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Old May 21st, 2012, 01:31 PM   #1
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Shooting at night. Advice?

Hello DVINFO, first post and I need some help!

I'm shooting a film at the weekend,

A lot of it is in interior that we're going to be shooting day for night. Which is fine and all planned for.

The exterior scenes though, I'm not sure weather to shoot day for night or to schoot at actual night.

There are some scenes where the actors are sitting around a campfire.

My worry is that the camera won't be able to see anything but the campfire.

Any advice on how to achieve this?

I'm shooting on a Canon 5DMKII

Thank you in advance!
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Old May 21st, 2012, 02:18 PM   #2
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Re: Shooting at night. Advice?

You will need more light than you think. It isn't a trivial thing to light a night scene. A real fire won't be enough.

The mistake everyone makes is to use too little light. Light for proper skin levels but keep the light off of the majority of the background. Choose to put a little light here and there in the background for some visual interest. You need some light in the background to add context to the scene. If everything drops into deep shadow how do you know they are outside.

Night shots in films are NEVER lit realistic. Audiences aren't expecting realistic lighting. Use that expectation to your advantage and light for story.
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Old May 28th, 2012, 12:43 PM   #3
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Re: Shooting at night. Advice?

So the shoot's done, What we did in the end was,

Light a nice big camp fire,

Got three 300w lamps, put them on the ground pointing towards the talent, (Put some fire coloured gels on them)

Attached those three lights to some flicker boxes, play with the settings until it looks like the fire. (Diffuse the lights if needs be)

And finally we had one 600w lamp giving a little backlighting behind the tents with some rusty coloured gel on it.

Hope this helps someone someday!
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