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Michael Kosciesza

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Posts posted by Michael Kosciesza

  1. You defiantly need a much brighter light source but if budget does not permit, you're better off using reflectors. Lighting in a forest may look beautiful naturally with branches and leaves shaping the light falling on a subject. If you're getting too much light falling on the talent try diffusing it with a "branchaloris" (DIY cookaloris made of leaves and sticks). It acts like a screen but looks more natural in a forest set environment. My best advice for you is to go and location scout a area with a big clearing for sunlight. You'd be surprised how fast the sun moves across the sky especially when shooting. A rehearsal with actors and DP would be a good idea so you don't waste time blocking shots and letting the day go by. From my experience, I think filming in a forest is a very tricky task especially if you have no control over lighting, weather conditions, even ambient noise (planes, cars, people, etc.)


    Good Luck on the shoot. Let us know how it went.




  2. A few days ago, I did a exterior car scene lit with only the sun. It was a nice warm, bright winter day, we couldn't ask for anything more. (Except for maybe a HMI haha) But for a low budget short that was not an option so I brought my reflector boards for control knowing we'd need them. Once we started blocking the actor we found the sun light was being blocked by the car's roof so we had to take out our reflectors to bounce light into the cab and key him in. We used the silver side to keep the outside color temperature the same. The gold side produced a weird warm tone that didn't match the outside. I found reflecting the suns light onto the board produced a more white light and was quite harsh from close distance. You defiantly have to experiment with distance from reflector in relation to the subject. Keep the reflector still so the light doesn't move on the actors face.


    Here is a still from the shoot.



    Eileen Ryan is right, with no sun, no reflection, with no reflection, no light, and with no light, you're stuck. We ran into this problem that day. Crew call was around 7AM. We set up our jib, monitor, audio, etc... by the time everyone was ready it was about 10. Production ran smoothly until about 2PM, when the clouds rolled in, and the sun faded away. We had no light source and were still filming car interiors. We turned off the ND filter, opened the iris, but the picture was still dark. It obviously didn't look the same. With no other option, we stopped filming.


    What I would have done different:

    There was a bit of light leaking in and spilling onto the passenger seat. I would have placed a white board on the seat aimed at the actor in the drivers seat to fill him in. Also, a small battery powered LED light would have worked in the cab for a more reliable light source. A 6X6 silk on C Stands would be nice to block off any hard light bouncing off snow creating a blown out image. Next time, I'm going to try getting the hardest beam I can off the reflector and bounce it onto a white reflector board placed outside the windshield, hoping this will spread the lighting a little more.


    A lot of what you can do depends on the equipment you have available. When you are limited, you really have to think about your setup in advance. Scout out the location, look up weather from a few sources, take a few stills so you can map things out, get people who will not mind holding up a reflector for a number of hours.

  3. After looking at your reel, the only real problem with your day interior scenes (if there is one) is that you don't have a wide enough range of light intensities. I'm thinking of that bar which looks like a day interior. If you had just hit some of those walls or people with hot streaks of light, it would work. You need some hot areas and some dark areas. Sun streaks are the obvious way to do this but even soft day interiors need contrast.


    What kind of light would I use to create contrast and hot streaks? I'm thinking tweenie or betweenie? How can I achieve different light intensities?

  4. For soft light, I've got to suggest fluorescent. More efficient than most LEDs, smaller when erected, lighter, etc. I suspect you won't get two 1000W tungsten equivalent fluorescents for $500, but you might get one and a half, and that's probably a better investment.


    Cool Lights (advertising at right) have some studio 220W fluorescents which they claim are 900W equivalent for US$379. Attractive, in my view, especially as you don't need the lossy softbox to get a soft light. Their expressly portable stuff is a bit spendier.





    Those COOL LIGHTS are pretty cool :P. I did some more research on them and found mixed reviews.

    I guess a major concern is the green spike which I don't see a big deal in. A little CC gel will fix that problem. But what got me is the price, its unbeatable. You obviously won't get the quality of a DEVO or Arri but those are $1000+ not in my budget (for now).


    My question apart from the fixtures is, can I mix fluorescents with tungsten lighting? I have a few tweenies and betweenies I'd like to use for a kick or some back/ground light, but how would the camera react to this? Is it it just; add CTB and white balance, and we're ready to shoot? I've never used fluorescents in a production before.

    By the way I have a AF100 and XHA1


    I really like what I'm seeing here and I'm sure the camera will too.


    Anybody use these for an extensive amount of time? How do they hold up after prolong use?

  5. Hello,

    I am looking to expand my film/video equipment and finally deciding to buying some decent lights with softboxes. The use for these light will be very versatile from studio interviews to on location shoots. Defiantly traveling with me. My budget is around $500 and want to find some good deals. I'm also hoping to get two lights.


    I've been browsing B&H and found a few good deals. These caught my eye (but not stuck on them):


    Interfit StellarTungsten


    Smith-Victor 1000W


    Interfit Stellar X-1000


    Has anyone ever used these kits? Are there any better kits for about the same price range.

    Would you recommend 500W or 1000W?

    Do you guys know of any other places that sells lights for cheaper?


    Oh how chimeras would be nice. (but they're pricey)


    Thanks for your help.

  6. What if you were to replace the ceiling fluorescent bulbs they have in right now with new brighter ones. Then bounce some of those scoops off the ceiling or walls to add a little more ambient light. Use those soft boxes on the actors during closeups to eliminate shadows and brighten up their faces. As for the room being dark before the teacher walks in why not use the projector light and some of those soft boxes or scoops to simulate projector light on the student.

    Florescent lighting is already pretty bright and soft so i don't think you'll need much to light this scene.

    Move those lights around in the room.

  7. It's almost like an actor asking what they should do when they are unemployed.




    PS: Never announce to the world that you need work. Always present the aura that you are in demand, busy, and if a client is lucky you might be able to fit them in.


    Letting people know you are sitting around tending to your new fish tank will not improve your negotiating position. B)


    For instance, if I wanted to hire you right now, I know you'll be more willing to work "on the cheap." Just sayin' is all.


    Judging by Adrian Sierkowski's post I could get him right now for 50 bucks a day. :)


    BURN! haha.

  8. There's a cheap solution that I had use in some short films. If you put the fluorescent on a dimmer, playing with the dimmer there's a point where the fluorescent flicks. You can burn the reactance, so don't do it with your expensive Kino-flo, you can do it with domestic fluorescent and you must have a pair of backups reactances. I hope it helps.


    I'll build a dimmer box today and see how it works.

    Thanks for the helpful advice.


    I'll post some photos from the set and let you know how it went.

  9. I'm lighting a kitchen scene in a few days and was wondering how I can get a florescent light fixture to flicker? I already know that fluorescent lighting flickers super fast that the human eye can't see but I need to create a effect.

    Is there some sort of adapter I can buy or wire the fixture in a certain way? I looked online but can't seem to find a suitable solution.

    Also, it doesn't have to be fluorescent , a incandescent light bulb may work too but fluorescent lighting looks a lot cooler.


  10. What are the dimensions of the room, including ceiling height? Those 2K's are going to cast quite the shadow, to prepare for that battle. Also, what format are you shooting on?


    Here's some pictures of the room





    I'm not exactly sure on the dimensions but it's fairly small. We're shooting on HDV, or a Canon xh a1

  11. I will be lighting a motel room for a short film. The room in the script is described as dingy but takes place in the day. I think I'm gonna go with a more film noir look because later on in the script someone gets shot in the room so I wanna keep the intensity of the room constant. Add to the drama.


    These are the following lights i have to work with.


    2X 2k Fresnel

    2X Scoops

    1X Baby Fresnel

    and i can also get some lights at the hardware store and light with them.


    Any suggestions?


    There is a window in the room but im planning to keep the blinds pretty closed to keep the room dark.



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