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  1. Hey everyone, Since this is my first post in here, I'll quickly introduce myself: My name is Benedikt Dresen, and I'm a Filmstudent / aspiring Cinematographer from Germany. I started out doing music videos, but now I'm getting more and more into narrative work. Right now I'm in Pre-Production for a 14-minute Shortfilm I'm DoP'ing. The film is set at night, only in one apartment, which will be built on stage. It's about a woman entering her home, where she find a complete stranger waiting for her, who's intentions remain unknown. The whole story unfolds through dialogue, but the blocking will still be very vivid, so there isn't really any corner of the apartment, that's not in the frame at some point. So directions of the action/camera shift throughout the different scenes. Also the Lighting will change quite a bit. In the story, the Stranger is in total control of it. The base-setup I want to do, is basicly like the one in the attached Mood Picture: A soft, cold, kinda "toppy" ambient light coming from one side of the room + really dim sodium streetlights from afar, only illuminating the windows a bit. There will be 3 main setups happening in the living room: 1. Like the mood picture, but also with a tiny practical illuminating a small coffee table in the middle of the room 2. The stranger will light some candles and maybe more practicals (warm and cozy feeling, as it seems like he's not a bad guy for a moment) 3. Absolute "darkness" as the Stranger turns out all the lights, while she left the room for a second. So the lighting should basicly mimic total absence of light. One more thing that's important: As she is our protagonist, she's supposed to be keyed in a not too unflattering way. While the stranger, should only get a back/rimlight most of the time, so we can't see his eyes or facial expressions most of the time, leaving him and is intentions mysterious. Gear-whise I basicly have a full set of Arri Tungsten Fresnels and some open face units to work with. + CTB of course, and some color gels to match Sodium Vapor Streetlights. 2x 2kW T2 Fresnel (including 1 chimera I believe) 2x 2kW Open Face 2x 1kW Fresnel 6x650W Fresnel 6x300W Fresnel My approach till now would be: - Creating this soft, ambient light from the top left corner in the room. Maybe shooting the 2kW through a lot of Diffusion, or creating a large bounce. (from above the walls, as we won't have a ceiling built) - Aiming the 650W, or maybe only 300W through Sodium Gels to each window that's in frame, trying to keep it a few stops under in order to not make it light up the room to much, as the ambient light should dominate the room. - Trying my best to flag the ambient light off the top of the walls, to create some kind of gradient/contrast, as seen in the mood picture. My main concerns about all of this: - The ambient light should direction-whise always function as a backlight in order to keep that moody, night feel. For the main actress I will need a fill, max. a rembrandt style shape. Should I try to rely on a close soft bounce for this kind of fill (that's basicly her key), or should I introduce an LED through Diffusion? Also would you have this light at the same stop as the backlight, or over/under? - As the direction in which we're shooting in the room is shifting throughout the scenes, I would basicly need to shift the direction of the ambient light aswell, in order to keep it backlighting the characters. Is this an okay thing to do, Lighting-Continuity whise? I'm thinking of the ambient light not as a "light" that has a source in the story, but as a light, which represents "absence of light" and has no believable source in the story. Does that make any sense at all? Or should I keep the direction of the ambient light locked, and introduce more lights to backlight whenever needed and flag the ambient off the faces, whenever they would be frontlit by it? Additional info: I'll be shooting on the Sony FS7, paired with the XD-CA unit, recording 4K Cinema DNG RAW through the Atomos Shogun. This is my biggest project up to now, and there's quite a budget flowing into the stage built, so I'm really trying to do my best in my department and not **(obscenity removed)** up. I would endlessly appreciate to get some feedback of you more experienced Cinematographers about my general idea and if it does make any sense, and if my approach to lighting it will work, the way I imagine it to do. Regards and Thank You all, Benedikt
  2. Hey all, hoping for a bit of advice. Having some trouble with an approaching s16mm shoot- a darkroom scene. I was hoping to light mainly with practical florescent 2x4's and then to gel them fully red for some sequences. My question is: with the interior location, I thought I should shoot on 7219 500T... should I use tungsten tubes? Or would daylight tubes be better for the gel? I know daylight-balanced bulbs on tungsten stock will come away rather cyan, which I don't mind. But gelled, what should I expect? I could shoot on 250D, but am nervous that the light loss from the gels will give me a tough exposure. What setup of stock and bulbs (filtration?) do you think is best? Unfortunately, there just doesn't seem to be budget for tests. I also read in an older post here that there were issues with focusing, or that the image (red lit) will look soft. Is this a genuine focusing issue? Or should we just measure out as per usual? The last thing here that freaked me out was that someone noted that my light meter will give me an improper reading under these red conditions. Does anyone have any experience with this type of setup? Thanks so much for your input. Any advice would help!
  3. Hello, I've been wondering, for quite a while now, how to replicate this kind of "glowing" underexposed look when lighting frontal. It's pretty easy to obtain this effect when it's a rim light like here (event though it's a day scene you get the idea) You have the specular reflection of the source when that source is placed correctly in direct reflection on the portion of the face you want to enhance. If you have a large white surface (even passive reflection) it works like a charm. I find it quite impossible to obtain when you want to have this kind of effect coming from the camera, with a low key. The ambient light caused by the source is usually killing the specular reflections I want. (Basically I only want the specular reflections on the face not the diffused reflection) When analysing the first 2 images (from the Turkish movie "Three Monkeys") the source is exactly the opposite as what I'd do in rim light, it's a small hard light. On the third image (from a teaser of "Pompeii" coming out soon) it's a much softer source (probably a chimera). It's not quite frontal and much less underexposed but there is still that reflective quality to it. So small or large sources are not relevant here, there is no hard rule I assume. I'm sure one of the key for obtaining this effect is the make up, but despite my various attempts to obtain this with the various make up artists I worked with, I've never managed to obtain that quality... and I guess make up is not all there is to it. I'm looking for any advices and tips from any of you guys to replicate this look... how would you do it ? Type of source, distance, exposure, anything... I think it's a very interesting way to keep a low key image with the face structure from the character very present still, and I'd love to use this on my next project. Thanks for your help Raf
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