Lighting Technique: Simulating Theater or TV Screen - Filmmaking Tutorial 12

Uploaded by polcan99 on 24.11.2010

Hi and welcome to another filmmaking tutorial. My name is Tom Antos
and today I’m going to show you guys a simple but very useful lighting trick that you can use
in your next film or music video. The example that I’m going to be showing you
is from a music video that I shot recently. We’ll start off with something like this.
Inside a movie theater. That’s the actual lighting that was in the theater.
And we end with this.
So, as you can see, this little scene is about a couple that goes out to a movie theater
for their first date. And I have to simulate the light that would
come off a movie screen while watching a movie. Now, in real life, as you are watching a film
inside a theater, it’s so dark that you wouldn’t be able to get an exposure.
Even with digital SLRs. Maybe if you bumped up the ISO to 6400,
you’d get some kind of an exposure, but it would still be very dark and obviously very grainy...
and just flat looking. Now, here is how the theater looks inside
with its lights on. It’s still fairly dark.
This image is underexposed by about one to two f-stops.
And it’s also grainy because I had to put the ISO up to 1600, I believe.
And it’s not interesting looking - it’s flat.
So, what I decided to do is to simulate the light bouncing off of the movie screen
by simply putting a big 1000W Red Head tungsten light.
But you can use pretty much... even a work light. Any kind of a light will do.
It doesn’t have to be a Red Head. Basically, I put up that light
right in front of the actors, pointing at their faces. The light is behind and above the camera.
And just point directly at the actors. And as you can see, right away it gives you
this effect of the light coming off the screen. But what the image is still missing is
it’s sort of flat. It’s darker there in the distance
and there is nothing else really in the scene. So, to make the scene more three dimensional,
I added a little rim light, which you can see here, on the left side,
behind the actors. It’s slightly behind the actors
and to the left side of the screen. So, it’s just out of frame.
And that light is, again, a 1000W Red Head. Again, you can use any work light,
hardware light, whatever you have. And now to make that light
look a little bit different than the light coming from the screen, I gelled it blue.
So, just by putting a little bit of a blue gel on it, I right away changed
the color of it. As you can see, it makes the scene
a bit more three dimensional. You can see that that rim light makes
the actors and those seats there stand out. And that’s pretty much it for the lights.
Now, the only thing is, you’ll see here, that the scene is missing... it’s not moving.
The light doesn’t change. Obviously, if you are in a movie theater,
the images on the screen would change and therefore the intensity and the color
of the light would change with it. So, in order to simulate that, I created
this very simple lighting trick. You can see me here testing it out.
Basically, all it is, it’s a simple light stand from a hardware light that I had lying around...
you can see it has three legs on there.
And I took some tape and took a red and a blue gel, a lighting gel, and I taped them
to the light stand, to those legs. And I left one side without any gel on it.
Then, I simply put that in front of the light, the 1000W that shines directly at the actors’ faces.
And I just rotate it, as you can see up here.
What that does is, it creates this flickering effect on the light. It makes the light
slightly change in intensity... the colors change ever so on... from warmer to cooler to neutral.
And, right away, it makes the whole scene come alive, as you can see up here.
And after that, the final thing that I would do is a slight color correction.
This scene doesn’t need a lot since it’s for a funny music video, so we want it
to look more or less natural, but I adjust the contrast.
I increase the contrast. And then I adjust the saturation.
I put the saturation a bit down so the colors do not blow out.
And that’s basically it. Now, the only thing is, in this scene
after the couple watches the movie... basically, what happens in the scene is that
the movie ends and so the theater lights have to come on.
And since the actual lights in the theater, as I said earlier, were too dim,
I had to simulate that. So, all I did, I put two soft boxes...
they were fluorescent lights because I wanted the light to feel drastically different
from the movie theater lighting. And I placed two of those soft boxes
facing the actors from the front, but both on each side.
On the left and on the right side... at a 45 degree angle.
And that’s pretty much it. I hope you guys liked it.
Stayed tuned for more tutorials. And before I go, I’m going to let you guys
see a bit more of this hilarious new music video. It should be premiering soon
on the Nocturnal Emissions’ website or you can check out their YouTube channel, as well.
I’m going to post the links up in the video.
And, in the meantime, while you’re waiting for the music video to premiere,
go check out their other hilarious videos, which they have up on their YouTube channel.
Alright. Enjoy it and see you guys next time.