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Jae Christsensen

4500 Kelvin Interiors

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Team good evening!I mostly learn cinematography from forums and behind the scene videos. Can anyone tell me why i see so many bts videos where peoole shoot at 4300 kelvin indoors?

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They might be in an overcast day interior situation where they want the mix of warm tungsten practicals and cold daylight.

They might be under Cool White fluorescents and want to get closer to neutral.

They might be using big tungsten units for sunlight effects on stage and want them to render warm without gels, perhaps filling with cooler LED's.

They might be going for a pale blue moonlight effect by lighting with daylight fixtures.

They might be going for a pale blue daytime effect by lighting with daylight fixtures.

They might want a very warm effect from tungsten practicals or flame sources.

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In the last few years I've had the opportunity to hang around a few reasonably high-end sets where I've noticed a growing trend to balance to 4200 or 4500K. Often these productions are being shot raw, so it's a suggestion only, but it is fairly common to see it on monitors.

I've always asked about this and often the explanation is that there's a desire to have mixed colour temperature with things going both warm and cool, and without having to extensively gel lots of lighting. Naturally an intermediate CT selection faciltates that. I've also had the answer that people want (say) a big HMI backlight on a night exterior to go cool, but not as cool as it would with the camera set to a more conventional 3200K. It's often said (and I personally agree) that HMI on a 3200K camera can look rather overpoweringly cyan, in a way that mixed colour temperature light doesn't on film, and the result can look electronic, inorganic, and un-cinematic. Again, an intermediate setting mutes that extreme of colour.

So yes, often, it's a desire to control the apparent colour of lighting without gels.

P

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Thank you so much david and phil.Phil for your example, do they use a 3200 temp keylight then HMI as backlight? Im trying to test all the examples David has given but im not liking how 3200 lights and 4500 wb in post looks. Its too warm hahaha

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I've been shooting a film this month using mostly LED lighting.  Most of our lamps have adjustable color temperature and I sometimes set the camera above tungsten and below daylight and adjust the lamps to the desired colors for effect.

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When mixing color temps, I'm more likely to fill cool and key or backlight warm rather than the reverse, I like cold shadows, not so much warm shadows, which on faces tend to go reddish.

On "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel", I sometimes use tungsten 20K's or Molebeams or spot Parcans for a strong sunlight effect, then light the interior with soft daylight (5600K) and set the camera for around 4300K to 4700K.

We also have a clothing factory set where I have Quasars in fluorescent fixtures and light the work area with the tubes switched to 5600K but the inner office set to 4300K, then set the camera to 4300K, so the work area looks cooler than the office area.

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Here's an example, though the cold factory floor is off-camera in this angle -- the office area is warm from tungsten sunlight and the camera set to around 4300K and the Skypanels above the center skylight and fluorescent tubes in the ceiling are set to 4300K.

mmm_joeloffice2.jpg

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Don't really need a meter, you know the temps of the tungsten and the daylight units, and for bi-color units that can be mixed, you basically set a number you like and then adjust by eye / monitor.  I've done some night exteriors with Skypanels for moonlight and just started them out at 5600K and then adjusted them down to get the amount of blueness (or cyan by adding green) that I like.

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This stuff is an education not only in lighting but also production design.

Not all table tennis tables are green!

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It's funny you noticed that the table tennis matches the clothes in color -- we joke about that because sometimes the production designer and the costume designer don't know what colors each will be using for the scene, and you get these combinations that seem coordinated.

We had a scene in an empty white apartment on location and the production designer decided to throw a pink carpet over the wooden floors because they were too beat-up, and then our actress walks in in a pink coat.  And because I couldn't control the light coming through the windows on the fifth floor of this building, I had real sunlight hitting the pink carpet and adding pink light into the scene, filling the back white walls with pink.  It all seemed intentional!

mmm_pinkapt1.jpg

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Amazing examples. Do you have any for night interior?Im watching some horror low key lighting bts and they have 4300-4500k wb on camera but im not sure what their keylight is set at. I wish i can share images but its probably copyright. Thanks again. I am going to have to try warm key cool fill.

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Most of my night interiors are lit with tungsten, so at most I'd warm things up by setting the camera to 3400K maybe.  I've gone a little higher in nightclubs where the performer has an HMI spotlight on them but the room has tungsten table lamps.

The only situation where I'd shoot a night interior at 4300K would be something lit with Cool White fluorescents like in a supermarket or a moonlit scene where I used daylight sources. I certainly can imagine a horror film lit this way.

But some people like really warm interiors at night.  I did the series "Smash" for NBC several years ago and the pilot was shot in NYC by Shelly Johnson ASC with the Alexa set to 4300K for everything, day and night, interior and exterior, so tungsten interior scenes were very warm and corrected a little bit back from that later in post.  I tended to change the color temp setting scene by scene when I did the rest of the series, so again, maybe 3200K, 3400K, maybe even 3700K for tungsten interiors for warmth but not as high as 4300K.

Now I believe some cameras only have 3200K, 4300K, and 5600K options because of the way they process the raw signals.

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