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  • Paul Del Vecchio

"Two Days" - Lighting Diagrams Part 4

Here is another breakdown for a scene from "Two Days," the feature film I DPed in December. Let's jump right in.

We're going to break down this shot:

And the reverse angle:

In this scene, I wanted it to be a bit darker because the conversation called for that moody feel. I didn't want to go too dark because that wouldn't fit the scene's emotion. It just couldn't be a super bright cafeteria.

To accomplish this, we put an M18 outside the large windows through a 4x4 of half soft frost. Also outside at a 45 degree angle to the actress, we placed an Arri Sky Panel 60 to light Annie and backlight Allie. On the reverse shot (Allie), we killed the M18 and moved the Skypanel at a 45 degree front angle on Allie. We didn't use the Skypanel because the wall behind Allie had a doorway so it would be impossible for sunlight to hit that back wall.

Looking back, I may have shot the M18 through the small windows on the doors but it may not have worked. I would have at least liked to have tried but we were running out of time and we had to make our day. The schedule was insanely tight so unfortunately, sacrifices have to be made. That's filmmaking. Either way, I'm still very happy with the way it turned out. The angle of the sun wouldn't really have made sense anyway.

By the way, it was already dark outside. We were into twilight at this point so that M18 really helped sell the sunlight outside the window.

Finally, we also had a bounce board to knock back the Skypanel light as fill light onto their faces.

Here's the lighting breakdown so you can see the layout.

*** 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 monitoring and metering 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. This monitor is amazing and definitely helped with exposure, especially on this particular scene where we are pushing the limits (into darkness). If you go too far, you won’t see enough detail, but if you bring up the darkness too much, you lose the creep factor of the scene.

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