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Blown Out Doorway

Nicholas Lorini

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I'm shooting a short soon and the director and I have agreed to obscure the time and place of the events happening. The whole story occurs in a very dark room until the last shot, the lead exits through a doorway which is to be blown out completely so as to show him exiting in to nothingness.


My thoughts are to put up a large silk outside the doorway and hit it with a lot of light and also black out the interior of the room. Either that or try to green screen it.


What would some of you do (or have done) in a situation like this?


Also, I don't have much of a budget to work with so for lights we're talking like a 1k and some impact octacools and maybe a 750w Lowell.




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It depends on how you shoot all the other shots, is it going to be dark inside the room, or will it be lit well.


Because if it's 8 stops difference between inside the room and whatever your 1k can produce, then yea the effect will work. If it's like 4 stops difference, it won't be enough. So that's how you'll make the effect work, simply be way over exposed when the camera is pointed at the door and you'll be fine.

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Might be better to go with an Ultra-Bounce and bang into that to make it "white" as opposed to shooting through something.


Also I might be tempted to shoot that bit at night, maybe, depending on the location and sun and what units you have to use.

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What ISO are you working with?


I agree with Adrian on an ultra-bounce, but if budget is tight then I recommend sticking with your original plan but add diffusion to the heads to spread the light onto the larger diffusion. I deal situation would be an book light, combining both an ultra-bounce and diffusion on the door frame.


The reason an ultra-bounce may work better is because it'll scatter more light. Shooting an fresnel/open face straight through the diffusion may still result in a flare in camera because just enough light will pass straight through from the fresnel and flare the lens. In a pinch, though, diffusing the fresnel/open face before the larger diffusion will help spread the light more and cut down any potential lens flares.

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