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Old February 24th, 2020, 05:49 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2017
Location: Omaha, NE
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360 degree lighting

Hi all,

Iím looking to do a short film that takes place entirely in one hotel room on location, and ideally weíd be able to have the camera move around the room in 360 degrees. Iím looking to mainly do overhead lighting similar to this - https://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/diy...ns-ring-light/ - but Iím not an electrician and am not confident in building something that could theoretically start a fire or electrocute someone. Thereís also the problem of actually hanging it, since itís a location where we canít destroy anything. It seems like a boom stand and limiting the camera to something closer to 340 degrees or using wall spreaders would be the way to go, but Iím wondering what options you all think would be best. Are there any other lights or light rigs I should be thinking about, or any other way to get a light on the ceiling? Iíve thought of gaffe tape, but it seems like whatever rig would need to be very light. I also have some light boxes that I suppose I could put on a boom or booms, but theyíre relatively small compared to the Deakins-style light while also being fairly heavy. What recommendations or ideas do you have? Thanks!
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Old February 24th, 2020, 10:06 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Re: 360 degree lighting

Youíre planning to rent a hotel room for a couple days? That may be approaching the project from the wrong direction.

If attachments to walls or ceilings are noticed by hotel staff youíre done.
If you blow a circuit breaker youíre done, because what youíre doing will be noticed.
The size of your cast & crew may invite notice.

Do you really have the ceiling height to add supplemental lighting? I didnít read the entire article on the deakins ring light, that seems like it might produce some odd reflections in actorsí eyes in CU or ECU.

Generally, people turn to china balls aka japanese lanterns aka paper lanterns when you need it light and cheap. But those may require additional ceiling height, or, careful control of headroom in shots and limited used of wide angles; it may force you to longer focal lengths to avoid catching overhead lights in shots.

OTOH, if youíre able to find perhaps a historic hotel with 8-1/2 foot ceilings... but somebody needs to be able to design lighting to the available electrical service.

Autopoles can be used horizontally in a small room, or, can quickly hang horizontal pieces. But how are you going to stealth big pieces of lighting support through a hotel lobby?

Maybe Iím making some wrong assumptions; if you have permission or even cooperation from the hotel things will get a lot easier.
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Old February 24th, 2020, 11:27 AM   #3
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Re: 360 degree lighting

I wouldn’t recommend that diy light rig. There are relatively inexpensive led lighting available. Staff sees you bringing in that would kick you out, let alone that falling and injuring someone. Lighting is tricky thing that is handled by a specialist dedicated to it. Remember you’ll also have a boom above and you’ll need to keep it’s shadow out of the shot. You’ll need ways to diffuse and control the light too.
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Old February 24th, 2020, 06:42 PM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Houston, Texas
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Re: 360 degree lighting

Interested to see where this goes...I had a short film project that I also wanted to do this in (not a hotel room, inside a house) simply for expediency (not having to relight for each setup). Never came up with a great solution (cheaply that is). The shapeable LED panels that you can stick anywhere are promising but don't know how pricey/how many would be required to cover a whole room. Plus of course, running power/hiding cables. Could probably be done some clever way (run them all in one direction, hide behind art direction/set design).
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