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(DAY INT.) Simulating Passing Clouds

Will Jacobs

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I am preparing to film a scene which involves two characters wandering around a large family room while daylight pouring in from nearby windows continually shifts from cloudy to sunny to sunny to cloudy. Imagine an overcast day where the sun peeks out for a moment and is then obscured by clouds once again. 

My questions are:

  • Would it be more advantageous to film during the day or at night (at night so that I have complete control over the light fixtures)?
  • Am I to slowly dim the lights or introduce and take away diffusion? A grip friend proposed that I could create a very long shower curtain of various diffusions to pull in front of lights stationed outside the windows.

My lighting equipment consists of:

  • 4 redheads
  • 2 blondies
  • 2k fresnel
  • 750w Ellipsoidal
  • 1k 64 PAR
  • Aputure 600D
  • Hive Wasp PAR

I appreciate any help. Thank you!

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Hey Will:

The issue with dimming will be the change in color temperture of all of your tungsten units. Maybe that works, though? Perhaps the cheat is to use the 2 daylight fixtures as constant "skylight" (with perhaps a slight dim up when the "sun" is behind a cloud) and a dimming down of the tungsten fixtures creating the sun-beam and to hell with the color temp change (honestly it might not matter, depending on the style you're working with)

Not knowing what you have at your disposal, this is a very easy effect to program into something like blackout and send through DMX.

I also wouldn't shoot it at night, but I would probably cover the window with a solid topper to keep the real direct sunlight out and bounce the daylight fixtures into something like an ultrabounce.

Edited by Adrian Sierkowski
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My initial thought would be this, without access to Dmx and it really all depends on the layout of the house and amount of windows. So, say there’s one big window, overcast would put you on the bluer end of the spectrum so straight tungsten might make sense or not, probly not. I’d initially think to do a heavy diffusion over the window (a big bounce with a lot of firepower would be better) but if not, heavy diffusion over the window and punch that 600d straight through. That would be your sunny ambient, then have a grip either wave a floppy in front or if you have the space you could put a floppy on a c stand  and just turn it so when it’s blocking the light that’s your overcast and when it’s opened up all the way to the light that would be your sunny ambient. 
them you can use your tungsten units with blue gel to get a base ambiance in the room.

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I dont think you have the lights to sell this in wide shots with complete control and all your own lights.

I would shoot during the day and use natural ambiance from the windows then use the brightest light/s you have as an isolated direct beam of sunlight and then roll in light diffusion over it. shooting tighter will help.

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