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Indoor foggy forest at night.

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Hey guys,

We're preparing a shoot and I would really need some advice and suggestions on how to go about lighting this.
My knowledge in interior lighting is a little too limited to make a call without checking in with other experienced cinematographers.

The scene we are shooting is a dance scene between a spirit and a little girl, in a forest, at night in an incredibly dense fog.

We're shooting indoors, in a large horse ranch, not letting in any lighting come in from the outside, filling the entire place up with fog, setting up a circular dolly and having most of the dance take place within the circle.
(i've attached photos of our empty horse ranch)

The thing here is that the "forest" is supposed to be lit by the moon. In terms of realism to the story, it should be the only lighting source in the scene.

How would you guys go about this, taking into consideration that our budget is fairly limited (independent in-house production with our team)

My thoughts is putting a MHI into a large skirted soft box over head. And then having 1 or 2 other lights to play around with on the ground depending on the shot.

How many lights should go into the softbox? What would be best for the lights on the ground? Kino flos ok? LED?

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

Something to keep in mind is that we would be shooting some of the dance at 60 and sometime (rarely) 120 fps.

Thanks guys,

If you're interested its a scene we're shooting for the continuation of the Kin Fables, the first film can be seen here:

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You can't really point an HMI straight down. You might consider using a cluster of Kino VistaBeams for the soft box:



Or create a grid of tungsten PAR's pointed down through a frame of grid cloth that is dyed blue. But you'll need a lot of power and you may have a fire hazard with all of that wood in the ceiling due to heat.


I suppose it might be possible to create a ring of HMI's pointed downwards at an angle so that they aren't pointed straight down, but you'll have some flagging issues to keep the light contained within the diffusion frame you hang.

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I think it depends how hard and/or directional you want the light to be. Some dp's will bounce an 18k into a 20x20 ultra overhead and then maybe have condors with arrimax's or lrx's raking light in from the bg, while others will hang space lights directly overhead from cranes.


You could probably rig a 12x or 20x ultrabounce frame to the beams with aircraft cable or chain, or even via ropes and sheaves, so that you can control the height and angle, then shoot your light up into it and let it bounce down into set. Just make sure to flag the bottom of the light to kill the ground spill.


Or you could throw a unit on a mombo stand, gel it with full blue and then diffuse it with a frame. Send it up and no rigging involved.


Just because you are using fog it could potentially look very 'sourcey', but that doesn't always necessarily look bad.


I would just be very wary of hanging lights and running cables in that roof.

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Also with a circular move a single source high on a stand would become a front light at one point in the move and the fog level would look different than when in the backlit position.


It's because of the 360 circle track that it would be best to get everything rigged above the space.

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Do you have a lot of power available? Tungsten might be easier.


Don't feel too hemmed in by what's motivated. If you look at what real moonlight actually looks like on camera, it's almost like sunlight. The 360 degree requirement is also already really limiting what you can get away with.

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A 360 degree dolly track doesn't have that big of a diameter, so the area you are lighting isn't massive. I'd suggest 6 or 8 4x4 kinos rigged from the rafters, with a duvetyne skirt around them to control spill. You could maybe add a 12x12 diffusion under the lamps if you have enough light.


The problem with adding back light is that at some point it's going to become front light in a 360 move.

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I thought about regular Kinos but because he wants to shoot at 120 fps, I think Kino VistaBeams would give him more output. He'd have to check the photometrics though to figure out if that's enough.

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I thought about regular Kinos but because he wants to shoot at 120 fps, I think Kino VistaBeams would give him more output.

Yeah, but I thought that regular 4x4s would be easier and lighter to rig to the rafters, particularly on a low budget. Vistabeams, or Image 85s are pretty heavy, but that may not be an issue if they have a competent grip department.

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Could lightstands be dressed as (or hidden within) 'tree trunks' in this forrest? Could save a lot of rigging complications.


Do you want a dappled effect of moonlight coming through the forrest canopy? Or just a soft ambiance?

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