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Sjur Pollen

Concidering not using eyelight. cons & pros?

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I have a shoot coming up where the main character is withdrawn, alienated, and abusing prescription drugs. She has a very uninspiring job at a conveyor belt in a factory. The light is toppy, flat from the ceiling. Plenty practical fluorescents in a large space, with a high ceiling, working almost like spacelights. This makes for fairly deep shadows in/under her eyes, though the light is, by nature quite flat and thus a little boring.

 

Now as far as eyelights goes, I'm having trouble deciding to use it or not. Without, she would look duller, and the audience might not quite connect with her as much as with eyeligths. I fear she would sort of loose her personality. Then again, it's her that is withdrawn, not the audience or her coworkers. So I have a hard time deciding.

 

Later in the script, she start to "live" a little more, the action picks up, and I'm thinking that if I won't use eyelights in the beginning, here would be a great place to start giving her a little more life/sparkle....

 

 

Any thoughts?

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I think that it depends on the your opinion on the role of the audience in the film, as well as the director's. I think that the sadness and loneliness of the character will come out the absolute most in the person's eyes -- the window into the soul. I think we will feel HER disconnectedness if we don't see the eyes, but will feel disconnected from the character ourselves if we don't.

 

Also, consider knocking out some of the lights at the top in large segments, so there's a bit of light/dark depth in the factory.

Edited by Aaron Moorhead

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What if you go from a small eyelight early on to a larger one when she becomes more lively. It would be more subtle and you'd have the beauty of eyelights throughout the film.

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Excuse my ignorance, what is an eyelight? Is it just a light that provides a catchlight in the eyes?

 

I tried googling but couldn't find a description.

 

Thanks.

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Later in the script, she start to "live" a little more, the action picks up, and I'm thinking that if I won't use eyelights in the beginning, here would be a great place to start giving her a little more life/sparkle....

 

My thought also! But, if she's in the factory, does she looks like a zombie? How deep are the shadows going to be? What do you want to achieve in the factory? Deep black shadows with no detail at all?

What is she doing in the factory?

 

You know "The Machinist"?

 

Etienne.

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I should point out that "The Godfather" didn't use eyelights. You use them as the story dictates and quite often the key is enough without the additional eyelight.

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