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-   -   Difference between a morning and afternoon scenes? (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/techniques-independent-production/330940-difference-between-morning-afternoon-scenes.html)

Aaron Fowler August 28th, 2009 01:48 AM

Difference between a morning and afternoon scenes?
 
I was wondering if there was anyway to give the impression that a scene is set in the morning as opposed to the afternoon without having to refer to it in the dialogue or performances.

I have a few interior scenes (in a room which has a large window and glass doors) some which are set in the afternoon and some set in the morning. I'm afraid that I will only be able to shoot in the afternoon (due to cast availability) which leads to my question...

Is there any techniques I can use (lighting, colour grading, foley, composition, or other) to instantly convey the feeling of morning as opposed to afternoon without having to refer to the dialogue or performances?

Thanks Everyone.

Paul Mailath August 28th, 2009 05:49 AM

Well obviously the light will be coming from a different direction in the morning as opposed to the evening - just how much depends a lot of things. If you've got a big window that might make things difficult.

exactly what are the interior scenes? what time? are there sounds that are associated with that time of day that you can include? can the clothing convey the time of day?

can you give us some more detail on the scenes?

Aaron Fowler August 28th, 2009 07:56 AM

Thanks for the reply Paul.

I have a dozen scenes which take place in the kitchen roughly half are set in the morning and half in the afternoon. They are basically some simple dialogue with a few jokes thrown in. If I had to give them a time it would be between 8-9am and 3-5pm.

I know the sun is going to move and the windows/doors are facing North-Northeast so they'll let in a fair bit of sun. It's likely that I'm going to have shoot both am and pm scenes in the afternoon, will the audience notice that the sun stays in the same place all day? I guess I'm really looking for is a "morning look" and an "afternoon look"... Does Magic Bullet have presets for them? (Just kidding, I use Apple Color)

I'll be happy if I can find a way to make morning visually distinctive from the afternoon scenes and not have to resort to using...
Character: Isn't it a lovely morning...
...at the beginning of every scene.

I know to establish that it's morning I can just throw a bowl of cereal at the characters but I don't want to have to spoon feed the audience every time the scene changes, just establish a different look for mornings and afternoons and get on with the story. How does one create a different look for different times of day? Can you make the audience believe it's morning using lighting, grading, etc? Does it even matter or am i just going crazy?

I hope you can find the right info in there... Sorry for rambling on so much.

Jacques E. Bouchard August 28th, 2009 02:50 PM

First of all, renounce sunlight. You'll never get the light you want when you want it, and it won't be consistent from one take to the next. At best you can keep sheer curtains over the windows pulled to diffuse the light, but you might still have to gel it to correctly colour-balance.

I'm shooting a short film where I have to use a window, so I'm building a box to put outside to block out the light, and installed 1000w of lights inside to shine onto a white sheet to simulate daylight coming in.

As for differentiating between morning and afternoon: if there's no way to tell except by having a character say it outloud, then either it's not necessary to the plot or the writing's faulty. It should be apparent from reading the script, and not from the slugline.

Having your character eating cereals or eggs isn't spoonfeeding, it's what people do in the morning. If you feel that it's too heavy-handed or that what they're doing feels unnatural, again, maybe you need to question whether the scene needs to take place at all. Is the plot moving forward, or are we taking a break for some exposition?


J.

Aaron Fowler August 29th, 2009 01:11 AM

Thanks for the insight Jacques.

I have couple of daylight balanced lights and some small tungsten lights (w/ CTB) that I plan on using. I might have to buy some curtains. I'll figure something out.

I think you're 100% right, plot and content come first. I think I've been missing that the last few days, now to get myself back on track. My concern was a scene in particular where there's minimal dialogue and they're eating pizza for breakfast. The pizza's sets up the humour in the scene and adds a little to the character development. Looks like it's back to the script.

And to answer my own question...
Quote:

Originally Posted by Aaron Fowler (Post 1280600)
...or am i just going crazy?

Yes.

Paul Mailath August 29th, 2009 01:24 AM

1 Attachment(s)
okay - here's a kitchen - is it morning or afternoon? - it's clearly one or the other but without more information it's hard to tell. Throw in a boiling kettle and a toaster, some bowls on the table, a guy with a briefcase and it's morning. put some groceries on the counter, some pots on the stove, signs of meal prep, maybe a glass of wine and it's late afternoon.

The thing is - you can't do both and expect to get away with it - you have to change the light for one or the other. Decide if the natural light is going to be morning or evening - if it's morning then shoot those scenes and before you start the afternoon scenes, change the light - black the windows and throw your own lighting in, do whatever you can to make the light look different and dont forget the set dressing - it's not spoon feeding the audience - if you do it right they wont' even notice, they'll just think it's afternoon.

Jacques is right about the consistancy of the light, if the scenes are long or you have to do lots of takes you can/will have dramas with the light - you have to judge wether you can get away with it.

Aaron Fowler August 29th, 2009 07:31 AM

I see your point.

I apologies for using the term "spoon feeding" and I retract my statement.

Just one question... If I establish that morning is a certain lighting setup and afternoon is another, when I come back to that location later will the audience remember what time of day it is? It's not so important, just curious.

Thanks for the replies... It's much appreciated.

Jacques E. Bouchard August 29th, 2009 02:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aaron Fowler (Post 1283711)
My concern was a scene in particular where there's minimal dialogue and they're eating pizza for breakfast. The pizza's sets up the humour in the scene and adds a little to the character development. Looks like it's back to the script.

Did they just get up? Unkempt hair, t-shirt & sweatpants (or bathrobe), beard stubble (except for the women :-) ).


J.

Aaron Fowler August 30th, 2009 05:54 PM

I think for this particular scene I'm going to have to go with Paul's suggestion "a guy with a briefcase" although it will be a "girl with a briefcase (or at least preping herself for work in some way)"...

And to answer Jacques' question: Yes, one on the characters just got up, but his hair will be unkempt regardless of what time it is. And i don't know about the beard stubble... I might have to give the actor two weeks notice for him to grow it! :P

Ken Diewert August 30th, 2009 11:19 PM

Aaron,

another trick is people are usually rushed in the morning and not rushed in the afternoon. So you can have them rushing about to leave (even checking the time), versus the PM, where they're loosening the tie, kicking off the shoes, pouring a drink, etc.

And depending on your audience... yes, the audience will remember that the last time it was morning the sun was coming in the other window.

Jacques E. Bouchard August 31st, 2009 09:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aaron Fowler (Post 1290894)
And to answer Jacques' question: Yes, one on the characters just got up, but his hair will be unkempt regardless of what time it is. And i don't know about the beard stubble... I might have to give the actor two weeks notice for him to grow it! :P

Ask the actor to show up unshaven that day and have the makeup artist darken the stubble to make it more noticeable.

Of course, I'm imagining how *I* look at breakfast: unshaven, ratty t-shirt, squinting (no contacts yet), unfocused, shuffling, groaning. And it's usually 11:00. If your character is a *normal* person who's not self-employed and doesn't go to bed at 4 a.m. then you probably want to disregard my advice. :-)


J.

Charles Papert September 1st, 2009 05:57 AM

Morning (and late afternoon) sunlight is more likely to directly penetrate into a room than middle of day, so if you have the firepower with your instruments, go for direct splashes of light in both foreground and background to "signify" the morning scenes. One convention is to flag this light off the faces to avoid overexposure. An example of this (I love that I am using this as a lighting reference, but I caught this scene on a pay channel recently) is in "The House Bunny"; see the section from 1:03 to 1:27. The instrument in use there was most likely an ellipsoidal like a Source 4, judging from the razor-sharp edge and the subsequent color fringing visible on a couple of shots which is what made these particular scene memorable (not particularly in a good way) to me! But in any event, you get the idea.

Aaron Fowler September 1st, 2009 08:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ken Diewert (Post 1291876)
another trick is people are usually rushed in the morning and not rushed in the afternoon. So you can have them rushing about to leave (even checking the time), versus the PM, where they're loosening the tie, kicking off the shoes, pouring a drink, etc.

These work well for the female character. Thanks for the tip.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jacques E. Bouchard (Post 1293645)
Of course, I'm imagining how *I* look at breakfast: unshaven, ratty t-shirt, squinting (no contacts yet), unfocused, shuffling, groaning. And it's usually 11:00. If your character is a *normal* person who's not self-employed and doesn't go to bed at 4 a.m. then you probably want to disregard my advice. :-)

Perfect! You're hired! Only difference is he's unemployed. :P Definitely sounds a lot like the character, thanks for the inspiration.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Charles Papert (Post 1297238)
Morning (and late afternoon) sunlight is more likely to directly penetrate into a room than middle of day, so if you have the firepower with your instruments, go for direct splashes of light in both foreground and background to "signify" the morning scenes. One convention is to flag this light off the faces to avoid overexposure.

Cheers, this is an answer that I was originally after. I don't know if I can currently pull this off with the gear that I have, but I'll look into it. I don't think I can justify the expense to hire any stronger lights. I appreciate the input though.

Thanks again all, I will definitely use some of these tips (that ones complement the characters and script) and will keep the rest in the back of my mind for further reference.

Jacques E. Bouchard September 1st, 2009 11:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aaron Fowler (Post 1300158)
Perfect! You're hired! Only difference is he's unemployed. :P

Great. I'll be on set at the crack of noon. ;-)

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aaron Fowler (Post 1300158)
I don't know if I can currently pull this off with the gear that I have, but I'll look into it. I don't think I can justify the expense to hire any stronger lights. I appreciate the input though.

I once had to have a character open a door onto blinding white light. I set up a white sheet just outside the door and used 4 X 500W shop lights. Great result, but I almost melted the plug. :-)

Shop lights are pretty cheap (2,000W worth will cost you less than $100), and they're great for all-purpose lighting on set as part of your kit. Just make sure you're not overloading the circuit. I wired 110v plugs to my oven's 220v outlet because that's 35A right there and I can run a lot of lights off it.


J.

Mike Demmers September 2nd, 2009 12:46 AM

As a viewer, I associate light that is slightly 'bluer' than whatever the norm is for the movie as morning light. Light that is slightly redder, as afternoon.

Any transition other than a straight cut (dissolve, fast wipe, tacky 70s diamonds ;-) ) indicates passage of time to me, even if nothing else changes in the scene.

Birds are really noisy in the morning, not much in the afternoon. (aside from the cliched rooster crowing).

I hear children playing in the afternoon after school, never in the morning.

On a residential street, cars go fast in the morning, slow in the afternoon.

Windows are closed in the morning to keep out the cold, open in the afternoon because it is hot.

It makes no scientific sense, but I associate hard light with morning, soft light with afternoon.

-MD

Aaron Fowler September 2nd, 2009 04:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jacques E. Bouchard (Post 1300701)
Great. I'll be on set at the crack of noon. ;-)

Noon your time is 2am my time... so you'll be early. :P

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jacques E. Bouchard (Post 1300701)
Shop lights are pretty cheap (2,000W worth will cost you less than $100), and they're great for all-purpose lighting on set as part of your kit. Just make sure you're not overloading the circuit. I wired 110v plugs to my oven's 220v outlet because that's 35A right there and I can run a lot of lights off it.

I know they're cheap... I'm actually getting a friend of mine who works in a hardware store to pick me up a couple of worklights (horray for staff discounts!) but that won't match the quality (not quantity) of the light in the technique Charles was pointing out which is the expense that I can't justify.

As for power we use 240v here and I always use powerboards with circuit breakers built-in anyway (not that it's an excuse to overload a circuit).

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike Demmers (Post 1300902)
As a viewer, I associate light that is slightly 'bluer' than whatever the norm is for the movie as morning light. Light that is slightly redder, as afternoon.

Have you ever tried this in something you've made? I can picture it in my head and for some reason I see the morning as slightly more saturated than the afternoon.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike Demmers (Post 1300902)
It makes no scientific sense, but I associate hard light with morning, soft light with afternoon.

I find this odd as I personally would think it to be the other way around. I don't know why either.

Mike Demmers September 2nd, 2009 02:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aaron Fowler (Post 1301556)
Have you ever tried this in something you've made? I can picture it in my head and for some reason I see the morning as slightly more saturated than the afternoon.

...

I find this odd as I personally would think it to be the other way around. I don't know why either.

No - my background is in sound (all the sound cues mentioned I have used, though). For the visual stuff I was just listing things I see and my own personal associations.

It's interesting that yor own impressions are different for some of these - what this tells me is that using those kinds of cues -alone- might not be a good idea. Different light seems to mean different time, but beyond that may not be as useful as might be expected.

These associations probably just have to do with things like where you live (Oregon for me, but I grew up in California which is probably where those associations were formed), what kind of schedule you keep (I am a night person, actually -seeing- morning is fairly rare for me, and tends to feel harsh ;-) ), where the windows are in rooms you spend the most time in, etc.

Most movies actually seem to be pretty in your face about this - I would venture to guess that if someone actually took the time to go through all the morning scenes in movies and log them, the old 'cock crowing in the morning' sound effect would make the 'Wilhelm scream' look like a mere runner up for overuse.

This discussion reminds me of a story I think I heard on a DVD track, where 'famous director' walks into a production meeting where intense argument has been going on for over an hour about exactly which props and lighting will be required for a scene to clearly indicate that the door an actor exits through is the door to a stage, which is important to the plot.

The director shakes his head in disgust and says 'The audience will know it is a stage door because there will be a big sign on the door that reads 'Stage Door'. Next item?

'B-but, stage doors don't have signs on them that say 'Stage Door!!'

'This one does. We are making a movie, not a documentary'

If an important joke depends upon the time of day, maybe all you need to do is print 'Tuesday Afternoon' on the lower right hand corner of the screen for a second.

-Mike

Mike Demmers September 2nd, 2009 02:45 PM

Here is another idea that avoids the 'expensive lights' problem completely.

Just put green screen material behind the window, which will also kill any outside light and attendent complications.

Then shoot any plausible outdoor scene at two different times of day, and comp it in.

-MD

Aaron Fowler September 3rd, 2009 05:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike Demmers (Post 1303384)
It's interesting that your own impressions are different for some of these - what this tells me is that using those kinds of cues -alone- might not be a good idea. Different light seems to mean different time, but beyond that may not be as useful as might be expected.

I agree, not unless it is established in some other way to tell the audience what kind of day it is... I can understand being a night person that the morning light would seem a bit harsh for you... But honestly I'm no morning person either... Maybe it's my glazed over eyes that make the light look softer... :P

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike Demmers (Post 1303384)
The director shakes his head in disgust and says 'The audience will know it is a stage door because there will be a big sign on the door that reads 'Stage Door'. Next item?

Reading that made me think there should be a calender in the room with a red circle on the date... With a clock right next to it... A digital clock with AM or PM written on the face... I don't know what made me think about a calender considering we're only differentiating morning and afternoon...

As this tread continues I'm starting to think that the simple solutions are sometimes the best... I guess it's just a little common sense... But sometimes I don't have a lot of that.

Mike Demmers September 3rd, 2009 11:07 AM

There is a big, 12 inches in diameter analog clock in my kitchen. It's the one I most often look at if I want to know the time. It is a very common kitchen clock. Any shot of my kitchen would show it.

I remember it cost me $9 at the local hardware store.

I doubt am vs pm would need to be explicitly pointed out.

In wide screen a closeup of an actors face does not fill up the whole frame, you need something to fill out the rest of the frame. Like a clock on the wall.

-md

Jacques E. Bouchard September 6th, 2009 03:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aaron Fowler (Post 1305976)
As this tread continues I'm starting to think that the simple solutions are sometimes the best... I guess it's just a little common sense... But sometimes I don't have a lot of that.

Maybe someone has already suggested this, but direct morning light comes in through the windows in the morning, whereas in the atfernoon the sun would be on the other side, so logically there would be no direct sunlight. So, sunlight streaming in in the morning, and light fixtures in the afternoon.

Also, have them drink orange juice. Or, in your case, spread vegemite on their toast. :-p


J.

Aaron Fowler September 7th, 2009 03:42 AM

We've got pictures and knick-knacks for set dressing but no clocks... I'll see if I can find something cheap.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jacques E. Bouchard (Post 1320333)
Or, in your case, spread vegemite on their toast. :-p

Yum... Now i feel like Vegemite toast... Even though i just had dinner not long ago. I practically used to live on the stuff when i was a kid. :)

And yes I think someone did mention the lighting... I'll going back to the location this week before we start shooting to properly scout lighting angles/issues/etc and then maybe I can try and imitate the morning or afternoon sun as need be...

Rama Kattunga September 7th, 2009 09:30 PM

Setting the scene time
 
Aaron -
If you have to set time frame in the scene, Panning from a clock is best option along with type of blue/red tone of light (as suggested by others in thread). Costumes and scene acts (coffee, newspaper, breakfast.....etc) will set/enhance clarity. Mom watching the school bus Kids thru kitchen window. Afternoon can be set by female character being cleaning the countertop etc. Generally no preparation of food items.

You can add some cut to scenes like : waterdrops on leaves (morning)...newspaper and coffee. if you set the morning and dissolve into bright light scene with countertop cleaning with fresh look (afterbath) will automatically set afternoon.

Xavier Plagaro September 18th, 2009 08:02 AM

I didn't read all the answers, but in a recent short film I made recently, I had the same problem. I added different background sounds, more "birds" in the morning and more "insects" in the night. It's subtle but powerful!


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