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Lighting Hermosa Beach Night Scene (1 reply and 1 comment)

1 month ago
xavierq 1 month ago

Mr. Roger,

It's always a pleasure seeing your work, listening to your podcast, and reading your lighting literature. I'm a DP here in LA. Tasked to shoot a night scene in Hermosa Beach. Where I'm tracking two characters, in a med shot, camera facing the ocean, as they walk towards a beach front property. its about 1.5 min walk. and about two football fields in length. Here's a picture of the area. the picture facing the beach houses is where camera would be, the ocean is right behind me when I took this pic.

and I inserted a side shot where you can see the pier way in the background...

I was hoping I could ask your advice as I have multiple options in mind. the mood is more of a soft moonlight. the characters are arriving stealthily, breaking into a home. the shot itself should be closer to the look you had for True Grit exterior shots. 

I have 6,000$ to light this. 

Originally I thought Ballon would be an option..and have a walking hovering light as we moved with the characters, carrot stick method. held over their faces to shape the way I wanted to outline them. and balloon being my ambience and lighting the territory. but I felt I would probably need multiple balloons. 

I wonder if I could minimize how much I see on camera, shooting on a 100mm anamorphic.. and using multiple 1.8k. possibly 4 or 5 bounced off of 8x8 on Mombo Combo stands as high as I can get them... off to the side at about 100' from talent.

another idea was to go with an 18k on a condor much further away, and trying to spray enough of radius. however I imagine I would still need to implement supplementary units, like the 1.8k in addition, at closer distance. to spread the source. 

would really be interested in hearing how your mind analyses this , and what your advice would be... thank you in advance!
Roger Deakins
1 month ago
Roger Deakins 1 month ago

Your idea of tracking a light seems interesting. Given you have lights in the BG you might consider using a light that would be lower and simulate that coming from the city. Hard to say without a script and knowing the 'mood' of the piece, so this is just technical suggestion.

1 month ago

OK thank you so much! I've been contemplating the options. Very helpful to hear your input about the tracking light, I appreciate it !

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