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Night lighting for forest scenes and campsite for a horror music video (with updated links)

Akie Yano

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(Reposting this with new working links of my references and photos of location cos I couldn't edit the first topic. Sorry!)

Hi! I am currently doing preproduction for a music video. It’s a horror themed music video set to reggae music. Half of the music video takes place at night. There’s a campsite scene with a bonfire and the rest of the night scenes are at the woods where the band members are exploring a creepy dark forest and eventually chased by a monster. I would like to ask for suggestions on how to light certain scenes and shots :)

I did a lot of research on lighting ideas for bonfire set ups and moonlight set ups and there are various ways to do them but I’m not sure which style can work with the limited gear I have.

We’re shooting with a Sony A7SII and prime lenses.

Here is my lighting gear:

1x1 Led Light Bi color with softbox and grid (2) - can be battery operated

1x1 led light (medium sized) (2) - can be battery operated

Led Worklight

Portable led light - battery operated

1 small portable led light

85 watt daylight bulb with china ball

Aputure 120D with light dome and spacelight attachments

25 W Beam video led light (2) - can be battery operated

Par light (Rgbw, 3watts, 50 bulbs per par) (3)

Smoke machine

CTBs, CTOs, 201s, ND gel

5 in 1 reflector

2 large styrofoam

Basically the first part of the night scenes is the campsite with bonfire setup. The 5 member band will be sitting by the bonfire which will be the main key light with moonlight at the side and the back. I might enhance the closeups with a led light with CTO or orange gel with fake flickering in front of them. I’m not to sure how to do the moonlight at their back.

My reference for the lighting is this:

The second part of the night scenes is the band exploring the dark creepy woods with their flashlight and emergency lights. So I’m thinking of having them use strong flashlight so I can bounce the flashlight light with a styrofoam back into their faces while the camera is front of them. And when the camera is from their POV, the strong light of the flashlight would be enough to light the trees (with a focused beam of course) or I can use the the portable beam lights to fake the flashlight light. I haven’t decided yet if the light will only be the flashlight cos I’m thinking I want some faint moonlight in the surroundings as well but I don’t know if it will work.

The coverage for these scenes would be medium of them. They are huddled together as they walk so the light will be only concentrated on them. Then there will be pov or OTS shot of them of each other when they face one another.

My reference for the lighting is:

The third part would be the two last remaining characters dropping their flashlights so the key light would be the moonlight now. The monster (a bloodied haggard-looking woman) would slowly appear to them. The moonlight would be more “visible” or stronger at this point. The last remaining person would run down a hill. I would shoot a shot where the camera peeks through the trees as he runs down. It might be also important to note that the person last standing is half-black. I am planning to have our makeup artist put shimmery makeup on him so the light would reflect his skin.

My reference for the lighting is:

I am not just sure how I will execute the moonlight light as key and background. I’m thinking of using the chinaball with the bulb wrapped in 201 and the ball wrapped in black foil attached to a boom pole and follow him as he walks and runs.

I apologize if this is such a long post. If you have any suggestions on how to light the particular scenes and shots I’m not sure on, I would really appreciate it!

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