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Night Shot

  • April 15, 2009 2:00 PM PDT

    I have a question about Lighting. I use the Canon HD HG20 to shoot a lot of my shorts and other events for people. My question is I'm working on a new short and I can get HD on my Day shots but when I shoot Night Shots it has a very grainy look. I use Cine mode and PF24 for the look of film. I know lighting has a lot to do with it and I was just wondering if anybody had any suggestions on lighting.

    The scene is a wreck I have police units the whole nine yards I'm wondering about what type of lighting needs to be done without making it look like a set?


  • May 31, 2009 5:39 PM PDT

    Very good question!

    Having done several night stuff myself (gaffing) i would suggest to you to use enough lights so you dont have to open your iris up all the way, cause this gives you that grainy look. If you shoot enough light and then close down your iris your blacks will look black and not grainy. Now to apply!

    Alot of the lighting depends on what is going on in the scene and where the action is taking place. Its a wreck, but is this from the POV of the people inside the car? Or is it detectives walking around the crash with cops moving to and fro.

    I personally believe whole heartedly in motivated light, so that makes being on a computer and not on set a whole lot harder.

    However, here are a couple things you can do.

    1) Moonlight - Depending on what equipment you have, put a decent sized HMI on a mambostand and topstick it, and shoot it everywhere. I would suggest maybe putting a half scrim in so that the subjects closer to the light arnt too hot. This moonlight should hit your whole set, and most importatnly the background, cause this will give depth and reality to your film.

    2) Car lights - If the characters are in front of cars or crouching down, use some small tungesten lights as their key light to light up their faces. Depending on where your motivated lights are, you could also have other car headlights and backlights as well, or maybe a streetlight.

    3) Police lights - Devise a way to create a police lights effect. This also on the time period and the rotation of the lights, but get some red and blue flashes in and out of your picture.

    This is all i can think of for right now. Once again, it is hard to help you when you arnt sure of what is going on in the scene or the location. Also, what kind of equipment do you have?

  • May 31, 2009 8:46 PM PDT

    In way of lighting I don't have any, that is why I'm asking so I would know about what I would need in way of lighting. The structure of the scene is:

    One truck: it's the vehicle that will cause the wreck

    The couple (Characters in the film) are walking down the road a drunk driver comes and hits the female killing her. The driver then wrecks on the other side of the road.

    Night shot: Two police cars will give the effect of the wreck, they will give off the police lights flashing. So they will have their car lights on so that will help out with some lighting.

    I can have other cars OS to give more light but I still run into the grain.

  • June 1, 2009 10:57 AM PDT

    So you dont have any access to normal film lighting? That is the big question.

    The reason you are running into grain is because the lack of light going into the camera. Normaly this is countered with using big lights, but if you do not have access to these sort of lights its kinda hard.

    However, for close up shots you could light this decently using China balls and 500w bulbs. This will give you prettier light to act as the car headlights.

    You can get these lights at for pretty cheap. Just make sure you have something to hold it up when you are shooting (like a c-stand).

  • June 1, 2009 1:54 PM PDT

    I'm sorry, yes I have access to normal film lighting. I was just asking what type of lighting would be best to use.

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