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Old April 6th, 2003, 11:04 AM   #1
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Night Shot

I'm new to the board and just realized I posted this question under "audio" so I'm making the same post under "general" heading. Sorry 'bout that:

Is there a way to make a day shoot look like a night shoot? If so, how is this done?


Thanks,

George
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Old April 6th, 2003, 01:57 PM   #2
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Hello George and Welcome!
Day-for-night shooting is an old trick that dates back to the earliest days of film. I'm sure that others will chime-in with suggestions, but here are my mine, for whatever they may be worth.

On an outdoor shot I'd first heavily darken the image with ND filtration, perhaps your lens' built-in plus one on the lens (or mattebox). Be very careful to use manual gain settings to control the amount of grain in your footage. Over the years, the film industry has taught us to associate blue casts with "night", so I would add a light color-temperature-blue (CTB) filter to the lens' (or mattebox) to provide the final touch of "night" language to the image.

This is a tricky trick, but probably not as tough as with film, since you can always see what you're getting with video in real-time. Have fun experimenting!
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Old April 6th, 2003, 10:38 PM   #3
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I would shoot it normally and use a day for night filter in post, check some out at pluginz.com or any other source.

Nothing beats really shooting at night though, unless you simply can't do it. That is definitely the way to go.

I have only done day for night on an exterior when we are way out of production and a change in TOD is required due to a script change, and then I would use a post filter, as mentioned above.

Shooting and interior day for night or vice versa is extremely easy by visquining windows, faking window moonlight with 200 blue gels for the deep night look, or a 201 or 202 for early evening or early morning, perhaps hitting from a few windows with 650's and then using a softbox and some inkies with cosmetic rouge for actor skin tone from other angles. for night for day, simply reverse the process, using ambers on the window fakes. If you want moody stuff, you can use window pane or tree branch kooks, but I stay away from that most of the time.

Back outside - if you are shooting an exterior day for night, there are some things that just don't flow that you should look out for in your shot, like the sun, clouds, mis-angled shadows, not enough shadows on faces (night is a hard light situation, major shadows) on and on, so you have to pick the right time of day to do it, which seems to be as challenging if not more so than just shooting at night.

Tell us more about your scene and we can give you some hardcore tips on how to execute...
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Old April 6th, 2003, 11:16 PM   #4
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Use a softening filter or ND and blue lighting.
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Old April 7th, 2003, 09:52 AM   #5
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Night Shot

Thanks for the replies. Here's more info on the shot I have planned: it will include both exterior and interior scenes. It's the last scene in the murder mystery movie (I wrote...a sort of Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys mystery) where the kids have set a trap for the murderer at the house where the murder took place. To increase the suspense I want a night scene but the last time I tried this type of shot it didn't work out. I shot at dusk...shoot took longer than expected (don't they always) and I ran out of light....tried re-shooting the scene by changing the exposure but it didn't look real and I had some over exposure and grainy shots. I don't want to repeat this misstake so I came on the board hoping to get some suggestions from more experienced film makers. So far it looks like the use of filters (which I didn't do on the first movie) is the consensus. I also may look into the plugins idea. I'm using my new XL1S and I use Premiere 6.5 for editing.
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Old April 8th, 2003, 10:43 AM   #6
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Don't forget to turn the lights on.

I am running an experiment on some footage that I shot during the day in the woods and converting it into a nighttime using color correction and plug-ins in post.

I'll post as soon as I am able to complete it.
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Old April 8th, 2003, 05:45 PM   #7
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David Lynch gets away with lighting in dark places that probably curls the hair of most purists.

I remember seeing one scene of a telephone hanging on a wall in a dark hallway...he simply clipped a cheap clip-on lamp directly onto the top of the phone and pointed it down right on the phone. The light is part of the shot...but it works. Also, I like his use of plain old flashlights (not the ILM ray-emitting Hollywood flashlights).

So...experiment and see what you can get away with.
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