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Lighting for fireplace scene

Mark Kelly

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Hey everyone,


My first post on here and fairly new to filmmaking. I've got a project coming up and I'm unsure about what lighting to use.


It is for a Christmas advert which will feature a kid in a living room with a fire place. The desired look is warm, low lighting as it will be set at night.


I'm will use the minimal practicals as the main visable sources of light. I will have the fireplace, some candles and a lamp which will appear as the main source of light. I'm going for very soft and warm lighting. I was thinking maybe just one kino flo with a gel to make it a bit warmer


If anyone would recommend a lighting set up for this I would be very grateful!



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Get a paper lantern (aka a China Ball) with a 100w incandescent bulb and an in-line dimmer from the hardware store. When you dim down the bulb it will give you a nice warm color similar to firelight. You can ride the dimmer up and down to simulate the fire flicker.


The tricky part will be rigging the light where you want it, since paper lanterns are designed to be hung on rope, but you would want the light fairly low from the general direction of the fireplace. Also, paper lanterns burn in a matter of seconds if they come into contact with a hot bulb.


I would recommend getting a Lantern Lock which basically allows you to rig the lantern safely in any orientation with standard grip gear: http://www.filmtools.com/lantern-lock-china-ball-system.


Then all you need to position the lantern near the floor is a pancake (1/8 apple box) with a baby plate screwed into it and a grip head. Place an actor or a large prop in the foreground of your shot to hide the lantern and you're done.

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Thanks for your responses.


Yes I should have given more info on the layout. It will be pretty small living room and the kid will be sitting near the fire, maybe about a meter away. There will be a lamp off to the side another two meters away.


One problem is that the lights will be off when the kid enters the room. The way around this I guess is to have the kid pretend to turn on the lamp which will be on the same power source as whatever light I choose to use. When the kid pretends to turn on the lamp, that will be a que to turn on the power source which has the lamp and the light on it. Does this make sense?


David, I was thinking about using some very low ambient fill just to bring the overall level up. Could you recommend a light for this?



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