Jump to content
Daniel O'Flaherty

Lighting a theme park 'Dark Ride'

Recommended Posts

Hi guys!


Once again thanks to those on here for their help & support. I am about to do a shoot at a theme park on a dark ride. The client wants to show 2 rides. The 1st is completely pitch black except for some areas - eg. passing through LED fire ring, LED star, etc) but add not a lot of light at all. The other ride lighting is hitting the props/character installations but no light on the coaster or people.


I went for a recce and the lights hitting the character installations on the 2nd ride expose around F 2.1. So I have gathered lenses that can accommodate for this. I am in the middle of planning what lights I will need to highlight the areas in complete darkness for both rides. I am trying to decide whether I need a 5k Arri Tungsten with 2x 2k Blondes or will 3x 2k Blondes be enough without a 5k.


My idea is to not make them look lit in the most case going around the ride but more to just bring up the ambient light on the actors. I can take a 5k and bounce off Polly for the ambient, filling in other areas if need be with 2k blondes or just do this plan with only 2k blondes. If I choose to use a 5k I will have to do a long cable run from the control panel, however, I can power 2k's from inside the location.


I also am debating whether to rig small lights to the rollercoaster next to our rigged camera for our reverse POV, so I have a consistent exposure on the actors while they go through the ride. Or if I should lock the ride off and try to recreate this with lights, a fan, and a dark background. Any thoughts on this also would be appreciated.


I am attaching some pictures below. Please let me know your thoughts:









Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Is the ride owner the client? i would have thought locking it off an poor mans process would be an option on a drama.


But if they want to show the experience of the ride it would have to be real. Do they want to look like it does look in reality? If its supposed to be dark, then you can't put too much light in there. Whats the priority we see - the riders reactions? Then maybe a couple of small light panels on the car itsself would do it. Keep it black with just enough light to read facial expressions.


If you light up the space and reveal the track then its no longer a dark ride and would probably look underwhelming. Dark rides are scary because you don't know whats going to happen, but if you compared them to a more conventional outdoors roller coster - its less exciting.


For the POV shot if your getting 2.1 on props - that might be enough. Raising the ambiant light takes it away from darkness. Also whats it going to be like rigging lights in that space? Are the areas you need to light easy to reach. I think with fast lenses and car mounted lights - that would get you the "dark ride" look.


But that might be quite boring, the dark ride look, is quite dark. So you could ignore that - get a load of PAR 64's, colour gels, disco chasers, strobes and go to town.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Gamma Ray Digital Inc

    Broadcast Solutions Inc

    New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

    Tai Audio


    Paralinx LLC

    Ritter Battery


    Metropolis Post

    Abel Cine

    Rig Wheels Passport

    Visual Products

    Wooden Camera

    Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

    Serious Gear

  • Create New...