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How to light people in a large mercury vapor gym

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How to light people in a large mercury vapor gym
on May 19, 2005 at 9:52:00 pm

For our graduation we are shooting and filming in a large gym lighted with mercury vapor lights.
The gym is 150 feet long and 75 wide. The stage for the speakers is about 30 feet square in the center
of the cool green mv lights.

So to warm up the faces our stage manager has put some lights on a truss with orange gels.

The result is a small pool of orange light in a large room of green. Going from wide video
to close-ups looks awful. And the parents taking pictures are getting horrible results with
any wide angle shots.

Is there any way to make the speakers look good without having such a sharp contrast with
the surrounding mercury vapor lights?

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Bob Bonniol
Re: How to light people in a large mercury vapor gym
on May 19, 2005 at 10:29:22 pm

First and foremost, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, get the gel out of the extra lights... Are they an incandescent source ? If so, go without Gel... they'll warm up faces just fine without them. Especially if you can dim them.

Third, if in focussing them they could be more spread across the stage, as opposed to all pointed at the podium, that would help to 'warm up' the whole platform as opposed to having the sharp point of lighting differentiation at center. Ideally I might have a full stage Par can wash, with 2 to 4 lekos (profile instruments) pointed at the center podium/handoff in order to pull focus to there. I would likely use wither no color, or very light saturations... say R04 (bast amber), or R33 (No Color Pink), or L201 (No Color Blu).

You can also try turning off the vapor lights that are on the peripery to reduce the overall ambient green, if you have enough theatrical fixtures to light the entire platform adequately, I'd try to turn off the vapor units over stage if possible...

Good luck,
Bo Bonniol

MODE Studios
Contributing Editor, Entertainment Design Magazine
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Re: How to light people in a large mercury vapor gym
on May 20, 2005 at 9:22:26 pm

Thanks, that's sort of what I thought and I'm not a light design person.
When I suggested an amber gel, the real light design person said no that'd clash with the green!
Then he pouted and walked away and said we could do whatever we wanted.

So we took most of the gels out except for some wide washes with amber! And it looks fine.

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