· DAY INT
DAY INT WITH WINDOWS
That office was lit using 4 x 6K HMI PARs bounced off Ultrabounce with, I think, 251 diffusion on the windows. On a third floor the same idea might be difficult, unless you have a large crane etc. etc. (A Serious Man)
For the most part the windows were diffused and I was lighting with HMIs bounced off Ultrabounce reflectors. Bounced light like this will be that bit warmer and by adjusted the Alexa to a slightly warmer light the interior tungsten lights came in where I wanted them. Of course, I could have added some 1/4 CTO on the windows and I might have done that on the interior of the Thanksgiving Dinner at the Birch House. (Prisoners)
I made up a soft box about 18" deep, which consisted of 4 Nook lights (2K0 bouncing into a 6' x 4' box. There was a layer of diffusion across the bottom and I had Utrabounce flaps I could lower on the sides, which helped me control the background walls whilst adding light into the actors eyes'. The Nooks were on dimmers and, probably, set to around 50%, which left them a little warm. The windows carried a 1/4 CTO so that, when the daylight was timed to be white the overhead lighting and practicals looked quite warm. I was shooting on either 200T or 500T stock. I can't remember which.
The windows were lit with 18Ks directed through light grid cloths on frames about 10' back and the windows themselves were covered with 251 diffusion. We also had 20' x 20' frames set horizontally off the roof so as to cut sunlight off the windows and as much skylight as possible. The weather was pretty changeable so this was key in maintaining continuity from shot to shot.
In this scene from "Big Love", I used Source-4 lights inside the room to get the bright slashes of hard light. The color fringe is sort of unavoidable to some extent, though I sometimes justify it as being caused by the window glass that the light is supposedly going through. I haven't tried internal window pattern gobos yet. Putting pattern shapes in front of the Source-4 light tends not to work well for getting sharp patterns.
Par outside window for backlight
-- don't aim backlight directly on subject, make it a little unperfect for realism-- eg. only on shoulder & ear instead of whole head
A Joker 800 in a Source-4 is like a mini-Xenon. Two Joker 800 Source-4's off camera right (Manure):
2K or 1K Xenon outside the window:
-- it's the bounce off of the floor that fills in the faces
-- Often in the wide shots, I'll use an ND.6 grad at the bottom of frame to reduce clipping while keeping the ambient bounce in the shadows. In these examples, you are just looking at a Nikon JPEG snapshot. I love to have small areas that are really hot in the frame. Caleb Deschanel once said that there should be something in the frame that is a bit out of control.
In real life, hard sunlight coming into a room would be very hot and bright, almost uncontrollable. And it probably would come through a window and hit the lower part of the room, the base of the cabinets, etc. You wouldn’t get hard light on the top part of a cabinet unless it was really low sunset light beaming right in (and then it would be orange and not too bright) or you had some odd skylight with a clear window in it allowing a beam to come in and hit the upper cabinets in a downward slash. But again, it would be very sharp and very hot, overexposed. Now, in video, this may look rather clippy so you’d want to keep it confined to small areas in non-distracting places, like across someone’s lower half, or at the lower part of a table, chair, wall. I don’t have a good example, but here’s a shot that I did in “Twin Falls Idaho" showing the idea of the brighter slash of light at the lower half of someone to suggest sunlight:
UNITED STATES OF TARA
I had to deal with a small space outside the windows of many sets with just a Day Blue curtain and some bushes, so the only way to take the curse off of it was to overexpose them and use Half Hampshire on the glass to blur them. Looks a bit surreal maybe but it was better than seeing the stuff out the window too clearly:
The other option is to have some blinds or lace curtains on the window that you can partially close to break it up. It’s standard operating procedure to ask the art department to dress the windows with something like that in case you have to shoot night for day. In this shot from “Tara", I had some spray-on dust on the glass of the window to wash out the view (again, Day Blu curtains and some greens), overexposed with a lot of light, and some lace curtains partially closed, and also smoke in this case:
The sun was a 5K tungsten PAR. Now here was something that was more of that typical “we lost the light" situation — I’m on the 5th floor of an office building when we lost the light in this doctor’s office. I had an 18K HMI outside the window on a condor for the day scenes, but once it became night, I couldn’t work outside the windows to add more lights, so I had to white-out the view by papering the windows from the inside and then closing the blinds partially over that. The 18K HMI lit up the tracing paper. I had a soft top/backlight from Kinos mounted just above the window frames inside the room:
Soundstage, usually this is done with 10/20K without fresnel lens thru window, but in this case it would be visible in the shot, so I hung a row of Source-4 Lekos (3 of them for each little window) to create the beams of sunlight. Or put them on skinny light stands and dress them out with some greens. Blinds are great because they don’t get as overexposed as curtain sheers do when you hit them with a lot of light, and then hide a lot of crap outside the windows. I had plants outside the wooden blinds that I overexposed:
2K/4K Xenon on lift outside (Astronaut Farmer):
2 Joker Source 4 800W creating a dappled pattern by mixing together, as if thru a window or cookie: (Instead of using one big light with a cookie, you can take 3 or 4 Source 4s, direct them into one place and get sunlight thru tree branch-type effect):
4K HMI in big window, 2K Xenon on right window, no fill (BIG SUR):
This is a day interior lit with a 12K HMI PAR going through 1/2 CTO for a warm look; the light on the face was just the bounce from the backlight -- I put a white card on the wall to catch the light back into her face but even that was too much so I clamped a single net to the white card to make it more of a grey card. There was a slash of light on the radio from a tungsten Source-4 with 1/2 CTB (Jennifer's Body):
Using Lensbaby, shot at night but lit for day. 2K Xenon beaming through, with I think an 8'x8' Ultrabounce outside lit with some 1.2K HMI's. We had a haze maker:
That was a location, a small kitchen with a wooden deck outside the windows. I think I had a 6K HMI on the porch with 1/2 CTO on it, coming through windows with curtain sheers on them, into a room with some haze. She has a daylight 4' 4-bank Kino to her left (frame right) side-lighting her face, plus the ambient fill from the 6K hitting everything in the kitchen and bouncing back.
ASSASSINATION OF A HIGH SCHOOL PRESIDENT (David Mullen)
I used a lot of available light from windows and just augment it with bounce lighting off of white cards above the windows to extend the window light effect deeper into the room. I mostly use Joker 800 HMI Source-4 Lekos, sometimes 1.2K's and 4K's. I only went outside the windows when I needed to, like when the sunlight was failing.
Basically I assumed that the natural window light would expose the row closest to the window so I was just bouncing light from that direction to extend the light into the deeper rows where our main character sat. I never had a wide shot of the main classroom where I couldn't bounce a little from above, but in some other rooms where I saw most of the room in a steadicam shot or a very wide-angle lens, what I did was turn on one row of overhead fluorescents nearest the windows for a similar effect, that there was more light near the window end of the room and it fell off. You can see that in an early scene where Funke interviews the school president in the gym, I only had the overheads on along the window side.
The problem with this whole technique was that when I lost the light I had to scramble to add a lot of lighting outside the windows to recreate it, whereas if I had started the scene with more HMI lighting from outside, it would have been more consistent throughout the day, so there are pluses and minuses to this technique. In retrospect I probably would have had a big HMI outside one edge of the window softened and knocked down, ready to roll in closer as the light dropped. As for sun, it wasn't a problem in this case, all our windows faced north and it was generally overcast.
Just the other day though I had a real problem with a room facing west -- it was overcast and I was creating an orange sunset effect in the room when the clouds parted and I had a much brighter, whiter sunlight slamming through the same windows, overpowering my sunset effect, and this would only happen for a few minutes now and then as the clouds moved. A nightmare. If I had more money, I would have set up a flyswatter (big frame on a condor) outside to shadow the real sun off of the glass, or scheduled those scenes for the morning. But since our whole schedule has been splits, starting in the middle of the day and working into the middle of the night, we don't have any morning hours.
This just had a bounce above the windows and a Kino off to one side:
It is much easier to rig white cards to ceilings than a soft light unit. Here daylight was fading. Windows are frosted, blown out from outside, from below. Source-4 aimed at card for directional light from window side.
This scene was lit with just natural window light and a small Kino next to the window. It was very simple -- the wide shot just used the window light, on the close-up, I added a 4' 4-bank Kino next to the window (in the corner of the stairwell), with a 4'x4' frame of 216 in front of it, to wrap the window light around her face. I believe it was Fuji 250D, and the filter was a #1 Smoque, because I couldn't smoke a four story stairwell, unlike the classrooms. Focal-length-wise, it was a tight space, with the camera down a step or two and backed against a wall, so it may have only been a 40mm Zeiss Ultra Prime:
AKEELAH AND THE BEE
The soft key may have also been a larger Kinoflo, or a small HMI through a frame (but probably a Kino), the kicker was from a Kinoflo— the background was lit with an HMI outside. For most shots, I had a row of daylight Kinos rigged just above the windows inside the room:
Here's an example of the simple lighting I've been doing -- this shot was lit with some hanging Chinese Lanterns (skirted), a Source-4 bounced off of a 4x4 beadboard for a key, a tweenie bounced off of another 4x4 for fill, and a raking edge light from a 1K Woodylight. This is a shot looking back towards the camera:
The interior was just lit with a 800w Joker bounce off of the ceiling, otherwise, it's mostly available light:
Apartment scene, mostly available light with a Joker 800 Source-4 bounce off of the ceiling for fill:
I had a 1K Woodylight (medium Chimera bank on a 4-bulb unit, 1K total) behind the camera left wall, and another in the back room creating an edge light on Josh Lucas, and a 2-bank Kino on the floor uplighting him, otherwise it's all practical lighting. There was also an orange-gelled tweenie raking the outside of the window and a Dedolight under the lens for a small eyelight -- both were necessary because at one moment, Radha Mitchell leans up to the glass to look outside the window, so she leaned out of all of the room lighting:
Jack at the fireplace, with the quartz bulbs hidden in the back corner of the fireplace (Based on something I read by Roger Deakins about the fireplace scene in The Big Lebowski, I had the electrics make a three-bulb fixture that could be placed inside the real fireplace while it was burning. It was something Steven Poster had also once mentioned to me years ago, that quartz bulbs burn hotter than a real fire, so they won't melt inside a fireplace as long as the wiring is protected). Also a little light hidden behind kerosine lantern:
An example of putting the 5K tungsten PAR in the actual shot outside of the window to simulate the sun hitting the lens:
Using the 5K tungsten PAR as a warm backlight in a daylight scene:
Night interior dinner scene, the table lit with a light bulb hidden behind a real kerosene lamp, soft backlight from a Woodylight, and some ambience from bouncing a Source-4 off of the ceiling. I would have normally played the room darker except for the table... however, two of the four people in the shot start the scene against the background wall before sitting down, with dialogue back there, so I had have light on the background:
The reverse angle on Jack, also shot at night (we also shot a close-up to tie into the POV):
4K HMI in big window, 2K Xenon on right window, no fill (BIG SUR):
Real cabin, 1K Xenon+couple small HMIs thru left window, Source 4 bounced off bed sheet on ceiling + smoke:
DRIVE (ACM Oct 2011)
To supplement the practicals inside the apartments, the crew regularly employed Kino Flo 4' two-bank fixtures fitted with K32 3,200°K tubes, as well as several varieties of small, homemade instruments that housed dimmable Photofloods.
The common corridor was lit primarily with 250-watt Photofloods fitted inside sconces and “dimmed down as needed,"
we changed out all the globes and replaced them with 4-foot Kino Flo 3200s. We also added kicks and sheens with some 10Ks, and we did some raking with Mole Baby 2Ks with Small Quartz Plus Chimeras; the Chimeras usually wore a Quarter Grid Front and a 40-degree Lighttools LCD [light-control device]."
The units in the elevator were recessed can lights with 75-watt JDR Spot Globes on dimmers. We also added what I call a ‘Mini Space Light,’ a variation on the covered wagon.
Bathroom High speed: 18K Arrimax thru window
Off of the rig, the crew positioned Arri 150-watt tungsten units, some gelled with Rosco Urban Color #3152 or Lee Fluorescent 5,700°K #241, to supplement the output of sodium-vapor and mercury-vapor practicals. Nako also employed what he calls “D-Lights. Josh Stern, my best boy, and I designed these housings that look like an iPhone and [fitted them with] LiteRibbon LEDs from LiteGear." Some of the D-Lights contained hybrid LiteRibbons, which allowed Nako to switch between tungsten and daylight color temperatures, and others contained RGB strips, which allowed for a wider array of colors.
To backlight the crash, Sigel and Nako employed a 16-head and a 9-head Bebee Night Light, and for fill they utilized 4' tungsten spheres rented from Skylight Lighting Balloons. Additionally, the crew brought in “cobra head" sodium-vapor streetlamps, which play in frame behind Driver as he walks onto the beach and chases Nino into the crashing surf. The streetlamps’ warm backlight was further supplemented by “what I call Light Grenades, bare sodium-vapor globes that we could easily move around and flag off, depending on what effect was needed," says Nako.