LBS @ LONDON Portobello Filmfestival this Friday (31 Aug)!
Friday 31 Aug between 6 & 11 PM. Westbourne Studios, 242 Acklam Road, W10 5JJ, London
11AM at Kino Andorra (Eerikinkatu 11, Helsinki) on April 14, 2012
Bio Savoy on Wednesday March 23rd at 21:20 in Mariehamn, the Aland Islands
Valentine’s Week Showtimes
Love Between Storeys will be online for a week starting the 14th of February at 5 PM GMT on YouTube. Besides being online we have free shows around Europe. Our showtimes here!
January 22nd in Ekenäs. 2 pm onwards. Ekenäs FilmFest info here (SWE).
Lighting: Making a Soft and Powerful Top Light
We wanted loads of light to come out from the ceiling, and we wanted it to be soft. This would allow us to steer clear from hard shadows and let us bounce soft light however and wherever we wanted. Our low-budget quirk was to rig a batch of 100w, 150w and 200w bulbs up in the ceiling, and let the light flow through a Garden Plant cover.
The garden plant cover was a revelation for us. The guys we lent our lights from had a box of the stuff at their underground studio and we asked what it was for. The answer was “To diffuse light”. You know those big white diffusion sails on movie sets to shoot massive amounts of light through, called scrims or butterflies? They cost a lot, but give great soft light. Turns out this semi-transparent white fibre sheet is used to cover berries in the winter and is cheap as dirt, and does the same thing as a diffusion filter. And you can rip it and bend it however you like, so we used a lot of that on set, strapping it between tripods.
But, back to the rest of the top light. We probably could’ve rented a Lite-Panel (*L) contraption for the same amount of money as we did on bulbs and diffusion, with the same result, but if we built it ourselves we’d be able to keep it forever. Besides, singular bulbs can be rigged pretty much anywhere to get some extra light, so having a dozen of those in your back pocket is smart. Also, they can be dimmed individually, more on which later.
John started hunting for 200w Tungsten bulbs on our last project, after reading that Robert Rodriguez lit all of El Mariachi with something called Photofloods, which turned out to be heavy duty normal bulbs with a fancy name. They have served us well, and can be hard to come by nowadays as they are practically illegal here in Finland, being phazed out by energy saving bulbs.
So, how did we get this contraption up above the elevator? The room we were working in has fluorescent lights hanging from wires from the ceiling. Onto these wires, we stretched out two lighting stands, and between these we strung our bulbs. The bulbs were then cabled to our dimmer, letting us control the corner and center lights separately. Then we rigged up our garden cover to soften up the light, and hung some black trash bags around the sides to not have the light spreading all over the place, practically making the whole contraption a box of light.
That’s it for now. In the next update we will show you have we made our 360 degree light plan, and talk about how to bounce light and build build cheap reflectors.