Welcome to the new Lighting Forum

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Home Forums Lighting Welcome to the new Lighting Forum

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  • #169400
    James
    Keymaster

    How about starting the forum with the question – what was your biggest lighting challenge?

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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  • #169430
    GianniRanzuglia
    Participant

    Hi,

    I’m very new and unexperienced in the film industry, but the biggest lighting challenge I experienced was when a director wanted a hard streak of light and the shadows of the window seen on the floor.

    We were shooting at 2-3pm, the weather was cloudy and the sunlight was bouncing everywhere and the strongest light I had was a 2k Fresnel. The camera was looking against a large window with a wide lens, so positioning light out of frame outside the window was a challenge big enough. When I turned the light on, the streak of light was so subtle and weak, the window shadows were invisible and I couldn’t bring the light closer because there was a hedge in front of the wall.

    In the end, I ended up setting a 750W fresnel behind the couch where the action was taking place, cut some rubbish bag strips and placed them on the light; imitating the pattern of the windows.

    After quite a long time and effort, I was happy with the placement of the streak light and the shadows of the window being cast by the 750W fresnel. But when the director came back to the set, he saw how subtle the streak light from the 2k was and decided to solely use that light and scrap the window shadows.

    Sometimes less is more 😂

    #169439
    James
    Keymaster

    That’s funny – and typical! Simplicity is often the best – although it’s easy to get tangled up in complexity on the day!

    #169456
    GianniRanzuglia
    Participant

    That’s funny – and typical! Simplicity is often the best – although it’s easy to get tangled up in complexity on the day!

    Yes I went too far down the rabbit hole that day!

    #169481
    James
    Keymaster

    Sometimes too, when you get tired (and we KNOW that happens during a shoot!), you definitely overthink things and end up adding too many lights. Sometimes, it’s good stand back and ask yourself “Did I overthink again?”

    #169497
    GianniRanzuglia
    Participant

    Thanks for the advice James, another factor I also think played into it was the need and want to stand out. I’ll keep your advice at the back of my mind for next week’s shoot!

    #169547
    apdh
    Participant

    First off I wanted to thank you both for graciously staying two hours late at your recent book signing in Santa Monica to speak to those of us at the very back of the line.

    As a gaffer I would say my biggest lighting challenge to date was a short film that was a 9 minute oner with 8 lighting cues I had to trigger via DMX. The stage was a white cyc with a very nice built in softbox using litetile and magic cloth already wired for DMX.

    However, as you likely know the issue with fading up most any LED fixture is that the jump from 0-1% is quite noticeable so I had to hide the moments fading up from black within the steadicam moves. I thought I had my timing with the fades dialed after a few flawless takes until the actors changed some minor blocking which I had been using to anticipate the camera tilting up so I was a second late on fading up the softbox. The director didn’t even notice but I was bummed as they wanted to use that take potentially. Thankfully we got 6-7 takes with no issues. It was stressful but a fun challenge.

    However, my most frequent lighting challenge is the small white box of a location. People often don’t understand how essential production design is to the image.

    #169820
    TimoVanLierop
    Participant

    Our biggest challenge was the first feature film I worked on. The timeperiod was about 1785, so the only motivation for lighting was the sun, the moon and candles.

    All these sources are a hard light source in the first place. And because they didn’t have other lightsources it was hard to motivate some scenes.

    And it was also a very very low budget production, so there wasn’t any real budget for gear. But we had some Aputure lights like: Nova’s, 600D/X’s, tubes, small bi color spots. The Bi-Color was very usefull because all the candle light motivation was very warm.

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