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John Byrne

Shooting a short film with 5D MKII but no budget

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Hey guys,


Have access to a 5D MKII with 24-70mm, 50mm and 100mm lenses, solid tripod and that's about it. Also have three of these but they're of no use shooting really, are they?


I'm looking to shoot interior and exterior, most of the latter will be night shots as well. Also in b&w with quite a bit of low key lighting involved.



What do you guys recommend? I'm pretty much broke at this stage and I'm not sure how to go about getting this off the ground - Interested to hear your thoughts!

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Lighting will be your createst challenge on a low/no budget. The 250 and 500 watt tungsten worklights available at Home Depot, Lowe's, etc. plus foamcore (also HD, etc) will give you the ability to do a passable lighting job with your budget. Be prepared to spend some time getting used to just exactly how to use that gear. If you Google "Halogen Work Lights" and "video" you'll get a lot of hits to read for research.

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Thanks Hal, living in Ireland but I presume I can find something similar over here. Reading up on them it seems that the halogen lights are expensive to run and get pretty damn hot - guess that comes with the territory when looking for something 'cheap'.


I've another short film coming up soon which I may need some advise on - need to scout the location etc first so maybe I'll post a different thread when that time comes!

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You think a halogen work light is bad, wait till you look into renting an HMI.....

One of the good old cheap ways of lighting, if you want soft light, is China-Balls, those paper lanterns with a bulb in them. I recommend something like a frosted 100W and or a clear 100W typical household. Don't let it touch the paper and try to get the biggest lantern you can. I also like to paint 1/2 of them black on some (basically "painting" flags on them, so as to keep the light from spilling where you don't want it to.) Grab a bunch of them; they are useful.


You can use CFL bulbs in them, if you wish, but it's kinda of at your peril. Most CFLs have nasty green spikes on them; which could be corrected if you were to wrap them in the appropriate minus green gels.

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The middling expense range is CFL lamps.


They're available up to the 100W sort of range, and that's probably only slightly less sheer output than you'd get from a 500W halogen work light. They don't get nearly so hot and are of course much more efficient, but it's a different sort of light.


The problem with correcting them is that by the time you've put enough minus green on them you've killed so much output that they're no longer really as efficient as we once hoped - but they're still much more efficient than halogen.



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