External Night Time
Here is another image from “A Burger Too Far” (see the last blog post for the details of the project)….
This was a twoshot master for the whole scene. The two boys exited the restaurant (through the door in the middle of the frame there) and arced around to end in this 2Shot.
This still demonstrates what I want to chat about - we matched the location lights so that the actors could move at night, and the lighting on them wouldn’t be obvious.
This was the lighting design for the shot….
The integral element of the shot was that it’s the master twoshot.
(sidenote: In the final cut, the film actually cuts into a CU of one of the boys then back out to the twoshot, but that was never really intended. That CU was just shot as a “Get out of jail free” shot, in case the master sucked for a line or two)
So, the boys moving in the shot meant we didn’t want them coming into or out of the lights in any noticeable way. If they were completely underexposed at the doorway then all of a sudden they were really well lit on their final mark, the audience would be aware of the lighting.
Conversely though, it’s an amateur mistake to light them evenly across their path, because in reality when you move, the lighting on you changes. Our solution: The intensity on the boys didn’t change, but the modeling did.
I measured the ambient light. Because the business lights were left on, there was actually quite a bit falling on the footpath - juts out of shot there were a series of floodlights, lighting the business in a “Come here and try our food!” way. As such, there was f2 landing on boys at the midpoint between the door and their final position. This would be adequate to render a nighttime look at f2.8. However, the light on them was a very top down, soft light.
I marked out their end position, where there wasn’t as much light falling on the boys, and lit them to match the intensity of the practical lights.
Thus, when they reach their final mark, the light doesn’t change intensity, but just models them.