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Old February 16th, 2011, 08:03 AM   #1
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Lighting Help

Hi,

I am about to embark on shooting a low budget film for my next project.

It is a horror very similar to The Strangers.

We have a very small budget, all of our scenes are outdoors.

We need to light areas of a log cabin we will be filming. With no generator because we cant afford it.

Is there anything we can do suggestions? Strip lights tied together? LED? battery pack lights?

Ned help before i shoot

Thanks

Ollie
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Old February 16th, 2011, 03:58 PM   #2
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Ollie,
Just to be clear...you have NO source of power at all, other than battery?

That could be a big challenge...Do you have a car at the location? you may be able to power some small, low draw AC lighting from a running car and a power inverter but you'd be very limited ( likely under 10 amps)

You may be able to increase the light levels a bit with a sunny day and creatively posiioned reflectors...
What camera equipment are you using? what sort of look are you trying to attain? There are some pretty decent low light performers out there, but that will only go so far...you'll suffer a loss of quality pretty quickly if you're talking about shooting a scene that to be properly lit you'd normally be using a couple of thousand watts of lighting and you're trying to get by with a couple of hundred...

A small generator can be had pretty cheaply, especially used. Even a thousand watt gennie would be a huge improvement over strictly battery/ambient light...
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Old February 18th, 2011, 08:51 AM   #3
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I use small PAG lights if I need to do battery powered location lighting.

I have two std PAG lights with tungsten and HMI bubbles and two PAG ML lights that can all be PAG battery belt powered or from a car.

The tungstens are 50 watts each and the HMI is 100w but daylight balanced, they are enough for moody lighting as we have done a horror feature last year that used most of these and one Redhead as we had a power source.

At the end of the day as said it all depends on the camera too and we were shooting on an HPX301 P2 camera, we also did a lot of day for night shooting as that also gave us night time look but in low daylight.

Drop me a line and let me know where you are, you say it is low budget so that implies that there is some budget available and I have lots of lighting kit that runs on lower wattage bubbles so you do not need a huge generator to power it.

In fact the biggest light I have is a 1k fresnel and even some of my redheads now have 250w bubbles in them as modern digital cameras don't need huge amounts of light.

This shot here was done with one of the PAG lights powered by battery: YouTube - 50 watt HMI Paglight - iPhone.m4v

and this was 10am in the morning with day for night in the camera: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pd2ie...eature=related
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Old February 18th, 2011, 12:17 PM   #4
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Ollie, please don't take this he wrong way... But I question the validity of shooting a film if you can't afford to turn on the lights.
Rather than shoot a film you can't afford to make, you might think about shooting at a location that already has a power drop.

All the Best!

Dave
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Old February 18th, 2011, 01:09 PM   #5
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I echo what Dave says and add that regardless of what budget or non budget a film or project may have the safety and crew comfort must always be the first priority.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 01:25 PM   #6
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There is a difference between lighting and illumination. If all you want is enough light to shoot, then anything will do, but it will look 'wrong'. Proper lighting has to have a source that makes sense - so do you want bright even lighting, or moody lighting? If you have a zero budget then it's not going to be artistic - and just won't look good.
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Old February 19th, 2011, 12:26 PM   #7
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Thanks for the help/ advice

going to rent a generator now + smoke machines.

:) thanksss
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Old February 19th, 2011, 12:45 PM   #8
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I got a smoke machine too!
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Old February 20th, 2011, 11:29 AM   #9
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