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WS of Barber shot

“The Man Who Wasn’t There” – USA Films


Looking at Lighting

As noted in the sketch below for the lighting of Barber’s Shop we changed the plan from using a series of lights through diffusion to using a series of lights projected onto Gryphlon bounce material. The problem we faced was the rigging of lamps at a distance from the walls of the building without resorting to scissors lifts or such, which would have slowed down our shoot whenever we needed to change shot or we moved to an exterior scene.  On the other hand it was relatively easy to hang a truss from the roof of the building using chain motors (this was a set on the Paramount backlot after all) and then maneuver the bounce frames into place using stands and lines tied to the roof. This also solved the issue of direct light sneaking around the diffusion frames, which is always a problem to cut without compromising what the camera is seeing. When bouncing the light as we did, the same thing would happen, the light would escape around the bounce frame, but now it was only being projected out towards the backlot and was generally lost amongst the natural daylight.

Lighting plan for the Barber's Shot

Barber’s Shop Lighting Plan


Inside the Barbers Shop we rigged a central pipe to facilitate the hanging of smaller units to extend the wrap of the bounce light. I was using 1.2 HMI lamps at that time, Jokers not being available, whereas nowadays I would use a 200, 400 or 800 watt Joker. The pipe was suspended with sash and pulleys so that we could raise and lower the lighting depending on the camera angle.

WS of Barber shot

WS of the Barber’s Shop


In the first wide shot the exterior bounce would have been working from both the right and the left of frame. To each side the bounce frame would have been close to appearing in the window allowing the light to reach into the shop as far as possible. Inside, some light would have been bouncing off soft muslin taped to the ceiling above the window as well as any wall space not in picture.

Side shot of Ed in the foreground

Side shot of Ed in the foreground


In the second image the bounce would have simply played off the wall to the left of frame extending the effect created by the sunlight and lighting Ed’s face more frontally from that side. Although I had direct lamps (12K HMIs) ready to create the sunlight effect, in this case it was the real thing.



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