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Hanging Garden Light Practicals

Daniel O'Flaherty

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Hi guys! Okay so I have a shoot coming very soon. One particular scene is in a garden at night, with friends around a table eating & in conversation. Its gonna be 10/12 seconds in the final video. So I want to put up hanging lights between 3 palm trees in the location with the characters underneath the lights. I tried looking in to research for other DP's who have done this look quite nicely. Deakins in Sicario I found he used 40 watt bulbs and there is quite a lot of them (plus light bouncing back down off the ceiling). Here is an image for reference:




So here is now my location. All exterior so no bounce from the lights giving me extra illumination down there.




So obviously this will be at night. The hanging fixtures as mentioned will go between the 3 palm trees (table and actors near center). The production designer on our meeting had with her the hanging garden fixtures. She had also 5w bulbs. Each meter of the hanging fixture is 2 bulbs (10 watts with these bulbs). I am worried that once this all is hanged up it won't be enough using these bulbs to light the scene. In my head it's around 200w over the talent heads, but if Deakins is using all 40w bulbs there than it makes me think I need to put higher wattage bulbs in this too. I could use a 500w / 1k Jem Ball over the top of them if this happens, but I kind of like it being easier to set up the wide only using the practicals & then with my MIDS coming in with a soft source for their faces (granted I am only getting 1 wide but still saves me putting up this giant light up top).


Let me please know your thoughts. Would this be enough with these 5w bulbs? Should I get a bunch of 20/40 watts instead? Should I fill in the 5watts with a bigger light up top out of frame? Anyone who has done something similar before I would really appreciate the feedback. I am using the RED Epic Dragon to film. Thanks!


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These are great suggestions JD & Adrian thank you. I have called the company the production designer had got the bulbs from - there actually 5w LED's so they will output 50 watts! I think I can relax a bit now and be fine for my wide - then in my mids & close-ups fill in with a Sky Panel or a Jem Ball. I am considering Sky Panel or Celeb instead of the Jem Ball as I will already have one of these lights for the day - a Jemball will add to the budget. If I can get a jem ball like chimera for the Sky Panel S-60c or Celeb I think that would work great. What are your suggestions on this? Thanks again guys!

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Hi Stuart. Yes I will have a chance to look at them tomorrow. They are Rola G80 5W. Their color temperature is 2000k so will be incredibly warm. But this may look quite nice on camera will have to see if I should dial my camera WB closer to this or leave it at 3200K

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