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Budget Lighting Scenario: 2 guys on a park bench. Sunny/Overcast

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Jay Soriano
Budget Lighting Scenario: 2 guys on a park bench. Sunny/Overcast
on Nov 12, 2011 at 2:19:27 pm

We are shooting a comedic scene basically with 2 guys eating and sitting on a park bench. Looking for a basic budget(guerilla?) lighting for this scene.

What time of day would be best?

Recommended setup for a sunny day?

Recommended setup for partly cloudy/overcast day?

Thanks and much appreciationfor your recommendations!


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Jeff Cadge
Re: Budget Lighting Scenario: 2 guys on a park bench. Sunny/Overcast
on Nov 13, 2011 at 2:08:53 pm

If it’s comedy you probably don’t want the magic hour. If shooting for a middle of the day feel find a bench that faces north or move a bench so it faces north, allowing your talent sitting on the bench to be backlit from the sun. This allows you to shoot a decent wide shot with the sun behind them and when shooting close-ups you can diffuse the sunlight and add bounce fill. You don’t necessarily need lights, check out Terrence Malick’s The New World, I believe no lights were used on the whole film they used mostly backlight and bounce fill.

Jeff Cadge


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Dennis Size
Re: Budget Lighting Scenario: 2 guys on a park bench. Sunny/Overcast
on Nov 14, 2011 at 5:08:29 am

Are you shooting your scene in a studio .....or at an actual park bench outdoors?

DS



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Mark Suszko
Re: Budget Lighting Scenario: 2 guys on a park bench. Sunny/Overcast
on Nov 14, 2011 at 3:03:25 pm

Lunch implies the noon hour, but shoot an hour before or after, so the sun isn't directly above, which is unflattering and needs more work with reflectors for fill and diffusers to cut excess light.

Gray overcast days make for soft, shadowless lighting that's easier to shoot in at any angle you need.


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Jay Soriano
Re: Budget Lighting Scenario: 2 guys on a park bench. Sunny/Overcast
on Nov 14, 2011 at 9:54:30 pm

Shoot is actually at a park outdoors. Thank you for your suggestions. What would you recommend to diffuse sunlight?


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Ken Zukin
Re: Budget Lighting Scenario: 2 guys on a park bench. Sunny/Overcast
on Nov 14, 2011 at 11:05:27 pm

You'll want the sun behind your actors -- as mentioned previously. A dark backround will help too -- a lot!! You'll want your actors to be at least as well illuminated as the backround. A site inspection beforehand will help insure there are no "surprises" the day of your shoot. You'll have sunlight coming into the top of your camera's lens -- so flag accordingly.

There are many types of diffusion material for this job. It depends on how strong/weak the sun is. Be aware too, that if it's very overcast -- you'll need some supplemental lighting to bring out your actor's faces. This lighting needs to be daylight-balanced. If you "fly" diffusion over your talent, you'll need lots of sandbags and people to make sure the whole apparatus doesn't turn into a large sail.

You'll also be needing to reflect some sunlight back into your actor's faces. Ideally, the whole scene should look natural, and "unlit."

Not meaning to offend here, but if you've never done this, it might be best to bring along someone in your crew that has. Or, maybe you can assist somewhere beforehand, so you can see how it's done.

A lot of success with this kind of thing is drawing from experience, and you just have to earn your stripes.


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Bob Cole
Re: Budget Lighting Scenario: 2 guys on a park bench. Sunny/Overcast
on Nov 19, 2011 at 2:39:50 pm

I think there was a thread here sometime back about the overly-lit Bill Murray movie "Caddyshack." iirc, I defended the lighting bec. the exteriors took a lot of time to shoot, due to some "talent" issues, and I thought that over-lighting was probably strategic, for continuity's sake.

Reason I bring that up: if it's a comedy, and you're using amateur talent, the lighting (sun) might change a lot before you finish the scene, and you need to plan accordingly, so that all of your shots match.


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