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Old October 29th, 2004, 06:53 AM   #1
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Shooting Day-For-Night?

First of all, I appologize for posting this in general, but since it actually contains aspects of lighting, taping, and post, it seemed more relevant in Central than any of the other forums.

So, I'd like to shoot a number of interior scenes on location in day-for-night, that is, filtered heavily towards blue in post-production to create the illusion of a scene viewed in low light. I'd much prefer to actually shoot in low light, but my DV-953 isn't sensative enough to pull it off, I believe (ISO-80 equivilant, or so I've read). I have access to Lowell Tota and Omni tungsten location lights, and will be doing post work in Final Cut 4.5. I plan to color-correct to blue in Final Cut rather than filtering my camera.

Has anyone attempted this before? Any suggestions would be welcome.

I'm pretty sure the solution is going to be to light the scene as dimly as possible for good exposure, using bounce cards and simply bouncing light off the walls wherever possible to diffuse the light and minimize the sharpness of shadows and contrast ratio. Any further thoughts?
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Old October 29th, 2004, 08:07 AM   #2
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Actually, you WANT the shadows.
Consider an unlit room at night. The only light comes in through the window. For cinematic effect, this light is generally assumed to be moonlight (bluish, and parallel).

Since this light is too dim to light much of anything once it has bounced once, there are LOTS of shadows. A daylight room benefits from bright sunlight bouncing off of everything, resulting in a more diffuse look.

Shoot in the dark. "Paint" with your image with bright, directional lights and try to avoid as much spill and bounce as possible. Use partial lighting techniques were possible. (i.e. don't light the whole face evenly if some one "walks into the light", maybe it really catches the eyes for example)
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Old October 29th, 2004, 09:20 AM   #3
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Thank you, Nick. Having thought about lighting in that way, it makes more sense -- I don't know where I got the idea that night lighting would be uniform, once I actually stop to consider..
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Old October 29th, 2004, 09:46 AM   #4
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Nick is right. Follow his advice.
Shooting for night does not mean shooting in low light.
Hard contrast (lots of shadows) and bluish cast (not always necesary) is what you need! :)
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Old October 29th, 2004, 06:54 PM   #5
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You don't want to show the sky either. I did it on my first real production and it was bad. Nothing I could do would darken the sky as it would be in real night time.
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Old November 3rd, 2004, 03:03 AM   #6
 
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I just did a whole movie on DVX-100 at night and they're right. Things I also suggest are that light does strange things. Having a strange small splash of blue light across 1 or 2 objects in the background will help define the room, with the rest of it relatively dark, almost black. It sounds silly to have any light without a reasonable source, but just try playing a little with it, and you'll realize just how realistic "surreal" can look. Play too with putting small rims of blue light on your actors from the rear if it looks right. This helps to stand them out from the dark room.

Noir is my favorite lighting. Have fun.
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Old November 3rd, 2004, 03:05 AM   #7
 
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Use small splashes of blue light in back ground too, just a little to make things interesting. And try a tiny bit of blue rim light on the back of actors to stand them out from a dark back ground.

I love noir lighting.

Have fun.
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