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Light from a movie screen

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Michael Neel
Light from a movie screen
on May 12, 2008 at 1:18:30 am

Hello

I will soon be filming a person who is supposed to be watching a movie screen. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to get the effect of the light flicker on the subject's face? I'm thinking about waving two kookies in front of a moderately diffuse light to get the right effect, but I'm in a time crunch and any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. We are shooting on 16mm, 500 ASA.

Thanks!


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Todd Terry
Re: Light from a movie screen
on May 12, 2008 at 4:46:54 am

Hey Michael...

I'm not sure waving the cookies would work... it might, but I'm a little bit of a skeptic. Would be easy to run some tests on that.

A couple of other options.

If your shoot is MOS and you can get your hands on a film projector (16mm would be ideal I think, but even 8mm would work), you could actually use the projector (running some junk film, even home movies) as your light source. I'd put the projector in front of and facing the talent... pop up a 4x4 Hollywood frame in front of talent (a little out of screen frame) with some diffusion, maybe 250, on it, and project the image onto that.

Or...

Grab a couple of these guys...
http://theflickergenerator.com/
...and connect them to some kind of little small instruments (even little PAR cans would work, something 100w or less). With 500T you should be able to get sufficient illumination.

Good to see someone actually using film....


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Rick Amundson
Re: Light from a movie screen
on May 12, 2008 at 2:57:16 pm

Here's a poor man's solution. Light from a screen changes not only intensity but also color as scenes change location, time of day, etc.

The key is to create a large, soft source. Not knowing what instruments or grip gear you have, this can be accomplished any number of ways. Let's say you have two - 1000 watt tungsten lights. Shoot those through a 4X4 frame of diffusion (216, 250, double Opal) and place the frame far enough away from the talent to get about 1 to 1.5 stops under exposure(remember screens don't illuminate very brightly). You can also accomplish this by bouncing the lights into a 4X8 piece of foam core. Put a layer of 1/4 CTB on one of lights. Plug each light into a separate dimmer. You can find 1k dimmers at Lowe's or Home Depot. Then just dim the lights at varying intervals and intensities. Don't do it too quick as it will look fake.

Again, there are several solutions to this challenge based on your budget and equipment list. Be creative and go to a movie theater and watch how the light really behaves. Shooting with 500 ASA film will give you plenty of stop for a dark movie theater.

Best of luck!

Rick Amundson
Producer/Director/DP
Screenscape Studios
Bravo Romeo Entertainment
http://www.screenscapestudios.com
http://www.bravoromeo.com
http://www.indeliblemovie.com


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Michael Neel
Re: Light from a movie screen
on May 13, 2008 at 10:17:41 pm

Thanks a lot for the suggestions, guys! I really appreciate it.

And yes, Todd, I am thrilled to be shooting on film. I've been a freelance DP for years and most of the work is DV. Its great to have a project shot on film, it has such a great look.

Thanks again!



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