from the ceiling. There is another light raking the side of the bed from the left.

 

I suspect the ceiling itself is actually in the shot, it's just too dark to see it.

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Thanks David and Stuart for your replies, it's greatly appreciated. So if I were to do a similar lighting design to this, perhaps an Arri fresnel through some sort of diffusion sheet would be the trick? Also desaturate the colours in post to create that neutral grey colour?

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A fresnel or an open face lamp, with a soft box would do the trick. you'd want the egg crate on to minimize spill, and keep the light fairly directional. You'd probably need some additional flags to control the light and keep it off the back wall. You could add some 1/4 ctb to it if you wanted. The desaturated look comes from the fact that it's so underexposed.

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I don't see any ceiling light, the glass globes of the chandelier would have been top lit, being so close to the ceiling, the soft light is clearly coming from the right side of the frame, near the top of the wall judging by the slight downward angle of the shadows, but not from the ceiling. There is another light raking the side of the bed from the left.

 

I suspect the ceiling itself is actually in the shot, it's just too dark to see it.

 

I can see the ceiling on my monitor and it appears to be mostly painted black!

 

On my screen it looks like the light is hitting the wall above the fireplace giving a circular shape, unless the circle is where the production designers have cleaned the wall? Which would make me ask why! ;)

It's a slightly odd room generally tho.

 

The light from the right looks like it is coming from somewhere near the bathroom.

 

Freya

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It could be that if a square window was creating the cut for the soft light, that it just looks rounded from the blurring of the square shape by the softness of the light. Or maybe if they were using flags for the cut, the vertical flags were slightly diagonal. Or maybe the window had curtains on it that were tied back in the middle, so the top corners of the window light were cut by the curtains.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Jordan,

 

This is a challenging topic post. I've been analyzing this screenshot for a while trying to imagine what lights were used to create this type of mood. I agree with David Mullen's instinct that the light source striking the back wall is coming from the right side of frame, judging from the shadows of the two small lamps on the back wall. I'm curious about something, and I'd like the opinion of others who've already posted. The shadows on the back wall seem rather sharp. This would lead me to think that the light source isn't soft. But, perhaps I'm mistaken, because of the close proximity of the small lamps to the surface upon which they're casting their shadows.

 

Another thing. I'm also a student, so take whatever I'm saying with a grain of salt. But, one of my cinematography professors advises us to save our fresnels for when we need a broad even pool of light (equal intensity from edge to edge) meaning don't waste your fresnels if you know that you're just going to shine them through silk or muslin or onto a bounce. Use an open face for this, since the light pool from an open face isn't as "clean" or consistent from edge to edge as is one from a fresnel. Obviously, ignore this if it's about overall wattage, and your fresnel just happens to be your strongest source of light.

 

I look at specular objects within an image to try and determine where lights might be located in a given scene. Looking at the bed posts, I think there is a light slightly high and frame right, perhaps coming through a window, and another light lower and frame left that seems to be just working on the hanging edge of the bed's comforter. This light seems to be a slightly warmer color temperature. I wonder if they're mixing HMI and tungsten sources here. I think this is a good example of a moody interior whose lighting has motivation, but doesn't feel too "sourcey." Thanks for sharing.

Edited by David William Harris
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one of my cinematography professors advises us to save our fresnels for when we need a broad even pool of light (equal intensity from edge to edge) meaning don't waste your fresnels if you know that you're just going to shine them through silk or muslin or onto a bounce. Use an open face for this, since the light pool from an open face isn't as "clean" or consistent from edge to edge as is one from a fresnel.

 

If you're bouncing the lamp, it doesn't make much of a difference whether the lamp is a fresnel, a par or open faced. If you're diffusing it, then it's very useful to have the control that a fresnel lens or par lens set gives you.

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