I have recently joined after a colleague recommended me to this site given the recent issues I have had when trying to re-create a Neon light affect.
Essentially I am working on a project soon with a "Red Light District" aesthetic so Neon lights are essential. However some of the film will not be shot on location but in a studio however having troubles finding lights they will work.
Lighting with Neon lights is new to me so does anyone have any experience with working with these and what lights are best to use that are cheap, easily movable and vibrant enough to be part of the set but also bright enough to light the subject? Ive looked at Amazon and eBay but theres lights are very misleading given that the brightness levels are exaggerated some what. Or if anyone has any advice on other lights that could give a similar effect?
Put neon fixtures/signs in the background so your viewer sees the ‘apparent’ source of light, but actually light your actors with conventional instrumentation (tungsten, fluorescent, LED, etc) gelled with the correct color to match your apparent naturalistic source.
You could even use one of the many dozen RGB or RGBAW LED fixtures and tailor your lighting to precisely whatever color match you need to carry through the artistic conceit!
Have fun with it!
Dennis beat me to the punch but his advice is right on the money, as usual... I will second everything he said.
I would use real (or prop) neon lights as dressing and set elements, but I'd never use them as my practical light sources. I'd use conventional instruments for that. And Dennis' idea of using RGB LED fixtures is a genius suggestion, you can dial in the color you need to approximate your neons. And as a plus, because you wouldn't be worrying about super clean high CRI light, then even cheapo RGB fixtures would be fine... and since the lower-end ones are targeted to the DJ crowd (instead of the deeper-pockets cinematographic crowd), there are very inexpensive ones out there that should do the job nicely.
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