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  1. #1
    Member Rodwen's Avatar
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    Victoria, Australia
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    Lighting Issues, Save me!

    In a week, shooting for my short film (and by film I mean video) Tarot begins. Sounds like fun, but apart from all the other kinds of amateur production problems you get (AKA actors pulling out willy-nilly at the last second ), I'm also attempting to do some things I've never had a go at before. Mainly, light the darn thing properly.

    I've been reading all the tutorials on here and looks like the "normal" sort of lighting will be ok, but I have three problems:

    a) One sequence is shot at night and needs to be lit by moonlight or, at least, pretend moonlight (both indoors and outdoors)

    b) I want one scene to be a sort of dim, red, spooky colour (this is indoors with no natural light)

    c) I have no idea what these gel things are or if they're relevant at all

    As far as equipment goes, it's a little sad. I have one stand with two halogen floodlights on it, and a reflector board. I could possibly buy one more floodlight this week if I'm really lucky. What else do I need, or what should I do?

    One more thing - my camera has high definition capabilities - should I, should I not?

  2. #2
    Hi Rodwen

    As far as moonlight is concerned you can use carefully positioned and very diffused lighting OR you can fool the white balance on your cam and shoot the scene during the day. Manually set your white balance indoors and then go shoot outdoors and you will end up with a very blue clip...it looks exactly like moonlight!! Just be careful that you don't get "daylight" objects in the shot. Add a night ambience soundtrack and you will fool most of your audience. It all a matter of setting the scene too!! If you have a shot of the full moon and a howling coyote at the start of the sequence your audience will automatically assume you are in the desert at the dead of night. All comes down to deception!!!

    Gels are simply transparent coloured plastic film (with a high resistance to temperature) and you can easily buy it from pro lighting shops. Don't be tempted to buy coloured plastic it will melt instantly under your halogens!!!

    Your other option is to just recolour the shots in your NLE...but I would try some test footage first to make sure.

    Chris

  3. #3
    Member Rodwen's Avatar
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    Thanks! I think I'd prefer to go the "very diffused lighting", which means I'm going to have to track down some sort of place that sells this stuff, which may be like trying to find the holy grail ...
    Hmm, no coyotes either. That might not go well with the Aussie accents

    So should I try to get a red gel for the red light scene? And is shooting that "dim" a bad idea?

  4. #4
    Hi Rodwen

    The coyote was just an example..we don't have them in Perth either!!!
    If you are using a reasonable NLE why not drop in some test footage and play with colour casts...way better than trying to shoot in low light. For your moonlight shot you can also use a small video light to just light up faces and then use your NLE to reduce all other pixels below a threshold to black...that way you get less "grain" from video noise.

    I would personally do the colour casts in Post and film normally...easier than trying to stop the cammy from attempting to balance out the red light!!!

    Chris

  5. #5
    Member Rodwen's Avatar
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    (But there are Drop Bears in Perth, right?)

    Ok, yes, all sounds logical. I thought colouring it in post would look a bit corny, but after testing it out, it looks pretty good. And costs less. Thanks a lot for all your help! Shooting starts today, let's hope this thing turns out alright

  6. #6
    Hi Rodwen
    We look forward to a shortened version on-line

    If you cannot host it I have space on my server for our user videos too

    http://www.softweigh.com/video/user.html

    Chris

  7. #7
    Hi Rodwen

    Just been looking at the UK based FX software called FXHome VisualLab Studio and it has some brilliant ideas for shooting daylight and making it look like night-time. They even have a standard preset called "Day for Night"

    Take a look at the site for yourself...might be useful after your shoot???

    http://fxhome.com/visionlab/

    It also has awesome cleanup fx if your chromakey green screen happens to have overspill !!

    Chris

  8. #8
    Member Rodwen's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
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    Thanks, I'll check it out

    We ended up getting some pretty good effects using a blue LED torch, which I grabbed in a moment of inspiration before leaving for the shoot and which turned out working! But we're going to have to fix a lot up while editing, too.

    Nearly finished shooting, just two scenes to go this week and the panic is over!! :P

  9. #9
    http://www.filmtools.com/rosliggel.html

    here is a GREAt site for Gels.
    Manoni Productions
    Pass me another beer...You are still ugly!

  10. #10
    I used shoot 'Day for Night' before. You just need to get a lens filter for your camera, and an overcast day to do it. It's rather fun, though I'd really prefer to shoot at night.

    My personal preference is to do things during production rather than post, unless you're undecided on how your lighting's going to work out. I look forward to seeing the finished product!

    All the best for your short video!
    There's no bad camera, just a bad user
    Loong . Singapore

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