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Joe Taylor

Gel filtration that simulates "gas" or "candle" lite ambience

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I'm going to be filming (time-lapse) a night-time sequence exterior at an old two story house in the ghost town of Animas Forks next week and will lighting one floor from within with an LED panel tucked in a corner so that only the lighting f/x illuminates the interior.

 

This film is set in the 1850's so it needs to simulate gas or candle light. Can anybody recommend a color effect GEL that would suit this practical shot?

 

The shot I'm going for will be very similar to this example

post-9955-0-56725700-1532889424_thumb.jpg

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Gaslight was not as warm as candle or firelight. But since your timelapse will have daylight-balanced lighting all around (the moon is a daylight source, color-wise) then a tungsten fixture would naturally look orange in comparison... but if you want to go further and match firelight, I'd just add Full CTO to the tungsten LED (or double Full CTO for a daylight LED).

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A natural gas flame is blue-ish but I don't know what the type of gas that was used in homes over 100 years ago was, and what color was created when there was a mantle to glow the flame. I guess the color was whatever color the mantle produced as it was heated, so was probably fairly warm but not as warm as candle flame. See:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas_mantle

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Hello David. Appreciate your guidance here and was hoping you'd chime in. I guess I'm not going for realism here since this is the establishing shot of a fever dream and distorted memory of a man's childhood. I will have the camera set on a daylight balanced setting, but I want he light to be very vivid and warm, almost glowing, like firelight. I was not aware that gas lighting was cooler than candlelight. I'm aware of the variety of gels available, but have never looked at the options until recently and hope to choose one that more experienced cinematographers have used or can recommend. While looking through B&H's availability there options you mentioned, but would entertain color F/X gels too if anybody has a recommendation. I want to order this tomorrow by the latest.

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I'd suggest either a Double CTO or millennium gold if you're really trying to push the orange saturation. At times is can almost look red, so be careful if you're trying to keep it strong orange.

 

158 Deep Orange might also be a great one for you.

Edited by Macks Fiiod

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There's an interesting bit of historic lighting technology involved here which might actually mean the gas light would be - believe it or not - greenish, so you can motivate something really odd if you want to. Gas lights of the late 19th century used mantles doped with rare-earth metals (much like those in the phosphors used in LEDs and fluorescent tubes) which emit a lot of visible light when heated, and not much infrared light. That makes for better efficiency, but it means that the light isn't being produced solely by incandescence. That is, it's not just glowing because it's hot, or at least it is mainly glowing because it's hot, but it glows in an unusual way. See candoluminescence.

 

Early types looked greenish. Later ones looked less green, but gas mantles made to this day still look slightly... well... minty.

 

P

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I actually would be really tempted, as Phil mentioned, to make "gas light" maybe a mixture of full plus green or lime and some yellow-- maybe even rosco 2003

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So back when gas mantle lighting replaced candle lighting, did someone complain about the green in the light just like when compact fluorescents replaced tungsten light bulbs in many homes?

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I'd suggest either a Double CTO or millennium gold if you're really trying to push the orange saturation. At times is can almost look red, so be careful if you're trying to keep it strong orange.

 

158 Deep Orange might also be a great one for you.

 

I'm likely going to go for Rosco deep straw-- but then I'm concerned it might be too much. Will wait one more day and test a Full CTO and Medium Straw that a friend here in Vegas has (they are to small for the panel I will use but will give a good idea. I do want a rich "flame" but not overkill that ruins the mood. It should be dreamy, like in that picture I used above int eh example.

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There's an interesting bit of historic lighting technology involved here which might actually mean the gas light would be - believe it or not - greenish, so you can motivate something really odd if you want to. Gas lights of the late 19th century used mantles doped with rare-earth metals (much like those in the phosphors used in LEDs and fluorescent tubes) which emit a lot of visible light when heated, and not much infrared light. That makes for better efficiency, but it means that the light isn't being produced solely by incandescence. That is, it's not just glowing because it's hot, or at least it is mainly glowing because it's hot, but it glows in an unusual way. See candoluminescence.

 

Early types looked greenish. Later ones looked less green, but gas mantles made to this day still look slightly... well... minty.

 

P

Hey Phil. The history here is indeed fascinating. I'm trying to think of movies I've seen with gas lightning and Elephant Man is the only one that comes to mind-- and I'm sure you know that it's not helping much. But I appreciate your contribution here. (I think if I went for accuracy it might actually confuse most people.) Still though, I really want that nice rich "flame" effect.

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I actually would be really tempted, as Phil mentioned, to make "gas light" maybe a mixture of full plus green or lime and some yellow-- maybe even rosco 2003

I'd love to test these ideas too, but i won't have time. I'm in Vegas and finding gels-- well, I might as well road trip to Burbank. I can get some them from B&H but they have a 7-14 day order period. I can medium straw from JR lighting here in Vegas.

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I'd love to test these ideas too, but i won't have time. I'm in Vegas and finding gels-- well, I might as well road trip to Burbank. I can get some them from B&H but they have a 7-14 day order period. I can medium straw from JR lighting here in Vegas.

 

What? You are in Vegas and you cant find gels? You are in Las Vegas! There are all sorts of theatrical companies there! Even if you have trouble finding color correct gels for film and TV, you can surely find theatrical colors.

 

By the way, a magic gadget shadow maker is my favorite for TV and fire flicker and other effects.

Edited by timHealy

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Hey Tim. I can get certain gels here in Vegas but the Heavy Straw 15 is a special order item that nobody here in town has in stock. Even B&H doesn't have it in inventory.

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Call the manufacturer. Maybe they’ll send you a sample. Who makes it? I can’t find it in my swatch apps. What’s similar? You can hold out for what you can’t get, or go to plan b. Filmmaking is full of compromises.

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I have an app called Swatch that shows a few alternatives that are closer to that color than full cto. It searches Rosco, lee, gam and apollo (which I am not familiar with)

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