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What kind of lights for very lowbudget noir?

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Do I need (out of my budget) fresnel lights for making light patterns on the wall etc. or is there a cheaper way??

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Do I need (out of my budget) fresnel lights for making light patterns on the wall etc. or is there a cheaper way??

 

You could achieve that by candlelight, but I'm guessing that's not what you are looking to do. So what is the budget? Are you renting or borrowing? Is this digital or film?...

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Use Work lights, 250 and 500w, though they dish out insane heat. Put them outside if possible, cut through foam cores if you want light patterns on a wall.

 

I also used china balls bought at Ikea for about 4$ a piece, with fitting bulbs, fitted on pole to get fill light when I need it. We Had Boomers, mexican style, just for China balls, with paint extending poles bought for peanuts at a local reno store.

 

Use taped and gelled flashlights held in the camera axis for eye lights.

 

Basic poor cinematographer tips 101! Hope it helps you!

Edited by Jean-Marc Plante

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I also found a 2k Colortran Fresnel for 200$, Brand new. Works great for large shots that require a good strong key light. Heavy, doesn't like rain at all, but works great otherwise!

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If you're just experimenting, I say try everything you can think of. You will get an idea of what works for what instances and you will also understand why.

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What Bill said, but also the work lights. At some point, light is light - it's what you bounce it off, filter it through, or cut it with that matters. For this reason, you should also work out how to build a few basic flags. Bits of (ideally black) cardboard clamped to microphone stands works. Substitute white card for bounces.

 

P

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Once I tried to use slide projector for lighting patterns (I put a small gobo instead of slide into the projector), it worked a bit better than work lights.

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As Phil says, use improvised flags. If you've enough funds, check out the possibly of hiring a couple of theatre or film lights with floor stands, you don't need to own these things.

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You need to test your work lights to make sure that they produce "clean" shadow patterns without double edges, etc. Just to be safe, I'd carry at least one fresnel, maybe a 650w.

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