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  1. I am on a quest... I recently acquired an Arriflex SR I and have been preparing for my first 16 mm film project––a proof-of-concept short film for a micro-budget feature I plan to create in the next two years. Most of the story involves both day and night interior scenes: a classroom, an art gallery, households etc. My aesthetic approach is greatly influenced by the oeuvre of Tarkovsky, Bergman, Bresson, Antonioni, and Dreyer. I have a tremendous reverence for Sven Nykvist and have been sifting through the scarce footage there is of him at work. Rising from the ashes of my previous digital life, I confess my ignorance to the world of tungsten and HMI lighting after having sunk deeply into the sofa of LEDs. Yet, I've been fervently researching these past couple of weeks and analyzed documentaries of Nykvist... It appears Nykvist frequently used Ianebeam redheads (I would assume 1000w) and 2k blondies to bounce light. I'm uncertain which other models of lights he used seen in the attached screenshots and photograph. I'd imagine he shot on tungsten stock for interior scenes and had the great fortune of utilizing a soundstage to his advantage. Given that I am an independent filmmaker working with a micro-budget, where do I begin when it comes to investing in lighting equipment? For me it seems that incandescent lighting is the most reasonable route to tread at this juncture. I will invariably be shooting on-location for this narrative and I'm debating how I might tackle lighting interior scenes in the footsteps of Nykvist. The questions I continue to wrestle with are: Should I shoot on 250D or 500T? If I choose daylight stock, is it worth gelling tungsten lamps and losing light? If I choose tungsten stock, is it worth gelling windows? How much light do I really need/which lights normally get the job done if I should like to use an aperture of 4? I'm also quite ignorant to generators. I understand that if one were to acquire and use three 2k blondies to bounce light from white muslin draped outside a window, one will need a 12,000w generator and enough amperage to support 16.7 amps per unit. Would a conventional generator one might find at a hardware store suffice for incandescents? My novice knowledge informs me that noise may very well be a problem with some models as well as flickering. And the last thing I want to experience is exploding bulbs. Enlighten me! There are many other thoughts and questions, but I shall leave it at that for now. I am eager to receive more insight and information to assist me on this voyage. Many thanks ahead of time!
  2. Let's start by looking at some pictures by Nykvist So in Malewisz book Richard Aguelir says that Nykvist normally lights with a huge soft light and then fills in from the opposite side. Looking at the lights in the eyes of picture 1 it looks as though there are two frontal lights with an equal amount of intensity and a light rear left to rim the hair. Possibly some fill from the right of frame. Is there any way to tell how hard or soft a light is by the size of the highlights in the pupil. I would have expected a soft light to have a much larger highlight in the pupil. How soft is this? I'm guessing not as soft as bounce light, not as soft as silk 8'x8' but more like two 3'x3' with diffusion and the reason there is little shadow is because of the fill ratio being almost 1:1 not it being a very soft light. Picture 2 Again am slightly confused because the shadows look soft but the eyelights are small - is that because he is using med-soft to hard lights with lots of fill or small sized soft lights? In other words is it something like a pepper light with loads of frost in front and then another one to fill, a very distant fresnel through a 8'x8' soft frame, or two harder lights - like peppers undiffussed peppers but becuase of intensity and fill ratio being very high the shadows appear much softer? Picture 3: Again a really low soft light - looks like a left front key and right front fill but the ratios are much lighter now. Given the lips it looks like a much larger soft light than the catchlight in the eyes - which seems surprisingly small if he is using a large soft source. Picture 4: This is much more what i'd expect from a soft source a much larger eye highlight. The shaows seem to be about the same softness as previous shots but the highlights in eyes much larger. Is that just to do with the distance from the subject. Here a left key as a diffused window with a right fill would make sense - also confirmed in earring highlights. Picture 5: Again very small highlights in eyes, left brighter than right suggesting front left key and front right fill at lower intensity but highlights seem remarkably small given the softness of the shadows. Picture 6: And this is confusing because it seems the other way round, quite a hard shadow of his chin across his collar which would suggest a hard light, but yet the highlight in his eye is quite large and soft?!
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