· Night INT


Farmer crawls into bed with Audie after working in the barn. Audie wakes up and notices that his hands are dirty, so she reaches off camera and turns on a light to get a better look.
The light levels were whatever allowed me to shoot at near f/4 at 320 ASA, with the moonlight being almost 2-stops underexposed, since that’s what I was rating the Fuji 500T stock at, and I was aiming to shoot at f/4 whenever possible with anamorphic lenses. On the other hand, the light levels were somewhat determined by the brightness of the light bulb in the practical lamp too, I couldn’t overpower that too much. But obviously the BTS crew wasn’t underexposing my moonlight, nor letting it render blue in terms of color temp, so it looks bright and white. I hung a paper lantern over the bed that came on when the table lamp came on, my theory being that the lamp would bounce off of the ceiling and come back down on the faces (and even though Virginia Madsen had the only practical lamp on behind her head, I had to see her face so I was cheating more light on her face that you’d have in reality.) I probably used tungsten lamps with blue gel for the moonlight because I usually put them on dimmers so that as the room lamp comes on, the dim moonlight goes even dimmer. So the lamp & paper lantern switched on quickly but the moonlight was faded out slightly slower so I minimized the feeling of one set of lights snapping off and another set snapping on. Moonlight is pretty much like daylight in terms of where the light is coming from, etc. It’s just much darker in exposure, and usually bluer.

The other thing to remember is that when you light night with underexposure, your lighting needs to be somewhat LOWER IN CONTRAST if you want to retain dim shadow detail in the moonlight: if your key is, let’s say, 1.5-stops underexposed, and you generally say that four-stops under is black almost, then your fill is maybe three-stops under… well, if your key is 1.5-stops under and your fill is 3-stops under, that’s only a 1.5-stop difference between the key and fill, which is rather low-contrast. But you are exposing darker and then printing darker, so a lot of that shadow detail is going to get crushed down.

A wide shot of the bedroom lit for moonlight before the lights come on, with our stand-in Tiffany on the bed:

The same set-up once the room lights switch on (with set dec asst. Kevin straighten up the room in the b.g.). Mostly lit with a Chinese Lantern hanging next to the chandelier:

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Kinos can make a scene moody if used from a backlit angle. I did an HD movie called "The Quiet" which had a lot of moonlit scenes done with i daylight Kinos, and small tungsten fresnels gelled blue.

This shot was backlit by a Kinoflo:

HMI in the street (probably a 6K) backlighting the curtains through the trees:

HMI outside a window (probably a 1.2K, but may have been a 5K tungsten with the fresnel removed, with blue gel):

Tungsten gelled blue with flags to create slit of light:
When I need to create good shadow patterns, I prefer tungsten fresnels, sometimes with the fresnel removed. HMI's don't have sharp-enough effects unless backed way, way up. HMI Source-4 Lekos can also be useful for pattern-making.

was tough because we planned a Steadicam shot that moved through parked cars in front of the house, through the living room, and then out into the big backyard. I lit the street with an overhead coop light gelled half-orange for a streetlamp look, used a few small tungstens to uplight the house, just used real fixtures inside the house for the interior, then light the backyard mainly with a tungsten light balloon, plus some practical fixtures, and HMI hydroPAR’s in the swimming pool. I set the camera to 500 ASA with a 270 degree shutter at 3700K. I often set the camera to 3700K in 3200K lighting for a slight warming effect. It’s all just metadata only anyway.

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