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Lighting an elevator (1 reply)

1 month ago
Danykos 1 month ago


I'm currently a film student and for our next short movie, I'll have to light an elevator in a pleasing but also naturalistic way. In brief, the film is about two old friends that get stuck in this elevator, and how their relationship unfolds while they are blocked there.

For this, we found a real elevator that we like (where we'll film until it gets stuck between the floors) and an elevator with removable walls and ceiling built on a movie set (for the most part of the film, which is after the elevator stopped).

The tricky thing for me now is choosing which light fixtures to use in both cases, and to match the lighting in the real and the built elevator. The elevator is approx 1,2 x 1 m2 with a height of roughly 1.9 m, so I thought about using a LiteMat or other thin battery-powered LED light. However, in the built elevator I wanted to replace the ceiling with diffusion and aim a bigger KinoFlo (or LED panel) through it - for making the light softer. However, I don't know if the two will match in fall-off and quality of light.

I aim for something naturalistic (light from the top) but also pleasing to the eye (soft light, with no harsh shadows). Also, I'd like to add some fill with a bounce board, a little eye light, or even some backlight for making the characters stand out from the background, but I'm worried that it might be too much. Moreover, the characters are constantly moving and are sometimes facing each other, sometimes in opposite directions, or lying on the floor.

What would you do in a situation like this?

Roger Deakins
1 month ago
Roger Deakins 1 month ago

I might suggest shooting the entire scene on the set.

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