I did a pretty extensive search and didn't find much on the
following topic, so I hope I'm not wasting anyone's time:
what's the most convincing way to use simulated tv light as
the key (the tv is about 6 feet away from the subject, and
it's night), how do you create this light? Can there be more
colors than blue light within it? Any tips would be appreciated!
A common gag is to use two 2K's side by side with soft boxes,
one gelled with 1/2 or 1/4 CTO and the other with 1/2 or 1/4
CTB, both on dimmers.
Depends on the effect and look your after.
ICG, New York
There are many ways. For a short I DP'ed no long ago I used
a simple 1Kw. Redhead with half blue gel and powered though
a cheap 1.5Kw. household dimmer which was dimmed randomly.
It worked like a charm.
Unless you filter the light with a primary blue colour gel,
there will always be some red and green light coming through
Madrid (Imperial Spain)
Oh, I forgot to mention the Redhead had also tracing paper
diffusion, of course.
Madrid (Imperial Spain)
can there be more colors than blue light within it? Any
tips would be >appreciated!
In my experience, TVs give out very little light. this doesn't
often flicker, more total shifts in colour and brightness
(unless its an old B&W flickering film or a super fast-cut
music video. The same is in the cinema though the general
perceived 'film' light produced from these sources is a flickering
one. It is similar with moon light being blue in the movies
and theatre but not in real life (well, not here anyway).
Light from a TV is always awkward to recreate so as to get
a usable stop and depends on the shot framing etc. In mid-shots
and close ups, I have used a dimpled metal reflector (often
a Ronford head box), under the TV, and bounced light back
onto the subjects through different coloured gels and ND's
on spinning wheels often made from the reels used to wind
film onto in editing rooms. These have the added bonus of
having metal spokes to attach the gel onto. Using a flicker
box or slowly moving your hands over the source can add to
the effect. It's a very subjective ideal so ultimately whatever
looks right to you should work.
Ioana Vasile wrote:
>(the tv is about 6 feet away
from the subject, and it's night), how do you >create this
light? can there be more colors than blue light within it?
The first thing you have to imagine is that you are shooting
a iso 1000 stock. Now that might see some subtle effects from
an actual tv at that distance. The easiest Pre viz for this
effect is to go in a completely dark room with tv on and have
a model sit in from of the tv , might want to turn up the
brightness all the way as well as the contrast.
look at the tv just look at the person's face lit by the tv,
change channels once and a while. Commercial breaks look very
different from programming, in terms of the light they produce
on the subject's face.
Another gag I have done when using a practical tv was to make
a tape loop with some rapid fire cutting between black, white
and grey backgrounds with some coloured backgrounds thrown
in for variety, dissolve transitions etc. Very easy to do
in FCP or another NLE edit program.
You also might want to try to incident meter the light from
a tv at various distances from the screen to get a sense of
what is really there in terms of light. Don't be shocked at
how little there is, but that should help you keep it in context.
Oh Seven Films
143 Grand St
Jersey City, NJ 07302
I find the most convincing effect is to go with a soft source
w/ 1/4 to 1/2 CTB and perhaps a warmer one and use the dimmer
to indicate scene changes that would appear on the TV. Don't
dim it up and down alot, use it sparingly, or it'll look contrived.
Nick Hoffman 600DP
Years ago I built an 8"x12" box that accommodates
6 standard base household bulbs. For this effect I've had
good luck placing 4 daylite bulbs and 2 3200K bulbs in the
unit. Instead of a dimmer, I put a "flasher button"
(hardware stores still carry them) in each of the bases. These
buttons have a slow but random off & on effect, so when
you gang them together you get a very natural flow of light.
An added feature is that this rig is always on autopilot.
Jack Cummings wrote:
>Years ago I built an 8"x12"
box that accommodates 6 standard base >household bulbs.
What an elegantly simple solution! What wattage lamps did
you use and approx. what is the light output at, say 6' away?
Wade K. Ramsey, DP
Dept. of Cinema & Video Production
Bob Jones University
Greenville, SC 29614
My favourite way of creating TV light is to use a 750 watt
zip light with diffusion on the front. I then take an empty
frame (24" x 36") and create a multi coloured gel
frame with at least 4 different colors of blue, green, magenta
whatever- even some party colors are okay and not only correction
colors. (think of a stained glass window- the colors aren't
on top of each other, just next to each other and cut to fit).
The trick is to have someone sitting next to the light and
randomly change the color of the light to taste by rotating
the stained glass gel frame around. I also put the light on
a magic gadget flicker box and just dial it in until I get
a random pulsing of the light (not too fast, not too extreme).
a touch sells- I personally never liked the look of having
someone dim the light up and down by hand. You can also add
an additional 4 x 4 diffusion frame (after the color frame)to
spread the light even more.
Director of Photography
An Italian Gaffer once plugged in 2 dimmers to each other
(not sure exactly what they are called, but are white, the
size of VHS video cassette, with a knob onto to dim). With
a 1k attached, the 2 dimmers were then dimmed until the required
flickering was attained.
Very cheap, probably very dangerous, but very effective
I'm a big fan of using multiple colors for TV Flickers, since
TV's haven't flickered in a high CT white since NBC introduced
the peacock. Never the less the convention is still pretty
much high CT white. The average viewer certainly accepts it.
2 modes of TV gags for me depending on budget and
#1 - If the TV is in the shot. Gut the thing
(on sitcoms I have the decorator get 2 matching - or almost-
TV's, so I can gut one and use the other for reverses with
rolling video in them), put a baby 750 soft inside, gel w/
1/2 CTB, cover the aperture of the TV with diffusion du jour,
an effect on the console with around 6 different levels between
around 60% and full - durations on the steps varying between
.5 and 2 seconds with Xfades of 0 between steps. Only 1 or
two of the steps are less than 1
second in duration. Program the effect to run in a random
#2 - The expensive way, that I like, but
it doesn't fit in most TV's that I come across in frame. Put
a Color Scroller on the front a soft. Program the effect with
intensity changes and color changes thru the gel string to
taste. Audio guys hate this because of the requisite motors
driving the gel
strings, especially when they are going fast. Scroller rental
is expensive, you must have a DMX computer console, and you'll
need to have the gel string custom made, but it does look
great. I've used it also in a dummy video arcade game bounced
off of mirrors with great success.
191 South Broadway
Hastings on Hudson, NY 10706
Very cheap, probably very dangerous, but very effective
But very PAL ?
I like to take a 4' 4 bank Kino and lamp it with alternating
2900 and 5600 tubes.
I hard mount the light so its pretty secure, then move the
barndoor flaps back and forth during the shot. If it's too
noisy I substitute 2 flags for the barndoors and have 2 grips
operate them. It's pretty realistic as the shadows in the
room seem to move slightly rather than just flicker.
Its also cool to take a single 4' Kino tube (no fixture, just
the tube) and tape one side with black 2" paper tape.
In addition to the rig mentioned above, have a grip handhold
this and move this around during the shot. They can twist
the tube to the taped side to kill the light for a second,
move it to a new space and then spin it on again.
jerkier the movement, the more realistic it looks. This really
works well for making shadows move randomly during the shot.
I'm surprised no one's mentioned using the three channel magic
gadgets flicker box. Three channels, 2K apiece, a great way
to do the TV thing is to plug in three tweenies (or whatever
size light you want up to 2K), gel them in any combination
you want, shoot them through some diffusion and then use the
magic gadgets box to regulate the flickering effect.
They even have a setting for TV (maybe even two, I can't quite
remember at the moment), and you can set the highs, the lows,
and the overall speed.
It works great, totally convincing, a real no-brainer.
I second Phil's Magic Gadget's Shadowmaker method - it also
works well bounced off of a soft silver card or small silver