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B. Sakthidoss

Lighting Kit For EFP

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Iam about to shoot,a docuementry its all about child labour in rural village.

 

In that village,There is no power supply.My plan is to some nightshots,Obviosly

some lights to be use in that night sequence,so we need a battery powered light.

 

I have no knowledge about battery lights.

 

We have an low budget production.So,using only 2 lights.

 

Please suggest me lights and there brand name.

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Iam about to shoot,a docuementry its all about child labour in rural village.

 

In that village,There is no power supply.My plan is to some nightshots,Obviosly

some lights to be use in that night sequence,so we need a battery powered light.

 

I have no knowledge about battery lights.

 

We have an low budget production.So,using only 2 lights.

 

Please suggest me lights and there brand name.

 

I'd take a couple of Litepanels with stand adapters and two fully charged batteries each:

 

http://www.litepanels.com/

 

The batteries last about an hour and they are 5600k or 3200k. Personally, I'd only take 5600k so you can use open-window lighting and fill with the litepanels. Also, don't forget a reflector.

 

What are you shooting? Film or video? If you are shooting HDV, some of those cameras- the Sony Z1u in particular- are deadly SLOW! Terrible in low light.

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Some documentarians (like from the Cinema Verite era) would question the honesty of artificially lighting a scene, especially if the fact that there is no electricity where they are at night is an important element of their lives or an aspect of their poverty.

 

You may want to shoot night-vision, for example, to show that, or just show the few candles they actually have and boost the gain a lot to see something.

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Some documentarians (like from the Cinema Verite era) would question the honesty of artificially lighting a scene, especially if the fact that there is no electricity where they are at night is an important element of their lives or an aspect of their poverty.

 

You may want to shoot night-vision, for example, to show that, or just show the few candles they actually have and boost the gain a lot to see something.

 

You can go a step further and say the very act of observing something changes that which is being observed.

At some point you have to decide whether or not a story is worth telling and then do what you have to do to tell it. Adding a minimum of light is- by now- a pretty universally accepted practice amongst documentarians.

 

Ofcourse there will remain purists. I think if you're honest about whatever you had to do to record something, few would fault you for it if the story was compelling and truthful.

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Clearly content is king with a documentary.

 

But I wonder in this particular case where the fact that they don't have any electricity is a "story point" whether you'd actually want your lighting to be obviously artificial (like from an on-camera light) rather than simulate an off-camera source that couldn't exist in their world. I mean, would you put a big HMI on towers to create fake moonlight if you could, if in real life, perhaps moonlight was the only source at night? Or do you fake candlelight if candles are their only source of light at night?

 

Or do you just add some non-descript bounce light to see the action and not think about the fact that they don't live their lives in that kind of light, but at least it doesn't call attention to the viewer.

 

These are just some thoughts. Obviously there are all kinds of documentaries -- in a talking head interview, you can get away with more lighting since this is an artificially created moment anyway.

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Clearly content is king with a documentary.

 

But I wonder in this particular case where the fact that they don't have any electricity is a "story point" whether you'd actually want your lighting to be obviously artificial (like from an on-camera light) rather than simulate an off-camera source that couldn't exist in their world. I mean, would you put a big HMI on towers to create fake moonlight if you could, if in real life, perhaps moonlight was the only source at night? Or do you fake candlelight if candles are their only source of light at night?

 

Or do you just add some non-descript bounce light to see the action and not think about the fact that they don't live their lives in that kind of light, but at least it doesn't call attention to the viewer.

 

These are just some thoughts. Obviously there are all kinds of documentaries -- in a talking head interview, you can get away with more lighting since this is an artificially created moment anyway.

 

I think people get into trouble when they try to "prettify" the scene. If living in total darkness is part of the story, I guess I'd probably just talk to them about it in the daytime or at sunset, maybe. In a situation like that, there's going to be plenty of stuff happening in the daylight that is equally interesting.

 

It's hard to say how you would handle it without seeing what "it" is. That's what I like about doing it. Going somewhere with an idea about what you're going to see and letting the situation instruct you. The script is out there writing itself and you have to see if you can recognise and interpret it and that often means abandoning your preconceived ideas.

 

So you may go into a situation like this thinking you'll do X, Y or Z but you won't know what to do until you are there, usually. You have to be prepared for anything while carrying a minimum of gear.

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Anyway, the problem with battery-powered lights is that they don't last very long unless you bring along a s---load of extra batteries, so I wouldn't plan on shooting an extended sequence with them.

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If you require a small portable light with relatively low power consumption, you may wish to investigate these. They seem to be a less expensive alternative compared to LitePanels. I haven't used them myself, regrets:

http://www.vidled.com/

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I'd take a couple of Litepanels with stand adapters and two fully charged batteries each:

 

http://www.litepanels.com/

 

The batteries last about an hour and they are 5600k or 3200k. Personally, I'd only take 5600k so you can use open-window lighting and fill with the litepanels. Also, don't forget a reflector.

 

What are you shooting? Film or video? If you are shooting HDV, some of those cameras- the Sony Z1u in particular- are deadly SLOW! Terrible in low light.

 

 

Sir,Iam using DVCPRO50- SDX900 Camcorder.

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Sir, Iam using DVCPRO50- SDX900 Camcorder.

 

That's a great camera. If you're doing anything in the dark, there is a setting called "digital super gain" which is great in minimal light. Try it out first so you know what it looks like (it looks like a really slow shutter-speed, so smeary) but it only works in 60i (or 50i if you're shooting PAL). Good luck!

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