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How would you light this scene?

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Eddie Brown
How would you light this scene?
on Jun 18, 2016 at 1:54:29 am

Hey,

I'm a scene coming up that takes place in a hotel room and wanted to get some feedback on how one might light this. I've included stock photos of the the room that I'll be shooting in. This will be a daytime scene.










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Rick Wise
Re: How would you light this scene?
on Jun 18, 2016 at 2:11:22 am

What ISO can you shoot at that will look good for your needs? What's your budget? Are you really way up in the sky, as those photos show, or on the ground floor? Can you make the shoot happen on the ground floor? (Allows lights outside the windows.)

Those are just a few of the questions I would want answered before even beginning to reply to your query.

Rick Wise
Cinematographer
MFA/BFA Lighting and Camera Instructor Academy of Art University
San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.RickWiseDP.com


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Eddie Brown
Re: How would you light this scene?
on Jun 18, 2016 at 2:25:08 am

I'll be shooting on the bmpcc at iso 400. I'm thinking $250. It's a suite and it's on the 12th floor. They don't have any suites available on the ground floor.


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Todd Terry
Re: How would you light this scene?
on Jun 18, 2016 at 2:37:35 am

Rick's questions are good ones.

I'll add one or two more....

What look are you going for? With that room and the windows, there might be some scenes that are perfectly good (and look the way you want) shooting nothing but available light. Or maybe a single medium big instrument (maybe a 1200w HMI) blasting at the white ceiling, giving you a nice even wash.

Or, the lighting plot could be infinitely more complicated... if you were wanting a moody or stylized or particular look.

So... what look are you going for? It's infinitely helpful to see the shots of the room, maybe you could add a shot or two (screen grabs from movies or whatever) that's the mood/look/feel that you are trying to achieve. That would give us a good starting point.

Also... what kind of lighting instruments do you already have available? Not to be a smartass about it, buy your $250 budget might as well be zero as it's not really enough to think about adding any rental inventory, so knowing what you have on hand will help.

T2

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



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Eddie Brown
Re: How would you light this scene?
on Jun 18, 2016 at 2:53:21 am

I'll be renting from Wooden Nickel in Los Angeles. They have pretty good prices. I'll be able to get some good things for that amount but maybe not everything I'll need. The look I'm going for is based on the Starz show The Girlfriend Experience.





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Mark Suszko
Re: How would you light this scene?
on Jun 20, 2016 at 2:16:35 pm

The bottom example is using, at a guess, at least nine individual lights between the background and the foreground.
the blue-looking top example could be mostly bounced daylight from the window, but probably has a little bit of directed fill from an HMI in it as well.

If you can describe the camera direction and narrative action in a sentence, that helps the LD figure out what mood to set. "Girlfriend and Boyfriend's relationship is damaged, they are working out their good-byes, in a cold, "the morning after" atmosphere."
Or...
"The initial sparring and other preliminaries, when they both know they really want to get to it, but each is still not completely trusting the other. Action moves around the set from area to area, each time, they get closer to each other."


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Eddie Brown
Re: How would you light this scene?
on Jun 20, 2016 at 8:17:47 pm

There's only one actor and she'll be standing in some scenes and sitting in others talking on a cell phone. She's a criminal boss and has her right hand man in the field making sure stuff goes according to plan. All of her scenes are phone conversations.


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Alan Lloyd
Re: How would you light this scene?
on Jun 20, 2016 at 10:24:34 pm

Have her (primarily) backlit. It's standard for those with "dark" motivations. (Good looks into light, evil looks away.)

Unless you're going completely noir, do keep the front side fill, though.


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Mark Suszko
Re: How would you light this scene?
on Jun 21, 2016 at 11:38:34 am

You could have some fun with the wall mirror for some shots. The couch and table area look useful. A typical scene would also be standing near the big picture window, looking out while talking. Get another piece of glass to stage in front of the character, *inside* the room, *near* the real window, that could be fun to shoot thru.

Did you get the hotel room to be an *actual* hotel room the character is using, or is it supposed to look like some other place? Exactly how many different scenes will you shoot here?


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Eddie Brown
Re: How would you light this scene?
on Jun 21, 2016 at 7:04:14 pm

Yes, the scene calls for it to be a hotel suite.
There are 10 scenes all on the phone during one afternoon


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Blaise Douros
Re: How would you light this scene?
on Jun 23, 2016 at 10:40:18 pm

I'll second the motion for doing it all silhouetted. It sounds like the character exists primarily to direct the action occurring in the city...so why not expose for the exterior light and keep the skyline in frame, keeping the focus outside the room where the action is actually occurring, leaving her only as a dark foreground presence. Could be an interesting, stylized approach to the character/scene.

If you hate the look, you can always open up a bit and bring some bounce fill for the foreground.


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