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How to get a similar lighting style to this still from Mother of George

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Hey everyone, been poking around on Shotdeck lately. I came across these stills from Bradford Young's gorgeous work on Mother of George and was wondering how to get a similar color effect? I've seen this coolish grey look on dark black skin a few times recently and thinks it accents that skin tone beautifully. Is the key to this using a soft daylight-balanced source and setting the camera's white balance to something around like 4300K? 


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39 minutes ago, David Mullen ASC said:

That would be a good start. You might find that you need to go to 4000K or 3700K even.

Thank you! Will try this out soon

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Posted (edited)

Bradford Young had custom kino rigs that bounced the bulbs upward and back down....so super super soft quality top light. I believe that is how he achieved the reflective look in the skin.  Now days with litmats would be a lot easier! 

Edited by Albion Hockney

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As ever it depends how large an area you want to cover.

You could create the effect shown in that shot with a smallish softbox on a smallish light. If you want people to be able to walk around a huge exterior location and maintain that effect consistently, then you're into very upscale rigging.

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Mother of George got me hooked on Bradford Young. It's a great film!

According to Cybel Martin, using color on black skin is a beautiful choice for cinematography. You might find some good insight and inspiration from an article she wrote: https://shadowandact.com/2014/02/04/the-art-of-lighting-dark-skin-for-film-and-hd/

I agree with Albion, the above frame is easy to get today via litemats and gels. (I think there is even an RGB litemat now)

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