View Full Version : Night Car Scene - Lighting Advice

05-01-2009, 12:44 PM
I'm DP a little comedy short that features 2 actors talking in truck, parked outside a house at night.

Here's what I'm working with:
(1) Joker 400 HMI
(1) 650w Fresnel
(2) small Light Panels
(1) Large China Ball w/Daylight bulbs

Does anyone have a link to sweet looking footage like this? Or any advice on lighting the scene?

Because it's a comedy, I don't want to do anything too contrasty or anything.

Thanks a ton.

Ryan Patrick O'Hara
05-01-2009, 03:28 PM
One problem I see right away is the color temperature difference.

The HMI has an equivelent output of around a 1.5-2k light... I would use that to rake across a wide area of the house, trees and etc to get some detail in the background (moving the light around for different shots, etc.

The problem is that the HMI will have a completely different color temperature then the incandescent lighting which is the tungsten units, china ball and house practicals (in windows or on side of house)

You are better off using a 4x4 gel frame with full, half or 1/4 CTO (depending on if you want a slightly cooler blue tone to the "night" time. I recommend this because full CTO only zaps 2/3rds of a stop, as full CTB can zap around 2 stops of light.

Other then that, what you do inside the vehicle is up to you! If you don't want contrasty looks, then light more frontal then side, use softer light and fill. Seems that is most of what you have left anyhow.

Off the top of my head, think about scrimming down the 650 and using it's hard qualities for a backlight, use some large wattage bulbs in the china ball around 45* off camera, and then the led panels for fill, eye light right on the lens.

But if there is anything I can suggest... there are lots of ways for doing this. The scenario I gave you is one of the classic basic setups. Rather text book if you ask me.

05-01-2009, 11:33 PM
I would shoot the scene when it's still is some lights out there, so it's not to dark. Then in post, you make it darker. There's a lot of tutorials out there to describe it.

Justin Kuhn
05-02-2009, 11:27 AM
Day for Night always looks obvious and kind of crappy. I would advise against this. Use the light kit. And maybe hire a gaffer. The right person will make you look great.