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Old March 31st, 2007, 06:35 PM   #1
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Outdoor Spotlight Question

Hi guys, I just got my A1 and I have my first gig coming up (not getting paid though : ( ...gotta start somewhere!) and its a music video. The band's manager says she wants it shot outside at night with nothing but a "golden spotlight" on the band. I'm meeting her for the first time in a couple of days to discuss the shoot and want to be prepared. I probed tentatively in my emails about the type of lighting setup she had in mind but she effectively just replied "i've got it handled...etc etc". Now she might know what she's doing but i'm not sure she knows anything about lighting for video vs. a stage performance so I just want to be prepared to say "that won't work" if its not going to. Assuming the shoot is very low light and outside and I'm shooting my A1 (which I'm pretty comfortable with and shouldn't have a problem tweaking it to handle as low a light as it can w/o ruining picture) how powerful and what type of light would you guys suggest for this scenario? 1. If the spot is supposed to light up the entire band? 2. if it is just supposed to light one person at a time?
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Old March 31st, 2007, 06:50 PM   #2
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The only logical solution would be to pre-test the setup. It's not a paying gig, so I'd would emagine some flexibility and give on the managers part.

Assuming they will be using a color filter over a spot, I'd white balance and set without the filter in place, then use the filter to see how the camera handles it.

Personally, I'd shoot the event using white light and apply the gold effect in AE or some other comp, that way I'd have more control over the hue/strength of the filter effect. As I said before, you should test and see what works.
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Old March 31st, 2007, 07:24 PM   #3
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I'll defnitely be pre-testing if its an option. But I'd be really interested in hearing what kind of wattage etc you guys would think this situation might need.
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Old March 31st, 2007, 10:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal Bickford View Post
The band's manager says she wants it shot outside at night with nothing but a "golden spotlight" on the band.... shouldn't have a problem tweaking it to handle as low a light as it can
The scenario that come to my mind is the spotlight possibly blowing out the performers and washing out all of their features. You might have to tweak your camera to handle too much light rather than not enough.
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Old March 31st, 2007, 11:15 PM   #5
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I think I should be able to handle too much light w/o a problem. My main concern is that this girl is going to assume lighting for the stage and lighting for video is the same and is not going to get powerfull enough lights. I'm really trying to figure out the bare minimum wattage the scenario will need. I'm hoping someone can give me a ballpark figure since the scenario at this point is kind of vague. Outdoors at night, maybe some street lamps in the area, maybe not.
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Old April 1st, 2007, 02:50 AM   #6
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If it's an actual follow spotlight made for stage work, it should be plenty bright. If it's not a real theatrical follow spot, it may only be a few hundred watts. Don't gel it too much or it will get darker, but it is probably too high a color temperature for what you want and gelling its temperature down won't be that bad. This is just a guestimate, but I would say a true stage spotlight will be like having a 1k on everything it hits because it's light is so focused. You will probably not get much of anything in your shot that isn't directly lit by the spot as it will be overwhelming to most things around it. Also, the light is very directional so it won't bounce much onto talent or objects not in the beam. Personally, I would probably bring a very light diffusion to try in front of it so you don't get such a hard edge around the spot.
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