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Old June 22nd, 2009, 02:53 AM   #1
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Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
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Day Exterior lighting setup for TV commercial (w/HMI)

For my first small TV commercial I'm shooting all over the day, possible semi-overcast conditions.

I'm looking for a "correct", well exposed, nice colours, soft shadows and soft backlight, nice skins look. Shooting on EX1 with tweaked Picture Profiles.

I'm planning to use:
-12x12 frame with Half Soft Frost for overhead difussion (not too low).
-6K HMI PAR through a 12x12 frame with white Silk at 45 to the right, the silk could also be at a 45 declination to add some sun-bounce fill at the same time.
-12K HMI PAR at 45 back for backlight with 1/2 CTO (if there's stable sun and I can arrange the correct camera positions, just use the sun as backlight -> winter sun on theses latitudes, so it's going to be up 32 elevated over the horizon during the whole day).
-Pola on camera to bring out some color tones.

I cannot use 20x20frames because of windy conditions.

Question are:
- Would you put the 6K as backlight and 12K as key or the other way around?
- Would you add a difussion (say 250) to the front HMI that goes thorugh the Silk to the actor's face?
- Would you add some difussion to the backlight or which lens would you use? (I'm looking for a natual "not studio" back)
- For wide shots (a bunch of people around a 20mt line), would you just put the sun behind or also add some fill with soft reflectors + 12K + 6K through Silk? (I have 4 soft and 2 soft available)
- If its too cloudy all the day, would you still use an overhead difussion or leave it clear?

Thanks!
Luis
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Luis
Buenos Aires, Argentina
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Luis Reggiardo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 22nd, 2009, 04:12 AM   #2
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Location: Scottsdale, AZ 85260
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luis Reggiardo View Post
For my first small TV commercial I'm shooting all over the day, possible semi-overcast conditions.

I'm looking for a "correct", well exposed, nice colours, soft shadows and soft backlight, nice skins look. Shooting on EX1 with tweaked Picture Profiles.

I'm planning to use:
-12x12 frame with Half Soft Frost for overhead difussion (not too low).
-6K HMI PAR through a 12x12 frame with white Silk at 45 to the right, the silk could also be at a 45 declination to add some sun-bounce fill at the same time.
-12K HMI PAR at 45 back for backlight with 1/2 CTO (if there's stable sun and I can arrange the correct camera positions, just use the sun as backlight -> winter sun on theses latitudes, so it's going to be up 32 elevated over the horizon during the whole day).
-Pola on camera to bring out some color tones.

I cannot use 20x20frames because of windy conditions.

Question are:
- Would you put the 6K as backlight and 12K as key or the other way around?
- Would you add a difussion (say 250) to the front HMI that goes thorugh the Silk to the actor's face?
- Would you add some difussion to the backlight or which lens would you use? (I'm looking for a natual "not studio" back)
- For wide shots (a bunch of people around a 20mt line), would you just put the sun behind or also add some fill with soft reflectors + 12K + 6K through Silk? (I have 4 soft and 2 soft available)
- If its too cloudy all the day, would you still use an overhead difussion or leave it clear?

Thanks!
Luis

Luis,

There's no way to tell you what to do in advance. The art of lighting is to arrive on set, and LOOK at the conditions. This typically means blocking the scene first so that you know where you would most like to place your talent so that you get the framing you want. Then you look at the faces and make an assessment of how the sun and/or shadows in the specific conditions surrounding your scene effect the picture.

If there's harsh sunlight. THEN you cut it with an overhead as you suggest. If faces need fill, THEN you bring in the HMI's. If you don't like the amount of separation between a talent's head and the background, THEN a rim light may help you achieve that.

Bringing those specific instruments to a set gives you OPTIONS - just as bringing out a grip truck full of lights, reflectors, and scrims gives you MORE options.

But if the gods smile on you and you get a perfect day with high clouds and butter soft indirect lighting - and the white wall beside the talent provides the perfect fill - and the position of the sun in the sky over the clouds places lovely balanced modeling shadows on all the faces and in all the right places... the best approach might be to leave everything on the truck and simply roll the camera.

Sorry not to be more help. But this is why we're always saying that EQUIPMENT doesn't light great looking scenes - PEOPLE do.

Good luck with your shoot.
Bill Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 27th, 2009, 02:18 AM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: NY
Posts: 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luis Reggiardo View Post
For my first small TV commercial I'm shooting all over the day, possible semi-overcast conditions.

I'm looking for a "correct", well exposed, nice colours, soft shadows and soft backlight, nice skins look. Shooting on EX1 with tweaked Picture Profiles.

I'm planning to use:
-12x12 frame with Half Soft Frost for overhead difussion (not too low).
-6K HMI PAR through a 12x12 frame with white Silk at 45 to the right, the silk could also be at a 45 declination to add some sun-bounce fill at the same time.
-12K HMI PAR at 45 back for backlight with 1/2 CTO (if there's stable sun and I can arrange the correct camera positions, just use the sun as backlight -> winter sun on theses latitudes, so it's going to be up 32 elevated over the horizon during the whole day).
-Pola on camera to bring out some color tones.

I cannot use 20x20frames because of windy conditions.

Question are:
- Would you put the 6K as backlight and 12K as key or the other way around?
- Would you add a difussion (say 250) to the front HMI that goes thorugh the Silk to the actor's face?
- Would you add some difussion to the backlight or which lens would you use? (I'm looking for a natual "not studio" back)
- For wide shots (a bunch of people around a 20mt line), would you just put the sun behind or also add some fill with soft reflectors + 12K + 6K through Silk? (I have 4 soft and 2 soft available)
- If its too cloudy all the day, would you still use an overhead difussion or leave it clear?

Thanks!
Luis
What Bill said.

As for me, let me employ the use of the word "generally"... in a try to answer specifically.

Question are:
- Would you put the 6K as backlight and 12K as key or the other way around?

Generally I'd want to use the stronger light as key but it depends on what the ambient and backlight levels will be whether cut, diffused or not .

- Would you add a difussion (say 250) to the front HMI that goes thorugh the Silk to the actor's face?

Depends on the density of the silk. Generally I'd diff the key in this situation. 250 is a good bet.

- Would you add some difussion to the backlight or which lens would you use? (I'm looking for a natual "not studio" back)

Yes I would diff.

- For wide shots (a bunch of people around a 20mt line), would you just put the sun behind or also add some fill with soft reflectors + 12K + 6K through Silk? (I have 4 soft and 2 soft available)

Generally, yes to both.

- If its too cloudy all the day, would you still use an overhead difussion or leave it clear?

No overhead diff if cloudy all day. I generally, usually, am happy for the kindness of God if he's going to rent the best and largest silk in the world to me. I think he is very sympathetic to budget restrictions so whatever he rents out is usually free.
Max Allen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 28th, 2009, 03:23 PM   #4
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Make sure you have enough people to hang onto the high rollers--it doesn't take that much wind for a 12' X 12' to take off like an America's Cup racer, even with big sandbags.
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