Running water backdrop? (3 replies and 9 comments)
I have a 3m x 6m brushed steel backdrop on a set that will have a thin wall of water running down it -
How would you advise I get the best from this -
I'm shooting straight on mostly with a foreground subject being the main interest -
I'm wondering about a number of spot sources above to create pools of light - or possibly up lighting - hmm
I would love to get some ping from the water droplets - can't figure what would be the best way to start??
any advice would be greatly received - set is being built Monday - shooting tues -
all the best Phil M
I'm actually now thinking of using a projector to create an extra effect onto the water and the background is very reflective and should take this well -
Or bouncing some sort of hard source across a pool of water like I'm guessing Roger did for Blade Runner. Not sure what size of lamp I will need yet.
How big is your budget? Are you sure a projector is going to work on water, depends where your camera is, it’s going to create a lot of headaches getting it right.
Don’t copy effects from the big screen, make it your own. Create your own techniques of doing things otherwise you will never be happy.
Quote "Create your own techniques of doing things otherwise you will never be happy."
Make others think "I wonder how he did that!"
If it was me, I'd go for lots of different primary colours from conventional PAR cans and do whacky OTT stuff like that - but that's me! The projector idea might have legs - but that all depends on what you project onto it and how. Add smoke. Whatever. Experiment! 15 seconds is a short time, so whatever it is, it will have to pop!
This seems to be a fairly large waterfall.
I would concentrate on the water it self, you haven’t mentioned how the water is going to be pumped, are you using mains water or it a water pump taking its supply from a tank. If it’s a tank then I would use food dye to colour the water, blue, green or whatever. Are you disposing the sheet metal after you have used it does have to go back to the supplier. Before you light it, I would interrupt the flow of water over the metal sheet so that you will get a ripple effect. You can do this by spraying glue over the metal sheet but don’t do it evenly, make sure the glue forms in lumps on the metal sheet. When it dries, you should have a lumpy surface all over the sheet. This will restrict the flow of water and make the water form droplets. This is now ideal to work out where your lights will be placed to highlight the water drips. Obviously, experiment if you have time, to maximise the effect. Without seeing it, it’s difficult to advise but done right, the effect can be memorising. Bournemouth B&Q has a good range of products including Garden lights etc. Without glueing the metal sheet, The cascading water will look mundane and droll even with lights so it’s best to give the water some personality and make it come alive. So food dye, Spray glue, matching coloured lights and Bingo!
Forgot to say, that the flow of water must be consistent and remain at a set speed otherwise, it will look like a dogs dinner!
Thanks mike - i have done a test with the water and it looks pretty cool -its as you describe less of a fine even running flow but more streaking and globs - its looks pretty cool out of focus - i side lit it for a test
Well done! Side lighting will highlight the drips, if you get time, send in a photo of your backdrop.
What's the story behind this prop and why is it there?
this is a set - inspired by an industrial spray both I have seen -
Yes but why is it there and what is its role in the story?
Oh, I see - it's not a drama or movie sadly - its some web content, industrial marketing social media short - 15sec montage - so the mood is actually needing to be somewhat real / authentic factory plant - im looking for some idea as to add a little pop to the water .. im happy with backlighting lakes etc but this is a bit of an unkown - i will have a rig day with my gaffer and would like to hear from people who might have some ideas as how to best try to light this water.. 🙂
Without seeing it, I feel distinctly clueless! Sorry!
But stainless steel is a bit colourless, so I would be tempted to try using very vibrant coloured gels on regular incandescent lights, either as stripes on the same light or as lights close together - or maybe a set of birdie lights with prime colours to augment a diffused light. It's bound to be one of those suck-it-and-see gigs!