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Lighting a Nightclub...

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Chuck Purnell
Lighting a Nightclub...
on Oct 10, 2010 at 8:21:19 am

Anybody ever light a nightclub along with the existing club lights (lasers, disco lights, etc?) I am in the early planning stages for shooting a music video and the treatment will call for a scene to be shot in a nightclub.

My question is: I want to be able to use some of the laser and disco lights the club has to offer but I am going to have to be able to throw some light on the talent's face without it falling off into the "club" light I mentioned above.

Also what is the best way once all lights are on, to keep it looking somewhat dark. Doesn't have to be 100% dark but want to make it still feel like a club. I sat in on a music video shoot a few years ago that was shot in a club and the crew had a ton of lights and it didn't really feel like a club. I most likely will be using something along the lines of a Litepanels LED either on camera or a few 1x1's on a stand.


I am still scouting clubs to shoot in so I can't say how big a space I am going to need but I envision using about 50-100 people to pack the dance floor area and all shooting will take place there. I am guessing a lot of my lights would have to be flagged so they don't fall off into the "club lights too huh?

Thanks!

Cre8tive Minds Entertainment, LLC


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Bill Davis
Re: Lighting a Nightclub...
on Oct 10, 2010 at 7:53:40 pm

In a nutshell, light the perimeter of the club so that there's light behind the action. Then, as you say, add front fill to bring out the specific characters you're following.

Finally, be VERY VERY careful about the lasers.

There are multiple videos on the net that show in loving detail a laser beam hitting a camera sensor directly and the energy of the beam ROASTING sensor pixels.

Good way to RUIN a camera.

Good luck.

FCP since NAB 1999
creator: muti-track movies
http://www.starteditingnow.com


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Scott Sheriff
Re: Lighting a Nightclub...
on Oct 10, 2010 at 11:21:29 pm

I did some live dance shows in a dark club and you might think about something like a large chinese lantern over the dance floor to bring up the base light, and some high angle keys off the dance floor that can create pools of light for the talent to walk into. Barn door these down so they aren't splattering light all over.

I have to second the caution on the lasers. Even reflections from atmospheric dust has burnt image sensors, and in a club your more likely to get stray reflections from much shinier objects than that.

Scott Sheriff
Director
SST Digital Media
http://www.sstdigitalmedia.com


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Mark Suszko
Re: Lighting a Nightclub...
on Oct 11, 2010 at 10:21:14 pm

A china ball with a variable power light in it could be a good base light for your foreground. Are you trying for something talk show-like, or something that feels like the scene isn't specifically "lit"? In that case, you could bring your own "practicals", some gelled colored PAR cans on a stand - and use that to paint your light into the spot where you need it, without throwing off the rest of the room. Something you might try for this is a pico video projector and laptop: this would let you throw your own custom patterns or gradient shades across the talent to suit your taste.


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Chuck Purnell
Re: Lighting a Nightclub...
on Oct 28, 2010 at 1:02:42 am

This is actually going to be for a Music Video I am shooting and directing. I want to fill the club with about 50-100 people. I can light the perimeter as was mentioned. I am eliminating the idea of the lasers but should I use their "Club/disco" lights at all? I like the idea of the Chinese Lantern or China Ball to bring up the base light. What kind of light would I use in there?

I want the club light enough so you can clearly see the artist, and some of the extras in the background but I don't want it so light that it takes away from it being a nightclub. I am planning on lighting the artist with a LED 1x1 panel or some Kino Flos.

This is a "feel good" song with the dance floor packed with people.

Thanks

Cre8tive Minds Entertainment, LLC


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Chuck Purnell
Re: Lighting a Nightclub...
on Oct 29, 2010 at 6:24:20 pm

Would something like this be overkill to use in a nightclub type shoot? Light balloons can provide a good coverage of soft light but I have never used them before. I started to post a link to show you all what I am talking about but remembered someone had a problem with that once before.

Cre8tive Minds Entertainment, LLC


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