I need a creative and cheap way to light an actor from the inside of a refrigerator at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Photon Management

Photon Management
Shine an ever-loving light on you.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old November 6th, 2004, 02:46 AM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Posts: 570
I need a creative and cheap way to light an actor from the inside of a refrigerator

Yeah I know, pretty unusual question, but I have a scene to shoot soon in which it'll be almost pitch dark and the actor will be lit from the inside of a refrigerator after opening the door, only for a brief moment. It's only one really short shot, but I'm broke, I don't know much about lighting gadgetery and I need to light the inside of the refrigerator with enough wattage. I'm guessing I'll need between 100W and 200W, depending if reflectors and diffusion material needs to be used. I already thought about putting a 100W+ bulb in the refrigerator's own light socket but it's rated at 40W max.

I might add that the scene will be shot with a Canon XL2. Oh and I cannot have a standard open face with an electric cord connecting to the outside of the refrigerator because it would show in the frame, I had already thought about this solution and it won't work.
David Lach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 6th, 2004, 08:40 AM   #2
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Mankato, Minnesota
Posts: 104
You could use one of those rechargeable spotlights that you can buy at hardware stores. They usually have a setting that allows you to lock them in the "on" position. If not, just gaffer tape the switch down. You'll just need to do a manual white balance because the color temp will probably be a little lower than 3200k. If it's too powerful, just bounce it off the back of the fridge.
__________________
http://www.horsefilms.com

"I like Mankato just a little bit better than any other town in the world." -Sinclair Lewis
Ryan Gohlinghorst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 6th, 2004, 10:26 AM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Posts: 570
Rechargeable spotlights eh? Yes that might just do the trick, granted they're not too expensive. I'll be looking into that, thanks for the suggestion Ryan.
David Lach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 6th, 2004, 11:14 PM   #4
Wrangler
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Vallejo, California
Posts: 4,049
The 40 watt max value is calculated on a very long term use of the socket. You could safely go over that although unless you are shooting through a dark filter, even the 40 watt should be enough light.

That said, you can always screw in one of the flourescent lights that gives you a lot of light for reasonably low power.

Another way is to screw a plug socket into the lamp socket and then plug in a light at the back of the refrigerator.
__________________
Mike Rehmus
Hey, I can see the carrot at the end of the tunnel!
Mike Rehmus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 7th, 2004, 12:15 AM   #5
Slash Rules!
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 4,723
Dude! How 'bout this: a chinese lantern, one of the tiny ones. . .you might be able to fit it on a fridge shelf, by cheating the other shelves around, or

what about just a cord and socket, and a bare bulb? If you can hide the cord in the shot, you're set! Just lay the bulb wherever, and go to it. I don't know if you can buy a cord/socket setup anywhere; I learned to build mine from a grip working a rental house, but if I can do it, so can you! Not expensive either. Porcelain sockets are what you want, by the way, or at least what I'd want, 'cause they can take higher watted bulbs without melting. I don't know how high, precisely.
Josh Bass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 7th, 2004, 12:50 AM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Posts: 570
Josh, I really can't use something with a cord. The way the shot will be set up, a cord will be obvious pretty much anywhere. It's a medium-shot with movement and I tried during scouting of the location to put a 100W open face inside. The cord would show up every time, no matter where I placed it. I like the Chinese lantern idea though, always loved to work with those, I swear I'm going to light a whole movie only with those one day... ;-)

40W isn't quite enough for this specific shot, because the actor (who's quite tall) needs to be very well lit in the face area and since the socket is located at the very top inside the fridge, the light getting to the actor's face isn't nearly as much as the light getting to his waste level. I will need to have a light placed at the bottom of the refrigerator facing up to get the desired effect.

Fluorescent might be an other solution. Only problem is the flicker and green peak that will look odd coming from a fridge.

I found 2 rechargeable spotlights in a hardware store, following on Ryan's recommandation, one 1 000 000 candlepower and one 2 000 000 candlepower. They retail for $20 each. So I think I might go with that, at least I know I could re-use it some other time, maybe as an eye light, with a little piece of CTB to convert the temp. from 2900K to 3200K. I think this is the best solution. It will allow me to put some heavy diffusion on it, to create a soft look, because the high power permits it.

Thanks for all the input.
David Lach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 7th, 2004, 01:04 AM   #7
Slash Rules!
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 4,723
I was about to suggest flos, when you brought them up in your thread.

There are various fixtures at Home Depot, some of which would fit in a fridge, and some which can be powered by batteries. Don't know how bright those are, though. You know, you could bounce the spotlight off the back wall of the fridge to soften it (those back walls are white and glossy, no?), or bounce several spotlights.

Little known secret: putting diffusion right in front of a bulb doesn't do that much to soften it (unless your subject is literally RIGHT next to the bulb, or the piece of diffusion you're using is huge). It just makes it slightly less hard, and much more difficult to control . .I learned this after about half a year of putting 12" squares of lee diffusion on barndoors of fresnels, and then saying "hmm. . .that doesn't look that soft at all, and now I can't shape it easily. Try the bouncing.

I BELIEVE you lose about 50% of the light when bouncing (e.g., the soft, reflected light of a 300 watt bulb, when bounced, is as bright as 150 watt version of same bulb) . . .anyone want to verify/disagree?
Josh Bass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 7th, 2004, 01:10 AM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Posts: 570
That's true about diffusion material. I myself use a kind of frame I built to use diffusion material like if it was a softbox.

It depends of the material you're using though. A frost won't look like silk, spun, etc. It is a good way to soften wrinkles or the transfer area from shadowed to lit areas, but for a real softening effect, you truly need a huge softbox, umbrella or a very big white reflector, to wrap the light around the subject and completely eliminate harsh looking shadows.
David Lach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 7th, 2004, 08:50 AM   #9
RED Code Chef
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Holland
Posts: 12,514
Are you sure the normal light isn't good enough (40W)? My own
fridge (haven't checked the light in that) is pretty damn bright in
a dark kitchen and the XL2 is superb in low-light with noise (so
you have much more way to crank up the gain etc.). Ofcourse,
you would only want to use the onboard light + XL2 if the fridge
has been off for a long time (thus not cooling) and you just fire
it up for the shots (so as to not cool the XL2).
__________________

Rob Lohman, visuar@iname.com
DV Info Wrangler & RED Code Chef

Join the DV Challenge | Lady X

Search DVinfo.net for quick answers | Buy from the best: DVinfo.net sponsors
Rob Lohman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 7th, 2004, 01:49 PM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Posts: 570
Rob, I'm positive the 40W isn't enough. Not that 40W isn't enough light, but because of the way the light is positioned in the fridge, the light can only light the torso and legs of the actor well, but we lose his neck and face completely. Of course I could always cheat by compensating with a light directed at his face, but that would involve timing the powering of that light to match the opening of the fridge's door, and that extra hastle isn't worth it.

Also, there will be some movement in the shot, towards an other room where we're shooting, which will be well lit. So I need that to match the intensity of the fridge's light.

What's more? I like the idea of the shadows it should create both on the actor's face and on the back wall if I position the light at the bottom of the fridge facing up. It will make him look ugly, but in this case it works really well for the mood I'm trying to create, because the actor plays a drunk that is completely wasted and kind of scary. This lighting will add the the atmosphere, at least I think it will (if when I get on set I find it doesn't work, I'll change my plan, but it's nice to have the option).
David Lach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 11th, 2004, 06:38 PM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Mankato, Minnesota
Posts: 104
Let us know how the shoot goes and what you ended up using to create the desired effect... and maybe post a grab?
__________________
http://www.horsefilms.com

"I like Mankato just a little bit better than any other town in the world." -Sinclair Lewis
Ryan Gohlinghorst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 11th, 2004, 06:53 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Posts: 570
<<<-- Originally posted by Ryan Gohlinghorst : Let us know how the shoot goes and what you ended up using to create the desired effect... and maybe post a grab? -->>>

Sure thing Ryan.

I just bought a 2 000 000 candlepower rechargeable spotlight. Lasts 30 minutes and takes 12 hours to charge so there will be no messing around when on set. I will do different tests with my own fridge to see what kind of results I get. The light seems to have a color temperature higher than typical 2900K so I don't think I'll even have to color correct it. I will likely bounce it off the white material in the fridge to light the actor's face properly. Hope it'll be bright enough, crossing my fingers.

I'll post a grab in this thread when the shoot is completed.
David Lach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 12th, 2004, 10:50 AM   #13
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Mankato, Minnesota
Posts: 104
Cool. I'm looking forward to it.
__________________
http://www.horsefilms.com

"I like Mankato just a little bit better than any other town in the world." -Sinclair Lewis
Ryan Gohlinghorst is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Photon Management

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:25 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network