Lighting Interior Moving Bus
Published : 27th June 2007
I'm shooting a commercial in a couple days on 16mm . One of the setups requires lighting a school kid sitting next to a bus window while the bus is moving[camera inside bus].
This production is low budget so my thinking was to ND down the windows along the side of the bus that the camera see's right of frame] and with a small portable gennie power up a 4ft 4bank Kino Flo edge of left frame. My only concern with this approach is that it seems more natural for the motivated light source to be coming from the window area we see in camera, but in this approach it will be coming from the other side .
Any other suggestions ?
Gavin Goodman , Cinematographer
Gavin wrote :
class="style2">>>I'm shooting a commercial in a couple days on 16mm. One of the >>setups requires lighting a school kid sitting next to a bus window >>while the bus is moving[camera inside bus]. This production is low >>budget so my thinking was to ND down the windows
The reason for the ND is that the outside is supposed to be in the frame but it's too bright, right? I’d drop the ND and mount the Kino or a small diffused HMI outside the window, that should bring the level up so that it's balanced. another Kino above the camera for fill is probably a good idea.
Can you shoot in the afternoon and drive the bus so that the sun will shine into and through the bus? that's probably the easiest solution but I’m not sure it's the look you're after, plus it's less flexible. Maybe you can put diffusion on all windows and parts of them that aren't in the frame, as well as use that Kino for fill?
Another option is to do it the way you originally wanted but use the Kino as more of a top light. that might look more motivated and there should be plenty of room to place it above the frameline. The window will provide plenty of eyelight and fill.
What about the rest of the bus interior? won't it be too dark?
Even with ND on the window you will still get plenty of keylight.
Supplement some fill with the Kino or try a 800 watt joker(small 2K gennie can handle) through diffusion outside of frame.
class="style2">>>Even with ND on the window you will still get plenty of keylight.
Maybe, but if so why the ND? It cuts the brightness of the exterior and the brightness of the key by the exact same amount. That will reduce the contrast though, since the light from the opposite side will get proportionally brighter, which reduces the need for fill. Maybe that's reason enough? /matt
class="style2">>>This production is low budget so my thinking was to ND down the >>windows along the side of the bus that the camera sees[right of >>frame] and with a small portable gennie power up a 4ft 4bank Kino Flo >>edge"
I can speak on that one. In my opinion your instincts are right. I had a shot very similar to that years ago in a short I shot in 16mm. I actually came to the conclusion that if I shot deep into the bus I would have to ND all the windows and that would bring down the ambient and look a bit unnatural and we wanted a realistic look to the film.
However by working the shot out with the director for a profile shot rather than frontal, I could get the angle to where I saw only the immediate window and part of the one behind and in front of the child. The director liked this idea bc in the story we had not yet identified with the child. Doing the shot this way I could get away with ND on the window looking out of the bus. With the camera position in the isle of the bus looking at the child more profile.
The motivation for my lighting was more believable. I had a par light camera right. It was to appear to be coming in the bus and was a side key light relative to the camera position. Then I allowed the sun to do its thing and continue to come in the window for realistic effect. It was tungsten unit and I balanced it to the suns colour temp which was close anyway at that time of day.
You can see the final effect here
Go to films and then choose the one with the close up of the little boy looking down. It is the second clip. Hope this helps and thanks for the info on Cape Town.
Brendon McCurtis Phillips
LA Based DP
My only concern would be that the Kino would not provide enough output if it is competing with the sun. The camera frame is the key to this one.
Brendon Phillips wrote :
class="style2">>>Hey good idea Matt. My only concern would be that the Kino would not >>provide enough output if it is competing with the sun.
I think a 4 bank Kino gives around 200 fc at 4 feet, so it might not. My suggestion for a small HMI might work though. someone suggested a joker 800, but I like Fresnel’s better. I often carry a 1.2k as my only light for low budget daylight exteriors. you can bounce, diffuse, focus, cut and shape it to fit a lot of situations. runs fine off a 2k Honda. harder to mount to the outside of a bus though...
class="style2">>>lighting a school kid sitting next to a bus window while the bus is >>moving
In this type of situation the direction of travel (orientation of sun/sky light) and the background scenery is going to have the biggest impact on the shot.
Getting gel on without seeing it is tricky when someone is right at the window. Sometimes Rosco Scrim works better - but maybe not with the subject right at the window.
David Perrault, CSC