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Old March 22nd, 2005, 04:12 AM   #1
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Dark room with Moonlight.

I'm working on the produciton aspects of a feature film. I want to do a scene where the power is out but there appear to be streaks of moonlight peircing the darkness just enought that we can see the actors faces. I was watching "The Grudge" earlier and on the special features it looks as though there is a lot more light in the room than on the actual movie reel itself. I am reading some of the other threads in this forum and they have a lot of good ideas.

Charles P.

If you are here, I saw that you mentioned getting a DP on the film. I am working on the film proposal but this is my first one and am not sure just how much financing I will be able to convince people to help me with. The story is very compelling and I do believe I have the ability to tell it well. But as you know, it is hard to tell it by yourself. Just in case I have to, I would like to understand that lighting effect a little better. I'll be shooting in 24p with an XL2 and editing on a G5 w/FCP HD

P.S. I have experience directing News and a few other small programs but never a feature.

Thanks,
Cleveland
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 08:16 PM   #2
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blue gels. tall stands. brightlights

use lights outside blue look at mmmmm.

lights outside through windows

ref kubrick the shining near begining jack comes to hotel with family


no daylight issue due to night

blue fres power


go for it.

r
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Old March 24th, 2005, 12:35 AM   #3
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Thanks Richard,

You wouldn't happen to have any recomended K's would you.
I'll Look up "The Shining" on INMD to see what it may say.
Just so I understand, is there a max number not to exceed?
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Old March 29th, 2005, 09:13 PM   #4
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I have done moonlight shots and streetlight interior shots, and primarily, the contrast between the outside light and the inside light is what is most important, as well as color temp. I used 2, 2K fresnels shining at different angles, but spotted, and flagged from the window edge so as no to create multiple shadows. I gelled them all 1/4 CTB, and leaned my camera to warmer tone. Then I added a 1/2 CTO to a fresnel, bounced it off the opposing interior wall, then dimmed it to half intensity, until you could just barely see what the faces inside look like. Then I added a couple 100W pepper kickers wiith 1/2 CTB to add the blue rim around the subjects. It worked realy well. So as long as the exterior moonlight appears bluish, and the interior light is white and dim, the contrast will sell the image. Use no fill. Fill gives it away.
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Old March 30th, 2005, 11:05 AM   #5
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Yup, Rush is bang on there - lots of blueish backlight, and a low white diffuse light from the front (I'd call it fill w/ no key, personally - but it's all the same in the end!!).

If you want streaks of light to be visible then you also need to add gobo's to your external lights, with small holes to create the light beams, and then add a *small* amount of smoke to the scene in order to be able to see the light-paths.

Wattage of individual bulbs is not really relevant - as Rush said it's all about contrast ratios (when isn't it??!) - but if you've got lamps that are all about the same intensity, then carry a LOT of ND...

Essentially the backlight wants to be at the upper end of the register, and the fill (or key) at the low end - so if you're shooting on DV you're looking for about 3 stops between them, I'd say (on colour negative film you'd want somewhere between 6 and 10 stops, depending on the stock).

A 2 1/2K HMI Fresnel is my personal choice for moonlight, as they've got plenty of boot and yet can still be run off a standard mains ring.

Have fun!!
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Old March 30th, 2005, 01:48 PM   #6
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I want an effect that the power is out in the house. How much light should I actually need from inside the room? I guess maybe a little becasue the camera won't see the subject otherwise. The question is, how much?
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Old March 31st, 2005, 01:00 PM   #7
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Yeah, you'll need some. How much depends on what format you're shooting on....

If you are shooting on DV (any variation), then my advice would be to light so that the lowlights are still well defined, but the lowest in the register you can get with this in mind, and drop them out to near black in post - that way you'll get the darkness you need but still preserve detail in the shadows.

Make sense?!?
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Old March 31st, 2005, 11:40 PM   #8
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Hi Cleveland, as Dominic also mentioned, it's all in the ratios. If you are using a reliable calibrated production monitor, just keep dimming the light down until you can just barely see the face. It will "feel" right. You can also put the backlights on dimmers so that you can control all the dimming from one location, and also make dim those until they feel right too. Eventually you will just know by heart what is right. Those types of shots are so much fun.
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