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Shooting stadium lights.

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Tom Schneider
Shooting stadium lights.
on May 29, 2008 at 1:47:45 am

I am shooting a campaign promoting high school football. I want to open the piece with the stadium lights flashing on with sfx. Of course, we all know that those stadium lights take forever to warm up. How do I fake this effect in the camera and post?



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Mark Suszko
Re: Shooting stadium lights.
on May 29, 2008 at 3:18:39 pm

Time lapse it, speed up the footage, add fake light and luma-key it in during post, add lights using a compositor. Many options.

"Oh, you wanted to RECORD that?"


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Shooting stadium lights.
on May 29, 2008 at 11:10:12 pm

Go to a HS football stadium, get the lights framed up nicely, and have the buildings & grounds folks turn them OFF. Then run the footage backwards. You may also have to increase the speed, too.

I've been around when they turn off stadium lights. The problem: insufficient ambient light to see the lights in their off state. You'd have to light the lights, if you know what I mean.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Mark Suszko
Re: Shooting stadium lights.
on May 30, 2008 at 3:25:36 am

I think what I'd do is, if this is just a couple seconds as part of a montage or something, just create a silhouette of the lights on their poles, shot from directly below, in photoshop, just by drawing them, or by taking a digital still photo and creating a masked alpha version. Throw a still of an evening sky behind the silhouette, add a flashbulb light effect to the top layer in the same place where the bulbs of the real lights would be, and just play that flashbulb pop effect in slo-mo, finishing with throwing the contrast to the extreme, in a fade to white, as if a video camera's auto-iris were being blown out.

You could do this without any advanced compositing at all, just 3 layers of luma keys and the stills, with a slomo maybe. If you throw a slow slight overall pan or dolly move on the entire composition, it will sell the real-ness of it a little bit more.


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