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New Studio - Lighting recommendations?

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Chris Cubbage
New Studio - Lighting recommendations?
on Aug 20, 2008 at 2:10:07 am

Hello All.

Our current studio was lit and put together from make shift theatre lighting and what not. Well now we're moving to a new building with a new studio and green screen and currently there are no lights.

The green screen is 36 feet wide and has a curve
( -

the ( is the greenscreen and the - is the camera more or less.

We have mobile lighting but none of us know what type of lights, how many, wattage, etc. we should mount in the ceiling. Does anyone have any recommendations? Basically all we have right now is a shell and a greenscreen and some portable lighting. What would you all put in the ceiling to light the greenscreen. I'm far from a lighting expert but closer than the others.

Any help is appreciated.

Thank you,
Chris

P.S. I apologize if this was covered somewhere else on this forum. I'm in a bit of a hurry to tell them what is needed so they can order it and didnt have much time to search. This was all sprung on me without notice as well.


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Rick Wise
Re: New Studio - Lighting recommendations?
on Aug 20, 2008 at 2:58:02 am

Chris,

While I am always supportive of starting filmmakers, I find it more than a little grating when someone announces "I don't have time to search previous posts." (Not your exact words.) If you had time to post, you have time to search. Not searching is laziness.

The scolding over: you need to give some more specifics: what height is the green screen? What electrical power can you draw? What is the distance between the green screen and the opposite wall? Is there a grid?

I am off before dawn tomorrow shooting and back well after dark, so any replies from me will have to wait until Thursday. Others may wish to chime in before then.





Rick Wise
director of photography
Oakland, CA
http://www.RickWiseDP.com
email: Rick@RickWiseDP.com


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Todd Terry
Re: New Studio - Lighting recommendations?
on Aug 20, 2008 at 3:57:41 am

Well, like Rick, I'm probably not going to give you the answer you want to hear. Starting from complete scratch like that with a blanket "I don't know anything about this, what all do I need?" is not quite like asking how to perform heart surgery over the phone... but it's not that far from it either.

Noting that:

1) You have fairly sizable stage space, considering that you have a permanent 36' green screen...

2) You have NO lighting in the studio...

3) You admit that you are far from a lighting expert (good of you to admit, there is nothing wrong with not knowing something yet)...

4) You say the rest of the gang knows even less.


Considering those things, you could probably get plenty of advice here from the COW gang... but as expert as it may be it would all be guesses as to exactly what you need, what your space is like, what your requirements are, etc. etc. etc.

As I said, this is not the answer you want to hear (especially since you are in a big hurry), but to do it right it would extremely behoove you to bring in a professional lighting designer or cinematographer... someone who really knows what they are doing... if just for a consult to check out the space and give you some real practical advice. It would, of course, cost a bit to do that... but I can almost guarantee you that you would save money in the long run over buying a bunch of expensive instruments and going the trial-and-error route, and you would no doubt get better results.


T2

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






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Michael Palmer
Re: New Studio - Lighting recommendations?
on Aug 20, 2008 at 4:02:25 am

I follow Rick and Todd,
If you don't know what to do I believe you should ask advice from a real DP, LP or more importantly a real Gaffer to access the location.

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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Chris Cubbage
Re: New Studio - Lighting recommendations?
on Aug 20, 2008 at 12:01:01 pm

Look I agree with you three. And I completely understand, but bosses dont always seem to be logical. I wish things worked that way. I'll create a layout of the room. The screen is about 9'.

Can you at least recommend what type of lights to mount in the ceiling? or a location in which to go purchase them myself that I could at least look at them?

I did search briefly by the way but found nothing... but that doesnt mean it's not in the forums. That's what I meant with the search comment.

I'm well aware of how all this looks, but what the heck else am I supposed to do??? If I sit there and just say I dont know, sorry, hire someone else, they'll bring in a couple of mag lite flashlights and say good luck. So instead of saying I dont know I came here for help.



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Michael Palmer
Re: New Studio - Lighting recommendations?
on Aug 20, 2008 at 2:11:52 pm

Kino Flo http://www.kinoflo.com/Lighting%20fixtures%20with%20Remote%20ballast/4Bank,...

A row of 4' double bank across the top would be a good start. these units are light height and low power consumption. You'll need a grid hung in the ceiling by qualified professionals together with proper grip gear to mount the lights, and don't forget the safety tethers as anything hung needs a safety backup restraint. Purchase extra head feeders to have the ballasts all together to operate off to the side.

I know there has been several posts on green screen lighting and my suggestions are only the start of what you will need to provide profession results. Each shoot has its own needs and each cameraman relies on equipment they trust so don't rush into the cheapest lighting suggestion here or any other forums. I'm sure Rick and Todd will agree you can't go wrong with Kino's for lighting a small green screen set like this.

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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Chris Cubbage
Re: New Studio - Lighting recommendations?
on Aug 20, 2008 at 2:29:17 pm

Thank you that was helpful.

I had to figure out how to set up the power required yesterday pretty much on the fly for the electrician so we planned overboard and have 10 circuits set up to power this and the two computers etc.

As far as mounting and installation we have that with no problem. We basically took over a shell of a very large 4 story building and are building the interior to what we want.

The main problem with lighting a large green screen of course is shadows or variations in light. So I didnt know what would be best to use to light such a huge green screen that would keep the light even all the way around it.

The only thing I found when searching this site for green screen was the smaller little green screens and the portable lights used.. but nothing in regards to mounting lights in the ceiling for a large screen etc.

I noticed you said a small green screen set.. if 36 feet across and 9' high is small... what in the world is a big one? :)

I'll start digging around on that site and try to figure out everything needed. Thanks a lot.




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Michael Palmer
Re: New Studio - Lighting recommendations?
on Aug 20, 2008 at 2:45:22 pm

I would think you will never use the 36 foot width with only a 9 foot ceiling.

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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Chris Cubbage
Re: New Studio - Lighting recommendations?
on Aug 20, 2008 at 2:53:31 pm

Well there are plans in the works that will use it.

I'm actually the camera man who lights and shoots the scene, the director, the video editor, post production, flash designer / developer, and more, but hey the videos actually keep getting better and better and I respect every single individual field in the world now because theres so much that goes into everything. But lighting a curved wall with stationary lights was a new one as I'm only familiar with scene lighting.

I sent the equipment request to them and hopefully it works out.

Thanks for your help!



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Rick Wise
Re: New Studio - Lighting recommendations?
on Aug 21, 2008 at 5:17:13 pm

To my mind, given the situation you are in, the best advice I've seen posted is to hire an experienced gaffer for a full day. That may -- or may not -- be possible where you live. If it is, that cost will end up saving you bundles in the long run. I'd begin by asking experienced DPs in your area for gaffer recommendations. You want someone who is smart, experienced, and has a generous can-do attitude. You may then later want to hire him to install the equipment, or else to recommend someone to do that.



Rick Wise
director of photography
Oakland, CA
http://www.RickWiseDP.com
email: Rick@RickWiseDP.com


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