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Lighting Diagram Court Room (11 replies and 2 comments)

CameraChris
7 years ago
CameraChris 7 years ago

Hello Mr. Deakins, referring to the lighting diagram that you just shared: 

1. What kind of lighting was carried by the tube-rig

2. Do you have any pictures showing the rigging of the solids blocking the natural sunlight or do you remember it and can describe a bit?

3. What does "NB Sync. Elec. Shutters" mean? Did you use some remote shutters on the lamps to be able to dim them easily or is it about something else?

Thank you very much!

CameraChris
7 years ago
CameraChris 7 years ago

Ah, sorry, also i'd like to add:

  • which lens would have been on the pars for the beams
  • did you add some very light diffusion on the windows or were they left just clear?

Thank you so much!

johandijkstra
7 years ago
johandijkstra 7 years ago

Dear Mr. Deakins,

First i want to thank you for sharing all the information and knowledge in the 'Looking at Lighting' page! Its great to know and learn about your lighting techniques! Especially if it contains information about one of the most beautiful scenes of that movie!

Like CameraChris i would like to know what kind of light you rigged to the tube-rig.
Is the soft keylight on Rooster in the 'attached still' actually coming from the window blinds or did you rig some softbox to the tubes?

And how dit you created the silhouettes and the big contrast? Dit you need to flag the windows  in the back of the room?

I have sadly no experience with shooting on actual film. But dit you shot this sequence on Daylight stock?

https://www.rogerdeakins.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Medium-Deakins-True-Grit.jpg
Roger Deakins
7 years ago
Roger Deakins 7 years ago

I had the pipe rig there so as I could hang a lamp and bounce it off the floor or on to a low muslin if I needed to. I believe I used 1.2 HMIs, maybe just one or two of them in the final analysis and they carried a 3/4 CTO. The light from the Par and the 1.2 bounced off soft muslin laid out on the floor and covering a flag which came about 2 feet off the floor lit the side of Jeff's face as you see it.  

The natural sunlight was flagged with a 20' x 20' solids on a lift behind the Par lamps. I think we only needed the one but we did have a second standing by.

The 'sync electronic shutters' was a note that each lamp was to have a shutter and that all three could be closed and opened at the same time. I was intending to create an effect of the sun coming out but I did not follow through with that plan. This diagram is my original sketch and things changed a little before the shoot. 

I seem to remember that the Par lamps were used without a lens. We did have a very light diffusion on the windows, not enough to really soften the beam but enough to 'blow' out the window when the camera was looking at it.

We shot on the 200 ASA tungsten stock. I think that would have been 5293 at that time.

johandijkstra
7 years ago

Lovely, thanks!
This scene is a great inspiration for me, and i think many others!

simon m
7 years ago
simon m 7 years ago

Roger, If you were on a very tight budget, would it be possible to use the natural south sunlight through the windows for this scene? Maybe the number of camera set-ups and the time needed for all the takes at each position would preclude that. Just curious, as I'm sure many of us would be on quite restricted budgets. Thanks.

CameraChris
7 years ago
CameraChris 7 years ago

Roger, thank you very much for your explanation!

@ simon m: using natural sunlight would require perfectly constant weather conditions if you are looking for that very specific effect of having these beams coming in. Note that even on a perfectly bright sunny day the angle and direction of the sun changes over the day. So assuming perfect weather conditions you would have to plan out very carefully when to shoot from which angle to keep up your lighting continuity if you have more than one shot to do with the windows in frame. If it's only one shot of course that would be possible more likely.

But just imagine an overcast day or let's say 50/50 sun & clouds. It would be just impossible to achieve that effect on that specific day of shooting or at least you would lose a lot of time waiting for the sun. Maybe it would become inevitable to spend another day of shooting for that scene, interferring with your shooting schedule. It is just about sorting out what is achievable with a tight budget, using natural light & having more time (an extra day) or spending the money on the gear needed to light the scene artificially and having these constant conditions you might need.

Connor Ryan
7 years ago
Connor Ryan 7 years ago

Mr. Deakins, I am slightly confused about the color in this sequence from True Grit. To my eye, from the reference images in this thread and the one on the lighting diagram page, the sequence has a slight warmth to it. Was this achieved with timing in post production, or a result of the lighting? Based on the lights and gels you described, shooting on Tungsten stock, it would seem to me that the shot would be very close to neutral, if not on the cool side. 

I guess it would depend on the manufacturer of the gels, as Lee or ROSCO have different specifications. For example, Lee 1/2 CTO is advertised as converting 6500k to 3800k, while ROSCO 1/2 CTO is advertised as 5500k to 3800k.

Is my reasoning sound or are my eyes fooling me?

Roger Deakins
7 years ago
Roger Deakins 7 years ago

I think the final colour is a combination of the gels on the lamps, the diffusion adding that little more warmth and the warmth of the wall practicals, which were tungsten and dimmed down some. There would also have been an overall timing correction although I don't remember this being so far off a mid light. I was most concerned with the balance of the colours within the shot and to that end I was not correcting the HMIs all the way to a tungsten balance so as to feel the 'whiteness' of the daylight.

As far as shooting with natural light the above comments are quite valid. I believe we were shooting this scene well up to sunset. Luckily for me the clouds were blocking the sunlight by then but I was still aware of the skylight 'bluing' up. Shooting a scene of this length demands overall control. How would it have been possible to shoot the wide shot and maintain that same angle of the sunlight for the closer shots? The whole scene would need to have been shot within an hour or two at most.

Hans
7 years ago
Hans 7 years ago

I'm dazzled by the amount of power of the lights. Does each lamp have it's own generator? Were I live I can power up to 5k per electricity group. They are normal household power groups of course. 

As you say you shot with 200 ASA tungsten stock. I recon you didn't want too much grain by shooting with relatively slow stock. But why did you choose tungsten balanced film? Is it because it's easier to gel the windows 1/2 CTO then gelling the practicals 1/2 CTB?

With the Alexa you would more than likely shoot at it's native 800 ASA. That's two stops more sensitive than 200 ASA. Would that mean that only a quarter of the lighting power is needed?  

Did you use any smoke to reveal the shafts of 'sunlight'? 

Congratulations on your new website! Looks good!

johandijkstra
7 years ago

And what type of smoke?

Roger Deakins
7 years ago
Roger Deakins 7 years ago

I always shot with tungsten balanced stock as I found the daylight stocks had too much contrast and saturation. Yes, I wanted to keep the grain down so I shot with a 200 ASA stock - at least I think I did! I don't keep notes on that kind of thing. 

Smoke? Yes we used a low level of smoke. 

As for the power we use generators that are more than capable of running three large HMI lamps.

The Alexa is a native 800 ASA so, yes, you can shoot a scene like this with less light. I would probably use the same lamps but position them that little bit further away, so as to get a sharper shadow.

JohnB
7 years ago
JohnB 7 years ago
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