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  • Paul Del Vecchio

"Two Days" Lighting Diagrams - Part 1

Let's start off somewhat easy. This was a few days into shooting and we already knew the location from the previous days of shooting. We knew the sun would be in the right place at the start of the day. There was some discussion as to whether we should bounce 2 Arri M18's into the 12x Ultrabounce, but we decided that the sun would just be a faster (and better) source and setup, so we opted to go for that. I think the results are pretty awesome. We knew we were going to move quickly so the movement of the sun was not an issue. We were able to get the coverage without any major tweaks and moved on with our day.

Here's the lighting diagram:

Dining Room Lighting Diagram

As you can see here, it was a pretty simple setup but it was very effective. It was just a 12x Ultrabounce bouncing the sunlight back in. The sun was in a perfect spot where it directly hit the Ultrabounce and was pushed right inside the patio sliding doors. Practically the whole wall on the left was windows because it was a large patio doorway that opened. We pushed the sheers aside and allowed all that soft bounce light to flood into the room. That was it.

I chose a 4500K color temperature because the light coming in felt a little too warm at 5400K+ for the emotion of the scene. I didn't go below 4500K because the scene would have rendered very blue. 4500K kept it at a good balance between cool and warm.

Here is the final result:

Dining Room Wide

Dining Room CU Cadence

The rest of the light in the scene is just ambient coming in through the various windows.

Next up is the reverse angle. This was lit the same way. The background has a bit more detail with sun streaks but that was just the natural sunlight coming in through the windows and not our M18's. The lesson here is that if you can move quickly and pick the right time of day (pre-production matters!) then you can pull off more expensive looks without the expensive setup.

I'll be the first to say that we definitely needed more pre-production but we were able to see the location a few times because we had previous shooting days here so we were able to be strategic and plan ahead.

Here is the final shot of the reverse:

Notice on the floor behind her, there are sun streaks. That was just the natural sunlight coming in from outside. Again, shooting at the right time of day and knowing where the light is coming from can really add to your production value without adding to your budget.

The large glint you see in her eyes is from the 12x Ultrabounce outside. It was probably 8-10 feet from the door and another 6 feet from the talent.

Enjoy! More coming soon!

Next up...

You can purchase a 12x Ultrabounce (also known as Matthbounce) here:

*** A few notes: These are ungraded stills taken directly from my SmallHD 502 monitor which I used HEAVILY everyday on set. I switched between swing out monitor mode and EVF mode, which was possible with the Sidefinder attachment. It was invaluable throughout this entire production and it made my work better because of all the features.

SmallHD's OS3 had JUST been released so I was able to use my own custom FALSE COLOR setup as well as other necessary features like zebras, focus peaking, and LUT support, which is INVALUABLE on set with the flat log image you get out of today's cinema cameras. I used my own custom designed LUT for on set monitoring both in camera and on the SmallHD 502. I highly recommend you download and use OS3 if you haven't already!

I also sent out the LUT to the Flanders Scientific monitor we had on set, which we also used heavily. The Flanders was invaluable to myself and my gaffer, Brandon Torres, who is an excellent DP as well. It allowed us to view the image on a large screen, discuss what we were seeing, and be on the same page because we were both looking at the same image large enough to see subtle details. This allowed me to communicate quickly with him and make adjustments on the fly. What an amazing luxury to have on set!

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