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Old November 23rd, 2005, 03:30 AM   #1
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Help with Ligting Romantic Scene!

Hey, I'm shooting a Romantic dinner scene on Saturday and have no clue on how to set up lighting for it. I have an IANIRO Redhead kit, Two 350w i think, and one 800W all with barndoors. And i have a White Reflector.

Can someone please give me some tips, i also have a scene in an Asylum Room. You know a white room with pillows as walls and floors so psycho people can't hurt themself. How should i light this?.

The dinner scene is a table put into a wall with two people sitting against eachother. There is ligthing over the table. But it isn't enough.

-------------------
>|--|<

The line over is the wall and the arrows are the persons. Just a bad example :P
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 04:37 AM   #2
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Cheesy but it'll get the point across--my recommendation:

Underlight background, make everything look warm (orange-y), use edgelight on your actors, keeping the "non-edged" part of their faces very underexposed. Also appropriate for sex scenes.

Does any of that make sense? Email me if you want my thoughts on the actual placement of instruments. Seems kinda difficult to describe that stuff without pictures.

joshbass at sbcglobal dot net

I'll let someone else do psycho.
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Old November 23rd, 2005, 08:14 PM   #3
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You could mount your white bounce above the table and bounce the 800w or maybe the one or both of the 350's. If you can get a hold of some black fabric (like duvetyn), cut strips and let them hang around the the sides of the reflector to keep the light over the table and actors and off of the walls and background. For some eye glint, maybe put a few candles on the table to motivate some warm, soft fill. Of course there are different ways to light that type of scene, but that was the first way that came to mind. For romantic scenes, I usually keep all the edge/back/kick light soft.

Soft is good, contrast is good.

As for the asylum, there are different looks you could go for.
Since you are dealing with an all white room, don't try to fight the white. If it were me, I'd go for (again) a soft top light and put flags or duvetyn sheets on the white walls that aren't in the shot to add some negative fill. You could also put black fabric on the floor if you want to keep the underside of the face(s) in shadow (That is, if you don't see the floor in shot).
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Old November 24th, 2005, 09:32 AM   #4
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Thanks alot for your input, very helpful!! Looking forward to try it on set.
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Old November 25th, 2005, 11:39 AM   #5
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We had to shoot the scene today, so i didn't get to use your advice Josh Bass, though it was very good explained. I did on the other hand use Matt Irwins tip. Placing the white reflector above their heads, and reflect ligth down on them. I used the 800w. And on the couch scenes i shot an 800 watt against a white reflector on the wall. So i got a little ligth on the side of the face. I'm very pleased with the results, here are some pics. Filmed with Sony Z1U. We had to shoot on dv cause it's a student project and they wanted it filmed in dv. Waste of camera in my opinion.

http://www.addictingminds.com/sin1.jpg
http://www.addictingminds.com/sin2.jpg
http://www.addictingminds.com/sin3.jpg
http://www.addictingminds.com/sin4.jpg

Thanks alot!
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Old November 26th, 2005, 07:53 PM   #6
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Very nice, Yngve!

The shots of the girl on the couch (3 & 4) look great.

If I may offer some constructive criticism, I think you should have skirted your top light a bit more on the table scene to keep the light off the walls. It would have helped that to move the table away from the walls as well. I think the OTS on the girl looks better than the guy's shot because the background is darker, whereas the shot on the guy doesn't look nearly as good due to the glaring white wall behind him.

I usually use an overhead bounce for a base illumination and key the actors from the off-side (referred to as "offside key", "far side key", or "short lighting"), making sure that the key is brighter than the base so the actors "pop". When working in 1/3" land, I find it helps scenes like this to back the camera off a ways and zoom in to get a shorter depth of field. Some soft kick or rim light would have been nice in the table scene.

I hope this has been helpful. Nice work!
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Old November 26th, 2005, 09:38 PM   #7
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For your overhead bounce, where would you put the instrument you're
bouncing? On the floor? Where?

Also, wouldn't it look a little "toppy"--slight shadows under the eyes, nose, lower lip, etc.?
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Old November 27th, 2005, 10:02 AM   #8
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Thanks, really helpful suggestions!
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Old November 28th, 2005, 01:31 PM   #9
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I don't know, Ygnve, maybe it's because I am looking at your stills on a Mac, but I am afraid your pictures are way underexposed. When I open them up in Photoshop, I get confirmation in that the "info" box shows your highlights to be down around 40-50, which is quite low (except for the candle flames, or course) with the red highlights hitting around 150. I know you are looking for a low key, romantic feel, but if you can't see the eyes of your actors, it's pretty hard to tell what's going on in their head/heart.

Additionally, you have to pay attention to art direction. Anything that is seen on camera aside from actors and props, pretty much comes under "art direction." That would include that lamp with the white shade in the background. Get rid of it. Also, always try for some separation between your actors and any walls. It is very difficult to light the actors properly without getting light on the walls in your scene. Since you want to focus on the actors, try covering up any light colored walls that will be seen in the shot.

When you place something in the scene like candles, they are your source for your lighting effects. The light on your actors should seem to come from the candles (also called "motivation"). Very often, cinematographers will find some other sources for light in the background of this type of scene to add visual interest.

Here are the results of about five minutes of fooling around with your pictures in Photoshop. You could imitate these effects with most NLE programs.
http://www.digitalprods.com/ygnve/sin1a.jpg
http://www.digitalprods.com/ygnve/sin2a.jpg

For some great tips on lighting for candlelight, look up the work of the painter, George dela Tour. He he had been around today, I think he would have been a cinematographer.

But remember, lighting is only part of the answer; art direction is also very important. And wardrobe.

Wayne Orr, SOC
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 12:40 PM   #10
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Yngve, for future you may consider a clamp-light on the table out of shot, fitted with say an E27 5w LO-NRG flourescent - warm white (3000K) should do this and should allow you to lift the exposure without burning out the candle light; also these lights create soft shadows


Also I notice you have Redheads, you should consider carrying a few low wattage (security light) J-type bulbs in your bag as they are 78mm double ended and can be obtained in 150, 200 and 250 watt sizes; also these glow at 3000K and of course fit the reds - white balance as necessary
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 01:32 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the good advice, will take it into consideration the next time i shoot a short. :-)
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