View Full Version : Moonlight?.
05-10-2004, 05:31 PM
Shooting indoors. Set is supposed to be an abandoned house that would be lit strictly by moonlight. Will not have access to a professional lighting kit, only work lights/practicals. How can I achieve a moonlight look and feel and also have color in the scene. What gels would work well to give a moonlight look? Thanks.
05-11-2004, 10:50 AM
By 'moonlight', do you need the scene to have a blueish tint, or are you open to making it just seem like it's 'night time'?
If you need the blueish glow normally associated with moonlight, but don't have any larger lights (to shine through a window) I'd suggest going the route of tricking the audience.
Maybe have a few candles in the scene, and let the background drop into darkness, and use the worklights for general illumination in the scene. I don't know that you'd get a traditionally natural look without a larger source from a window.
Might also want to try gelling all the worklights with blue, though I could easily see that seeming too man-made.
05-11-2004, 12:17 PM
One way to simulate moonlight is by lighting the scene with blue or violet gels. Unfortunately, worklights blast out a wash of uncontrolled light, so you'll need to tame them if they're to be of any use. You could try making snoots out of cinefoil for your worklight and bouncing the light off the opposite wall. You want a soft, but directional effect. You'll need to improvise some scrims as well.
Your practicals should *all* be on dimmers, so they don't blow out (exposure). Once, you've dimmed down your practicals, they won't be lighting the scene, so you'll need to match them with some bulbs hidden on the set. This can be very simple--like a strategically placed 300 watt lightbulb with a dimmer--hidden on the set or out of the shot.
One of my favorite budget lighting instruments is the fishpole Chinese lantern. Make two of these--a light socket with a 25' cord inside a paper lantern at the end of a pole. Use a normal bulb in one lantern and a blue-gelled bulb in the other. You can put them on dimmers or just have an assortment of different wattage bulbs. These setups will work great for medium shots or close-ups and make it quick and easy to light shots. Just have a PA swing a light into position when you need it.
Try not to overlight--add one light at a time and modify as necessary.