Thread: Lighting a village hall school scene for BMPCC

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  1. #1 Lighting a village hall school scene for BMPCC 
    Senior Member stormystudio's Avatar
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    Good afternoon lighting gurus...

    We're looking to use a dark school hall with a vintage stage for a short film project.

    The final image, I'd like to be very dark, apart from our hero characters and stage. So the audience will be mostly hidden in shadow though visible, with subtle lights picking out there silouettes, hair lines etc.

    Due to budget and our current kit (plus I love the colourspace) I was planning on filming with my own BMPCC with metabones, so light will be critical to achieveing great unnoisy footage.

    In our own kit we have 3 great LED panels. Plus we could use the vast fluroescent lights in the hall but would prefer not to. Plus there are some stage lights in the roof rigging.

    We would be shooting in the afternoon, the hall has curtains, though we could black out the 20 or so windows with card.

    My knowledge of lighting is limited to 3 point lighting setups, so I intend on having a test shoot at the location prior to getin an audience and actors in place.

    What would be on your low/medium budget wish list for lighting scenes like this?
    A professional 2D / 3D animator with a passion for film.
    www.stormystudio.com
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  2. #2  
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    David Mullens once said you need really bright lights for really dark images. I don't know if LED panels are going to give the punch you're looking for. You need to stop down to keep the rest of the hall dark.
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member stormystudio's Avatar
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    Thanks Joe. I've read a lot over the past few days on lights... I think I'm going to hire at least 1 x Aputure 300D with the fresnel adaptor.. which will free up one of my LED panels. I'm trying to resist buying a Aputure 120D but that (and the 300D) look superb.
    A professional 2D / 3D animator with a passion for film.
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  4. #4  
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    Is there any lights on the stage at all?

    If you are getting some shots from back of hall you can use anything on stage or in the ceiling to backlight the audience, so you can see the silhouettes and if you are picking up some front on reactions you can just soften up with some diffusion.

    It may be helpful to rent some lights for this occasion, tungsten lights are cheap to rent, so I'd consider getting some fresnels and par cans, you should be able to rent a handful of tungsten heads for the price of a Aputure 300D.
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  5. #5  
    Senior Member stormystudio's Avatar
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    Thanks @Haarvard

    We've got a test shoot next Wednesday to plan the final days filming and I'm hoping to get hold of the normal stage light hand to give me a run through on the current stage lights. It's a small village hall but they have some lights in the rafters. I wasn't sure if any flickering was likely to cause me issues.

    I think I've managed to source a few fresnels to hire from a friend for a few 's which I may go for. Though I must admit to be very tempted by the 120d... having worked with our own Aputure LS1 LED panels I really appreciate the build quality plus the ease of use with not getting hot, plus the remotes can allow you to fine tune the lighting when you only have a few hands. Though I realise I'm probably making excuses, wasting money and just need to hold out and stick with the cheaper option.

    I'll share some stills here from the test day, and possibly a room plan to get any input.
    A professional 2D / 3D animator with a passion for film.
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  6. #6  
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    If it is just good old fashioned fresnels and par cans then you shouldn't run into any flicker issues, I'd be more worried if it was a modernized venue with led lights.

    It is of course great to work with LED, but I think in this case you will probably need a few more lights, so just using LED will get quite expensive and in this case you probably have all the local power supply that you'll need.
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  7. #7  
    Senior Member stormystudio's Avatar
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    To help wrap this thread up. We had a proper reccy of the village hall yesterday to plan the lighting, plus had a quick casting session for our young lead actor (Safety Hero). We'll be hurding about 40 kids on the final film from a local drama school.

    Our Village hall film location:
    hall.jpg

    Here's a test shot from the casting.
    Hugo-side-on-01-smaller.jpg

    The lights above the stage are mostly unsuitable, however there is a rack of 3 standard bulbs that add a bit of light on the back of the stage.

    Power sockets are actually pretty limited in the hall, except on the stage. We want to add some lights to give a hair light ot the audience when looking out from the stage.
    Current plan, is to hire 1 Aputure 120D with a softbox to light the stage for a wide from the back. Then bring this in for some spot ;ight control with the fresnel lens attached.

    We then have our 3 LED aputure light panels (2 LS1's and 1 LS1/2) to light the stage and actors hair light. I have two vmount batteries, so may try and source a couple more for film day, to aid quicker movement of the lights. As we're working with a horde of kids, speed and simplicity will be needed.

    Lastly a couple of small spot lights will be needed to cross the stage at the back to add some colour.
    A professional 2D / 3D animator with a passion for film.
    www.stormystudio.com
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