View Full Version : Lighting Attic Shoot
01-21-2004, 11:19 AM
Need suggestions on what lights you would recommend for a shoot in a walk-around attic with only natural lighting from windows and overhead incandescent light. Our group has no lighting inventory and we're looking for a cost-effective suggestion. Please be specific.
What would be the appropriate instruments to light this environment? The scene requires a day shoot.
Would the same lighting instruments be helpful for a shoot in a dining room/kitchen scene too?
01-21-2004, 11:26 AM
Please give a brief synopsis of the scene--it always helps to know the context before giving technical advice.
You could use the same fixtures for both shoots, yes. In the attic setup, just slap some CTB (color temp blue) gels over the lights to match the sunlight coming in from the windows.
Check out this thread here for a good discussion on lighting on the cheap:
01-21-2004, 12:38 PM
You could also make a cheap chinese lamp. *Is there anywhere to put practicals? (Hanging lightbulb maybe?)
Maybe use foam core to bounce the exisiting daylight.
01-21-2004, 01:25 PM
It would depend on the scene...
What is the lighting source supposed to be in the story. That will determine how you light it. Are they hanging out in a dark attic with only shafts of daylight piercing the darkness? Or does a character walk in and turn on a light switch?
If they turn on a light you might be able to use the incadescent. If thats what you go with, I say dont put a gel on it. Its supposed to be mixed lighting and it would look weird if the incadescents have the same color temp as sunlight.
If you want a dark room with only daylight streaming in as the apparent light source it will take a little bit of work. IMO gelling the incadescents would probably look bad because they were installed to fill the entire attic with fuctional light. You wont be able to control them like you should (assuming they are overhead fixed lights). Instead youll want to postion lights for each shot to create the effect of daylight. This is were lighting is an art not a science. Practice practice practice...If youre using tungsten lights youll need to use some gells to match the daylight color temp.
Remember that the lighting and composition of your shot should add to the dramatic content of the story.
Sorry for the long post... Hope it helps.
01-21-2004, 01:29 PM
For some reason I thought you suggested gelling the incadescent lights. I didnt realize you recommended a light kit.
Sorry I spaced a bit there.
01-21-2004, 01:48 PM
depending on your lighting setup (like if you can see out the window) your gonna hafta cut down the windows with ND or some scrim screen.. video doesnt have the latitude to handle that mix.
If its just a skylight , put a touch of fog in the attic to give the beams a cool effect..
Depending how bright your practical is, you may need to add a bounce fill behind some diffusion to bring the entire room up a few stops.
01-21-2004, 02:03 PM
Chris Furlong and I are actually working on this project together (along with half a dozen other people).
If it helps, I am including a link to the script (it is a short) and a picture of the attic we will be shooting in. FYI we intend to make a fake facade for the window to make it look older.
FYI, while this is our first film we are a bunch of perfectionists who are trying to do as much homework up front before tackling the actual shoot. We just got our camera today (a Panasonic DVX100A) and will begin shooting practice shots asap.
Thanks again for all the wonderful guidance in this forum.
01-22-2004, 10:25 AM
Two lights. A china lantern for fill and the biggest f-ing light you can find. A 1200 HMI PAR rents for $100-150 depending on where you are and the type of ballast.
Here's a low cost alternative. A mirrored reflector. Rental houses rent reflectors/shiney boards that have a mirrored surfaces which you can use to pound light through the windows. You can use foam core and clever blocking to fill light on your actors.
Here's an even cheaper alternative to the mirrored reflector: Tyvec. You ask what the heck is Tyvec? It's a foam sheet isulation used in house construction that has very reflective surface. (Tyvec is a brand name and there may be other brands.) It's a lightweight and can be attached to a c-stand and then you use it to bounce light in through a window.
The draw back to using any reflector is you have to have a sunny day and move the reflector as the sun moves(or as I should say, the Earth rotates.)
If you use a china lantern for fill you'll have to either gels the window with CTO, orange gels to correct the color balance or gel the china lantern with CTB, blue gel.
I'd rent a fog machine and add a little smoke for atmosphere. (I know it's a cliche, but it still looks good.)
Get the director, if you're not the director, do block so the actors are in the light.
01-22-2004, 12:30 PM
from the script it seems like you dont even see the window... so you can use a small HMI inside to cheat, and yes fog is good.
01-24-2004, 10:19 AM
Could you use something like baby powder to create the look of the light going through dust in the air?
01-26-2004, 02:15 AM
Yes, but you don't want to breath it all day, so I'd stay with a smoke machine or hazer. *When I saw your picture, I was all set to give you a description of what I would do, but Scott pretty much beat me to it.
I'd try and have a light (1200 HMI) outside shooting through the window, and gelling the window with cto is a great idea. *The mirror would work if the sun was right but would probably be too much of a pain in the butt, (I assume the attick is on the second story) as it is you're going to have to get your HMI on a high stand (Mombo combo), and a mirror is too heavy to be moving all day long.. Again, I'd smoke the room so you could see the light beam, and I'd light for closeups by bouncing light off of foamcore, or using a china lantern, as if it were the light bouncing off of the wooden beams from the sunlight streaming in. *