NCFOM - THE BORDER questions (3 replies and 2 comments)
Today I’ve been studying your work on NCFOM, specifically “the BORDER” scene and i’d like to ask you a few questions.
In a situation when you’re considering to use the existing fixtures on location, for instance like the fluorescent street lights you had in the parking lot, would normally you shoot a test to see what they look like or its just simply a matter of taking a reading with the color meter to “see” what they do?
Or maybe out of experience you know that most of “civilian” fluorescent fixtures look somewhat similar on film?
When you talk about the HMI PARS pointing straight down and mimicking the street lamps, how does this rig look like? Do the grips put the lamp below the actual fixture and then put gel frame in from of it? Did you have barn doors on the HMIs? (drawing attached below) In this case i would imagine in this shot (photo below) we would see more of the rig but to me it looks like a normal street lamp with a blown up bulb.
And last question, the color of the HMI street lamps, were all of them matched to the fluorescent fixtures? Or you get that cool metal greenish color from JUST having an HMI par + 1/4 CTO with a tungsten balanced film stock? I always thought that you get this kind of color you get form metal halide fixtures. Could you talk more about why CTO (why warming them up basically) and what gel combinations you used to match the fluorescents?
Sorry for a long question, thanks in advance.
This is the shot i'm talking about above
You have some creative leeway in picking your gels because industrial and commercial fixtures vary in terms of the blue and green cast. Technically, most Cool White fluorescents are below daylight in the mid-to-high 4000's in color temperature and vary in the amount of green in them, hence why on a camera set to tungsten balance, they look cyan but on a camera set to daylight balance, they look slightly sickly yellow. Mercury Vapor is more blue-green than Metal Halide, and Daylight LED streetlamps have even less green in them.
I can't remember that street lamp specifically but there were some on the bridge that we 'dummied' with small HMI lamps shooting straight down and without barn doors. The HMI would have been in the place of the original mercury vapor type lamp so that it would appear the same from a distance. I did rig Source 4 lamps to existing street lamps without changing the original fixture but the 'border' was a regular overpass that we dresses as a US/Mexican crossing point so everything you see was part of a set, including some of the street lamps.