"Dover House Interior" Lighting Questions - Prisoners (4 replies and 4 comments)
I am studying your looking at lighting section and making notes as I prep for my first feature film. The feature will be partially on location and partially in studio.
There are some scenes that take place inside a residential home and I thought your Dover House Interior plans would be good study material.
I have a few questions regarding your setup on the side that had the 4x 6K HMI Pars into the 2x 20ft Ultra Bounces.
1 - The 20ft Ultra Bounces were on 45 degree angles. Did you have the top of the 20ft Ultra Bounce physically touching the side of the house? I am trying to figure out how far the bounce was from the house in your plan (as well as the lamps). Were they parallel to the windows? Or rotated?
2 - You had 2x HMIs dedicated to each 20ft Ultra Bounce. One was flooding the bounce as evenly as possible and the other was spotted toward the top. What was the purpose of this exactly? Was it to have a concentrated portion of the light be more direct so that it didn't reach the back wall on the opposite side of the room?
3 - Do you clip or almost clip the exposure of the windows and your offset colour balance (pushing towards warmer tones) is what gives the warm tint to the windows? Does the 251 or Hampshire Frost do a good enough job for you obscuring a potential stand or something of the sort?
4 - You mentioned having a 4x4 inside in order to further soften the light on the character's face and have it just out of frame. I am considering doing something similar, but with a Litemat4 with muslin directly on the source, transmitting into a 4x4 of 216 and then potentially an additional 6x6 if I have enough light output. Do you use any additional sources that you used with your interior 4x4? Or was it just augmenting the existing window light without any additional source. If so, what diffusion did you typically use inside? I am also considering just using an "inky" into some unbleached muslin to continue the lighting inside instead of the interior 4x4 setup.
We are most likely shooting on Master Primes for the film and we will be taking a more immersive approach, rather than a long lens observational approach. So I will have a good stop available to me if I need it.
Sorry to be long-winded. I appreciate all of the insight and thank you so much for your valuable time Roger.
The bounce was some 15' from the window and not tilted as far as 45º, but they were parallel to the side of the house.
Yes, the spotted lamp was centered on the higher portion of the reflector and this light did not reach the far wall of the room inside.
The light diffusion is enough to soften the profile of a stand or an overlap of the reflectors, especially when the window it is on is seen at an angle to the camera. If you are shooting square you can always add another layer of diffusion for the area seen by the lens. I don't adjust the image clipping or color of the highlight.
I will use a small reflector, such as a 4' x 4' muslin, to catch the ambient light and 'wrap' a face. I may use a Joker 200 if I am daylight balanced or a Tweenie if tungsten balanced. I rarely use much light inside for a scene that is primarily lit by daylight coming through a window.
Thank you very much for taking the time to get back to me about this. Your insight is incredibly helpful of course. I am glad I was on the right track with the muslin bounce with the single lamp inside.
Regarding the colour tone of your windows in the Dover House Interior, if you are not adjusting the values in the DI suite, then you must be achieving that lovely tone in camera.
I know I would (at this point) personally achieve it by setting my white balance to 6000K (if working with daylight balanced lamps) and potentially adjusting the colour tone in the DI suite until I ended up with a similar tone warm diffused window.
Simply put, including your camera settings, LUT, and gels, why do your windows in this scene have that lovely warm colour and do not come out of the camera pure white? I believe I understand the creative reason for doing so, but I am wondering how you achieve it technically? Sometimes I tend to overthink some of the simpler stuff, as I'm sure we all do!
Thank you again!
That warm tint on the windows comes from the LUT that Deakins uses. It's part of the Alexa color science too, instead of clipping white, Arri's tend to clip slightly warmer. Mixing that with the LUT Deakins uses (Which I believe he said was made to at least roughly imitate film) that would cause the warmer highlight rolloff.
Hey Jake, that makes sense. I was going to have my colourist make some LUTs for this upcoming film anyways. Should be great!
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Well, I can't say I can tell much more. I work now very much the same as I have always worked when shooting on film. I shoot at a setting of 5,500K for daylight and 3,200K for tungsten, just as I would when choosing a film emulsion. The difference is now that I don't use a correction filter on the lens as I would when shooting a tungsten stock in daylight, which was always my preference over a daylight stock. I gel my lamps rather than using any filtration on the lens. Maybe, I will set the Alexa to 4,000K for a certain look or time of day but in doing so I am not changing the RAW data, only giving a reference for timing.
The scene you reference from 'Prisoners' was one of the simplest in terms of lighting and in terms of DI timing. I probably adjusted the overall contrast of the scene, to deepen some of the shadow areas, but that is all I can remember doing in the DI.
Thank you very much Roger! I apologize in advance for the many questions I’ll probably be posting as I prep for my movie.
I bought 2 copies of your book (one for me and a friend of mine). Looking forward to checking it out and congratulations on that 🙂
Good luck on your shoot, Matt!