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Marc Gallifa

Lights changing in the same shot

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Hey,

For an upcoming TVC I'm directing shot in an studio, we need to go from the studio being well-lit to a dark/moody atmosphere into the same wide shot. 

I'm looking out for original references or techniques to do so. I can't find any idea similar to it at the moment. Do you remember any reference on commercials or movies similar to what I've described? 

Marc

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Hello Marc.

My Thesis is entirely on this subject. It is written in french, but you'll find in it a good number of pictures and movie references. 

I could send it to you.

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Are you referring to moving the camera from a brightly lit area to a dark moody area?  Or, do you plan to change the lighting during the shot?

 

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19 hours ago, Matthieu Abily said:

Hello Marc.

My Thesis is entirely on this subject. It is written in french, but you'll find in it a good number of pictures and movie references. 

I could send it to you.

That could be great if you could send it to me, I pretty much understand French so it won't be an issue.

1 hour ago, Bruce Greene said:

Are you referring to moving the camera from a brightly lit area to a dark moody area?  Or, do you plan to change the lighting during the shot?

 

I  plan to change the lighting during the shot while the camera keeps locked in the same position.

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6 minutes ago, Marc Gallifa said:

That could be great if you could send it to me, I pretty much understand French so it won't be an issue.

I  plan to change the lighting during the shot while the camera keeps locked in the same position.

Then there's only one solution:  You need to rig two lighting setups, one for "lights on" and one for "lights off".  Then you must have each setup wired so that you can switch from one to the other during the shot.

If it's a small setup, you might get away with having entire setups plugged into one cord and simply plug and unplug it.  Bigger setups will require a switch box, or better, a remote dimmer board to control the lighting change.

Because you will be turning on lights during the shot, avoid electronic lamps that have a delayed startup, such as kinoflow, many LEDs, and even tungsten dido lights.  If  during your "lights on" setup, you can also have the "lights off" lamps lit, then you won't have this issue.

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On this stedicam shot at the end of Hugo you can see a lighting shift

As Bruce say's normally you would use a dimmer pack and a lighting desk - that would allow you to fade any light up or down to your hearts content either manually or patterns can be programmed in. This is very normal for studio TV production e.g game shows where the lighting shifts between rounds etc, or sitcoms where you need to change from day to night quickly without relighting. 

For traditional dimmers you use tungsten lights. To get around the colour shift on tungsten its normal to set all the lights to 70% brightness and do a manual white balance to that. This stops the lights looking too orange  when you dim them.

You can get mini dimmers that you can plug one or two lights in (about 2kw) and manually dim them that way. Fine for  simple set ups, but not as powerful as a TV studio setup with full dimming.

On location you could look into renting the Rotolight Anova LED fixtures - they can be dimmed over wifi. So you can control them using an app on your phone - bypassing the need for an electrical dimmer and LX board.

Thats probably the future for this sort of thing. The nice thing about the rotos is you don't get colour shift on the fades. They are expensive but compared to renting a dimmer pack and LX controller its not too bad. 

You can get other fixtures that will dim directly with a DMX controller, however they are usually more geared to live applications e.g LED Pars and Moving heads - they are unlikely to have particularly good colour

If the lighting shift is supposed to be unmotivated then you want a way to make sure the dimming (up or down) looks smooth, using a controller you can programme would help.

There are also mechanical ways to change lighting on shot, from panning a light on, moving a flag into position or using shutters, flooding the lamp etc...

 

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I’ve generally found you can have both setups lit at the same time. If one is at key and the other two stops under, the brighter lights will mask the dimmer setup. And you can then just flick the brighter lights off.

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3 minutes ago, Mark Kenfield said:

I’ve generally found you can have both setups lit at the same time. If one is at key and the other two stops under, the brighter lights will mask the dimmer setup. And you can then just flick the brighter lights off.

I've def done that for moon light effects that become visible when the actors "switch" off the practicals

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