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Lighting for TVC-Day interior with windows


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Hello everyone,

I have a TVC coming up and could use some lighting tips regarding a day interior (living room and kitchen) (pics attached).

My question is how (or if) to utilize the natural light from the windows. More specifically how should I decide between the amount of natural light to use vs. using artificial lights. Or whether to even use natural light and just go artificial keep everything controllable. I have a sizable budget so have the freedom to bring in any lights I'd need and to pre-rig.

It's an open white walled space so light will spill anywhere and while it needs to have a daytime feel I still want to bring in a little contrast to give the scene some shape. 

We are shooting 2 celebrities sitting on the couch talking to each other and looking at a TV off-screen.

We only have them for 4 hours and the windows face NW. I'm advising to shoot mid-day so the sun is high in the sky above the house keeping the light fairly consistent from the window.

Should I play it safe and build a tent outside, block the daylight and shoot HMI's through the windows in the living room (I would still let natural light go through the background windows in the kitchen). We have a lot of pre-light time so we'd be able to do that.. The last thing I want is to get a partly cloudy day and have the light keep changing. I like the controllability of that. With our limited window to shoot I won't have the flexibility to adjust.

Another idea i had is to block out the windows high up on the wall and let light come in the lower windows. Then supplement with a bounced Skypanel or 2 inside to wrap around the front a little. Then line the fill side with floppies and duv for contrast.

Sorry for the length post. I appreciate any suggestions.

 

 

LRC1.jpg

LRC2.jpg

LRC3.jpg

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The second higher window above the couch would make a good source, I'd consider papering it and hitting it from high with an HMI on a condor -- maybe you could even rig a diffusion shelf at the bottom of the upper window so the HMI light spill downwards is softened. I'd consider some hard ND gels for the lower window or gels stretched on wooden frames that can be popped on and off, otherwise consider a double net scrim several feet back to diffuse and darken the view a bit more, as long as it stays out of focus in the wide shots.

I'd also have some big HMI's through diffusion frames in the yard to add more light straight through the lower window when possible.

Inside you could work with Litemats, etc.

Similar approach for the kitchen though if you can keep the stand out of the shot, a ceiling bounce from a daylight Source-4 Leko would be useful. You might see if you can fit and hide a wallspreader above the kitchen dining table to add LED softlights for the kitchen counter or top light over the table. A wall spreader that runs both above the living room window and 90 degrees across the fireplace wall might be helpful if you have to hang some lights inside. Or at least be prepared to put a menace arm on the 2nd floor balconey to arm out a soft light.

Same goes for the foyer, you might need an overhead in there.

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28 minutes ago, David Mullen ASC said:

The second higher window above the couch would make a good source, I'd consider papering it and hitting it from high with an HMI on a condor -- maybe you could even rig a diffusion shelf at the bottom of the upper window so the HMI light spill downwards is softened. I'd consider some hard ND gels for the lower window or gels stretched on wooden frames that can be popped on and off, otherwise consider a double net scrim several feet back to diffuse and darken the view a bit more, as long as it stays out of focus in the wide shots.

I'd also have some big HMI's through diffusion frames in the yard to add more light straight through the lower window when possible.

Inside you could work with Litemats, etc.

Similar approach for the kitchen though if you can keep the stand out of the shot, a ceiling bounce from a daylight Source-4 Leko would be useful. You might see if you can fit and hide a wallspreader above the kitchen dining table to add LED softlights for the kitchen counter or top light over the table. A wall spreader that runs both above the living room window and 90 degrees across the fireplace wall might be helpful if you have to hang some lights inside. Or at least be prepared to put a menace arm on the 2nd floor balconey to arm out a soft light.

Same goes for the foyer, you might need an overhead in there.

Thanks David,

This is super helpful.

How big do you think the HMI's need to be through the lower window? Would 3 4k's do it?

I never thought about the menace arm over the balcony. The living room is small and we'll have 2 cameras so keeping things off the ground is ideal. That along with the Covid protocols of having everyone socially distanced. The more space we have for crew the better.

 

 

 

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Really interesting to ready about your suggestion here David. so you'd have separate sources for the bottom and top windows basically and the top windows would slightly harder? 

 

A couple questions:

is the shoot multicam? 

how many on your g/e team? 

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You could add some kind of backlight. It depends on how you like it. A row of softlights will be a very commercial wrap, placed behind the archway, probably via goalpost. Of course a push from window-side would be more natural, probably done on a stand or arm.

A double-net outside is great because it only has to reduce the camera's background, leaving the window light to act on the scene naturally. But it does soften the image. So conversely, the ND on frames is a cleaner solution, but It'll reduce the skylight that would naturally act on the scene.

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35 minutes ago, Albion Hockney said:

Really interesting to ready about your suggestion here David. so you'd have separate sources for the bottom and top windows basically and the top windows would slightly harder? 

No I said to paper the upper windows so it would be very soft.

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Oh sorry noticing the 2nd high window I thought you were suggesting the decorative framed windows. what entices you about coming through the higher window? just the naturalism of an angle more typical of real sunlight? 

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