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harder and harder?

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Bob Cole
harder and harder?
on Dec 17, 2005 at 3:15:38 am

Is anyone else noticing that network interview lighting seems harder than awhile back? Is soft going a little out of style?

-- BC


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john sharaf
Re: harder and harder?
on Dec 17, 2005 at 4:32:03 am

Bob,

The problem is that more and more they want wider estabishing shots and the ability to have the participants walk in and sit into the setup. This requires putting the lights further back and so large soft sources are not as practical. Instead we often make long snoots out of foamcore for the keys and fill with softlight from the camera side.

Personally, I havent really changed my preferance for soft sources; usually Chimera smalls or 2'Fourbank Kinos on boom arms.

JS


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ken Zukin
Re: harder and harder?
on Dec 17, 2005 at 3:58:09 pm

Interesting, John.
So what type of lighting fixture are you using for a key in that situation? And would you mind describing how and why you make a foamcore snoot? Thanks. Too bad we can't post photographs here.


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john sharaf
Re: harder and harder?
on Dec 17, 2005 at 4:30:50 pm

Ken,

We almost always use a K5600 Black Jack with either the HMI or Tungsten housing (some of the other LD's I work with prefer tungsten, myself I prefer the HMI). The snoot, of about 24" in length is to control the spill and to "aim" the key light into the portrait area. The great advantage of the BJ's is that it's designed with a really strong and efficient "disc" brake system to lock the tilt; if you try to hang even a foamcore "snoot" off of a Mole Baby Baby, it will probably sag - right in the middle of your interview!

The snoot is modeled after the famous Hollywood "Cronnie Cone" which was first used by a Hollywood DP named Cronenworth (spelling?) to control traditional studio instruments like Juniors and Seniors. Inside the snoot (just short of the business end) we'll cut a slot to insert diffussion frames or just secure the diffussion inside if it's a one-time use. Effectively we've created a spotty area of softer punch light.

We make the snoot out of B&W foamcore (black outside) and 2" paper tape to hold the seam together. The whole arrangement is easily attached with grip clips onto the barndoors, and really allows more area control than just the barndoors by themselves. You'll see this device in use on a lot of sit-com sets where the lights are hung at a great distance and control of spill and area lit is desired.

Obviously, the Chimera and other commercial softbox devices found their origin from these type of handmade devices; the same is now true of overhead softboxes and large fill-light boxes that were built for many years by the grips for one-time installation or use on a TV series or feature film set. For example, I just used a very cool 4x8' collapseable soft box with six built in nooklites (500 or 1000w globes) that fits inside a small 4' coffin case for transport or storage on the truck.

Hope this paints a picture for you!

JS


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ken Zukin
Re: harder and harder?
on Dec 17, 2005 at 7:10:49 pm

Yeah...thanks, John.
One more question: Since the size of the key, relative to the subject has gotten much smaller (since it's now further away), is the quality of the light not as soft?
Thanks.
Ken


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john sharaf
Re: harder and harder?
on Dec 17, 2005 at 7:17:55 pm

Yeah Ken, that's absolutely correct. This scheme definately requires a good sized fill light from the camera direction, and in a two camera situation, great care in not hitting the other person. We usually use a 2K zip light (when tungsten) with an eggcrate or a 200w HMI and Chimera with louvers or honeycomb grid (when daylight).

JS


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Bob Cole
Re: harder and harder?
on Dec 19, 2005 at 3:53:04 am

[john sharaf] "they want wider estabishing shots and the ability to have the participants walk in and sit into the setup. This requires putting the lights further back and so large soft sources are not as practical."


So the "look" is not harder for harder's sake, but a matter of widening the area available for shooting?

I thought I saw it on some scenes that weren't walk-ins, but maybe the walk-in simply wasn't used in the final cut.

Thanks John as always for an informative answer. Appreciate that.

-- BC


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