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Old June 24th, 2005, 10:02 AM   #1
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Lighting for a club scene

All,

Location: Club

Would like to get some idea of some soft lighting techniques for club environment. No idea i never did that before. To see a club environment on the screen we should still light up the club setting. I'm not getting it. Can somebody help me. Should i go for a studio or rent a club becuase the lighting will be already there or should i need special arragnements for this scene.

thank you in adavance.
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Old June 25th, 2005, 11:30 AM   #2
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If by club you're refering to a night club, then I would advise staying away from too much soft light...

I've lit quite a few bar/club scenes, and actually tend to use entirely hard light sources. I would say that you should most definitely try to shoot in an actual club, as it's very hard (and therefore expensive/time consuming) to get the Art Dept to "fake one up" in another area - they just have a very specific kind of look that you don't tend to find anywhere else.

Obviously how you decide to light it is a question of style and taste, so I'm not suggesting this would work for you, but I like to let there be a lot of darkness and light with a lot of small fresnel fixtures - 150w, 300w and 650x, normally - picking out small areas, invidual poeple/tables/whatever. I'd also try to get as many practicals in shot as possible, flag lights down if they're covering too great an area and use a wide mix of colours - blues, reds and purples work particularly well for my tastes, but you're pretty much free to go wild- just have fun!

That kind of high contrast look works very well in clubs as they tend to have dark walls and (relatively) bright lights, creating a high contrast look to the eye, which is something to give the scene relatabilty to the audience. Oh, and yes, I'd definitely use some of their lighting, again, whatever you think looks nice or fills an area you're having trouble with - a big advantage is that you can get the houselights in shot, so they can be a godsend in large spaces.

If you're shooting on DV then it would be advisable to bounce in some light from behind the camera (something like a 650w fresnel fired into a large sheet of white foamcore should do the trick) just to get some detail in the lowlights - then crush the gamma curve in post to restore contrast to your taste.

I'll see if I can find a frame of something to show you what I mean...

Last edited by Dominic Jones; June 25th, 2005 at 11:47 AM.
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Old June 25th, 2005, 12:36 PM   #3
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OK, here we go...

Oh, and I forgot to add, use a good amount of smoke if you've got the time - it does add some time to your shoot as you need to take care to have a roughly even amount of smoke in all shots, but does wonders for the visual effect.

These are ungraded except turning the contrast up a little to restore dark blacks - but as per usual they look very dark on a monitor, sorry about that!

They're not exactly of a club(!), but the style/technique is the same as I'd go for...

http://www.fracturedfilms.com/screengrabs/Mudlow1.jpg
http://www.fracturedfilms.com/screengrabs/Mudlow2.jpg
http://www.fracturedfilms.com/screengrabs/Mudlow3.jpg

Hope that helps!
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Old July 5th, 2005, 11:37 AM   #4
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Great!!

That was good in detail explanation. I was on a vacation for 10 days so i wasn't able to reply. But i will take sometime in experimenting your ideas and get back to you. Thanks Dominic.
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Old July 11th, 2005, 11:07 AM   #5
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No problem mate - have fun!
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