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Blacking out large windows

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Rich Rubasch
Blacking out large windows
on May 10, 2019 at 3:54:26 pm

We have a shoot in a 7th floor building with large floor to ceiling glass windows. We want to be able to use the view and other than ND on all the windows is there any other material you have used to cover large sections of windows? Height is 9 feet and width of the room is up to 20 feet that we'd need to cover. ND adds up and may not be wide enough to cover one vertical window with a single roll width. We are checking on that.

Anyone use fabric or other material or trick to accomplish this?

Rich

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage
Founder/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
http://www.tiltmedia.com


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Todd Terry
Re: Blacking out large windows
on May 10, 2019 at 4:20:34 pm

Yikes... that is a HUGE amount of window to cover.

Probably not what you want to hear, but I'd say by far the easiest and cheapest and fastest way would be to simply pump in enough light inside that you are able to get an exposure so that the windows aren't too blown out. Of course the exterior should still appear to be a stop or two brighter than the interior to look natural. Sounds like a job for a few HMIs to me.

BUT... if you have no choice but to cover the windows....

Screen works to a degree. You can buy large rolls of black screen-door mesh at Home Depot or Lowes. The thing is, screen only works a bit... maybe a stop at most... if you're lucky And you can't double it or you get moiré patterns. But it helps a little. We covered gigantic windows in an airport gate with screen once.

Another thing I've bought before is rolls of tinted vinyl, the cling stuff that people put on sunroom windows and such. They used to have huge rolls of it at Hancock Fabrics (in store or online), but unfortunately Hancock is no more. Other fabric stores might have it, you'd have to check. It's usually where the big bolts of upholstery fabric and such is. It's basically fairly dark ND material, but about a tenth the price of the real stuff. It would still be a huge (and time consuming) job to cover all those windows.

Is it a long scene?... or something you can get in a couple of takes? If that's the case, set up in advance, rehearse it to death, wait till dusk starts, and pull trigger at the exact moment that the exterior lighting is just right.

T2

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



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Mark Suszko
Re: Blacking out large windows
on May 10, 2019 at 6:43:43 pm

Todd's given you your best two answers, I think, until someone comes up with a spray-on/squeegee-on/peel-off liquid ND filter material. Maybe I should work on that idea... hmmm... or a bunch of extra wide felt tip markers...

I'd vote for going with HMI's and just cranking up the interior levels with bounces or a bank of diffusion.

I have one other trick I have used a few times, but never in a room that big. And it requires the camera be absolutely locked-off. You shoot the event, exposing for the interior, then you shoot a plate exposed for the exterior, and composite the two in post. A variation would be to plaster chroma green posterboard over all the windows and replace that later.

If you have the money, you might look into what they call "darknet" fabrics, intended for invisible projection screens on stage, they also work something like bobinnette or sharkstooth scrims.. They can come in super widths. Instead of cutting this to fit the windows, I'd hang it from framing materials or a temporary grid, in front of the windows. Lets you re-use it for other purposes later. My go-to for such stuff has always been Rosebrand in New York. Check this link out, maybe it will stimulate some other ideas...

https://www.rosebrand.com/subcategory773/darknet-fabrics.aspx


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mark thompson
Re: Blacking out large windows
on May 13, 2019 at 11:28:01 am

Matthew Rosen, on Kinetek posts about "Reductive Lighting", it may work for you.







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Chris Santucci
Re: Blacking out large windows
on Jun 26, 2019 at 5:49:31 pm

You can get a large roll of black plastic sheet from a home store pretty cheap.

[URL="http://www.santucci-cinematographer.com/"]Cinematographer Cameraman Camera Operator Director of Photography Buffalo, New York[/URL][URL="http://www.santucci-cinematographer.com/"]
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