Introduction to Lighting
I've got a little I gotta will treat for everyone in the live audience here we have cut together a video from your work yesterday would you be interested in seeing what you guys helped create? Yeah right on I should say kudos for nico nico was up late last night pulling this together um and I think he did it in final cut pro ex so without further ado, here is the hd slr swing dance wait that's right it's really fun well done you guys and that's really terrific s so where do we start? What we can do do today is to basically do a lot of work on lighting on dh we've got little zep behind us that we're going to demonstrate on different forms of lighting special andi I'm going to talk a little bit of steven's gonna help me out here about what's the function of lighting is in movies and commercials and so it is important how you basically usual. I didn't do the story we talked a little bit about this yesterday because one of your questions getting in on the, uh, legit room and things like th...
at that basically took is into that arizona you know, worked on movies for thirty plus years and I worked on everything from huge budget will be such as the first adam's family two miniseries like hbo's and some very, very large projects right down to the simplest of little things and basically the same britain supports the blinds just imagine expense time, cost money equipment you have at your disposal what you need to do with it. And I think one of the things we talked about the essay that was was terribly important is that lighting in itself is not the most important thing when you work with a director who in turn is working with writers usually very clearly get direction from the directors, too. Um, the way in which he intends for a seat in two little giving what's it about is it us and see there's a happy scene? Is it a dramatic scene? The things isn't an action scene. I mean, every single different sort of films aura may require its own condo cinematography. Uh, I'm so that needs to be taken into account obviously because it's very easy to, uh, take of adultery in the wrong direction, and I'm not give these descript the director what he deserves in terms of strengthening his story idea that that's really, really important and george yesterday about how certain films use a very commercial style of dog would be that sometimes you divide seems that should perhaps feel a little bit more uncomfortable and shouldn't feels kind of nice and pretty in them is already wells you need everything in late afternoon light and he lives in a very early morning lines it looks gorgeous, but it might not necessarily be the right thing in releasing you might need things to look no, I shall more, you know, sort of basically and I'm uncomfortable, I suppose is the word I think with all your cinnamon dollar read to you need to always be thinking outside of the box I mean, I'll give you I'm an example in once again, for the everybody on the internet, I'm really, really sorry, we don't have a lot of material job because all this stuff that I shoot on dh have mean shooting with the last few years, and even before that, it'll belongs to, you know, um, easy, universal fox on dh it's unbelievably difficult to get the mission because you you get into all the writers guild in the d j and everybody the ones have presented, so I'm very sadly in this workshop, we always hear going to make up for it and do our very best, but I can't show it off a lot of my work in the any way of seeing images to visit mine personal website, which I think bean that's been going on the in the chat room right s so take a look at my work, and then you get some idea of the kinds of things I've done but we haven't been allowed to show it here just because of all the various technical and legal is so on example of thinking outside the box just just moving on I didn't the hbo miniseries from the other thing which was uh, you know, probably the most important piece of work I've ever done okay? It's television it's not a huge movie and all of that and it was it was a piece of history that to me was unbelievable and about a breed of people that were very, very special, and it was in a lira when special things were done, which we probably will never ever see again in our lifetime. There's everything could be even though it's had a more ominous in ten things like the manhattan project things like the building of the panama canal um the whole of the nasa effort to put a man on the moon was alleged by everybody's surprised by my john kennedy without now, so even knowing that he guaranteed that america would put men are balloon within ten years in them at that point in time, I didn't think anybody had even been in orbit. I think the russians isn't just about put on this book you into orbit, which freaked everybody out completely because you're writing a little of the cold war a point, so I was lucky enough to be chosen to be on dp on the other loon, which was, um, think twelve part miniseries for hbo, which was inspired by and put together by am, uh, jon hangs having none apollo thirteen and three group from imagine. And ron howard, and, you know, the people that had done all of that team apology, if everyone remembers, was really the story about impala mission went terribly wrong, and for days and days and days, it was a huge drama as to whether the three astronauts were heading towards could be safely brought back without losing their lives. And so it doing a massive, the man of thinking outside the box instead of I'm making this work to actually enable them to come back and bring them back into our thoughts, orbit actually saved their lives, and don't jon hangs got the well, there's out of a lot more to this story than, um, just three guys in it in a faulty space capsule. There's uh, holding about, you know, how wives of astronauts coped with this stress and strain of this at the kind of rigorous training programs that astronauts went through this election process of astronaut to them? Sort of amazing, the special people, I mean, surprising me enough, and the major number, last thoughts, and I came from the navy pilots, because landing a gentle the document aircraft carrier in the thirty foot swell in the middle of the night when it looks about the size of a postage stamp erm takes north a lot of guts and these are people that are eso very special and very unique on that can actually have the guts to do that I mean, almost every astronaut has some very unusual property and that is the london get uses of extreme duress when you're actually positive directly and die that they can control their heart rate to the most amazingly great and panic every most of us would just out into a gibbering rex under such situations. So they're very, very special people and you know it zehme that I mean it's kind of rather coincidental that yes, it was the last flight of the shuttle. So for me, it's a really sad day to to see that longer we gonna be putting people in space for the foreseeable future because we don't have an alternative yet. So the signs in technology that went into the moon was so phenomenal and to be part of that was one of the greatest orman's in my life um libit going into the large enough that we had some incredible challenges with that I mean, one of them, first of all was to like the surface of the moon on day you can't you do have a moon set let's sort of twenty feet by twenty feet I mean, it has looked like can plan it right? So it has to be very, very big. And then the one thing we do know that the moon is that it's led by a point lines also either son is an infinite, effectively infinite distance. So the shadow that you see it was someone walking on them the surface of the moon has to be a kn absolutely sharpened, singular shadow slight technical heads with that was that there is no such a light, it was powerful enough to light the sat to create that kind of feeling they were I mean, the kind of big night lighting lights that tend to exist, I mean, even to this present day a multiple light sources lights and you used him to like old blocks of streets and things like that, but if you look very closely, you'll see that there are multiple shadows and of course, if we did that on a balloon, it would just look ridiculous because it's like saying, well, there's actually sixteen sums all in the classes and we're up there, you know them it would have given the game away straight away and of course there is absolutely no light from the sky it's completely pitch black, so there's no phil like whatsoever about from what is bouncing off the on the ground on the moon and what's parenting off another astronaut's sued or what happens to me being reflected off the lunar module so it's an incredibly gone nasty situation and somehow we had tio create that illusion or that feeling um you know, without even having the equipment to do it so we had to effectively reinvent the wheel and created light do I actually knew that there was this is the example of thinking outside the box was driving down the freeway one day and night I'm not going to be behind a gas tank um you know, gas tankers have a trailer than on the bank of it was a huge convex mirror and I could see my car or distorted in tiny reflected in the back of it I thought well I wonder if that would work but what if we got one of those and we polished it way using music collector and we put a massive amount of light into it with them we could use it as a collected tio then create the feeling of a signal lights or so we got one of these and it was I think is about eight feet in diamonds or something like that on dwi had it polished and then the most powerful spotlighted that point in time it was commercially available for filmmaking was dedicate easy norms that a lot of music videos used to use special especially michael jackson type videos where you wanted huge, powerful show opposite like coming in through windows or you know sort of, you know, literally lips or focused bots and them ten k z norms wraps it in massive I didn't have any hundreds of pounds they way but they the poem itself is but such high pressure that when you go to change the bulb you have to wear a special protective suit a suit made of kevlar and I mean they're just so scary these things and I think the bomb pressure is something like six hundred atmospheres you know when when they explode I mean it's it blows shards of glass right through this deal housing and all of this stuff and they were the most powerful lights available so we we vessel I set was about it was about two hundred fifty by two hundred fifty feet and a cz everybody knows I mean review if you lied to set from very close to it on the last point of impact where the line is is that it's going to be way way bride to them the bomb parts of the set by the inverse square law remember square lord to anybody scientific I think it's state something like if you double the distance it would like to an object you quarter the amount of light on dh progressively so like force off pretty fast so in other words, if you have a light a light right next to a a sort of two hundred fifty by two hundred fifty foot set list operation from one side of this ad to the other is so enormous that it just looks very, very fake. So the first thing we had to do is to position the light far enough away that the fall off not to be too noticeable so let's at least you know, I thought that would be a man you know, if the brightness was missed open a half brighter on the closest point of the set to the light and it fell office to open after the furthest point it would just about be able to get away with that in any more than that it would start to look silly done real and s o we started off with you know, one one z non dosing on streeteasy knows that the more you end really just at a quarter of a stop a quarter is dropping a quarter missed opposite of at the time they only had sixteen ten k's and existence a company cause it intact so we had to have another six of them made for us because we ended up eating twenty to ten gazing on so we had two hundred twenty thousand watts of light going into a signal mirror which was there was some really great clues. I mean, we went through all the data from nasa, and they always time their landings on the moon. So some was exactly at eight degrees off the horizon because that gave the maximum perception ofthe the texture of the surface so that, you know, if the light was directly coming down flat from above the capsule, it was very likely that they would put a foot of the lunar module down on a boulder or in the hole without even knowing it. So the more rating, the light across the lone attacks to them or, you know, the alarm strong on his first attempt would be able to safely put the spacecraft down with that the whole thing tipping over because emitted tipped over that would have been being the end of that mission on dh so that gave us the clues that were positioned a mirror that I'm hit his end of is added about eight degrees, which meant that that was about two hundred fifty feet away from this ad and you know you're talking to two fifty foot sounds the lights two hundred let me meet that five hundred foot long set already we actually happen to be, uh, a shooting in a incredible building in tustin, an orange county in california where luckily these this amazing building exists where they used to keep lady blimps during the second world war being the dirigible airships, zeppelins whatever you want to call them on dh there used to be able to part two of these in this building and so luckily this building was one hundred fifty feet long about three hundred feet wide without a single and it was almost like it was constructed out of wood so would just ship me during an earthquake in california and it was really constructed like you an enormous boat just upside down there that kind of rib struck him and then the issue was that it had a lot of this guy likes it. So just the experience of covering the skylights meant immediately we anticipated everything at light because it would have cost wing justin cal calculable amounts of money into black out all this guy lights we already used them five miles in do the team, which is black fabric sixty feet door on to go right the way around the building. I mean, it was just huge. And then we had our twenty daisy norms that all we're focused into this mirror on dh. Then we started getting paranoid about the man to beat of these lights because when we started doing tests on the lights and you know, in an electrical group you have a gaffe that you have a basketball and when my best boy was helping us position something there was a moment when he walked in front of one of the scene ons of his has started smoking that's how powerful these lights are on them we had twenty two of them in the amount of just the callous static electricity around the balance of these lights was just so intense and that ruling in the room all focused up it into this mirror on those things that happened was that within about ten minutes the heat on the mirror caused the aluminum to oxidize I'm so immediately we were losing stop so we had to put it all down we had to re polish it, we had to coach it and then the next thing you know we started noticing was that on the edges started distorting was likely with the heats and then we realized that we had to them water google it way brought it all there will again and we put a shell on the back of it with fends inside and let now that pipe ran cold cold waters where to keep it cool let me go to bury her yelling them. You know, producers start to run out of patience at a certain point on, especially when uh, everything you're doing relies on your plan to work because in this case it wasn't it wasn't a big plan because they kept saying, well what's to be planned missile you know that the planet is there's tustin happens to be closer to the mexican border than lots of usually so I said that's my big plan is to take a bus to mexico because I don't really have another solution to this we have to make him sure I just asked how many days did it take you to figure out this out because it sounds like a huge process it was a huge project way am most about to the moon was shot in studios in florida actually so we started doing tear since dancing to try and calculate how many lights we need but way had about I think about a month dustin hang up tio we'll always together you know it just went on and on and on and on in the end it actually looked really really beautiful but that was just the beginning of our problem because when you actually look at an astronaut's helmet that should go plated on the outside to protect them from whatever it is the direct you me that comes from the sun and let's get a gold plated so you're looking at a goldfish bowl mirror on then so where do you put the camera like uh that's a bit of a problem because when you do it in the first hint I got of this was when I went to them you know the now sir museum then it kate unity and jim levels suit is there and I suddenly realized what it was looking into the helmet that you could not nbc you know it's a complete sort of space suit with a helmet a ziff there's a person in sight it standing in a enclosure and you can see the guy's boots so it not only reflects down there but you can also see directly above and slightly behind on all sides which means that there's almost nowhere to put the camera because you know what you expect to see in a national it's helmet when you're looking at them when they're on the surface of the moon is possibly about the restaurant or possibly the lunar module but sent me the lunar surface with very, very clean horizon that's his black and absolutely pitch black and love and and then sort of you know sort of mid two lightest grain below which is the lula earth on dh so every single shot virtually had to be done by putting a remotely operated camera crane on top off another camera crane called a titan so that we could reach him from seventy feet away and bring the camera in from slightly above and blank everything that I said that the blackness of the black town camera would disappear into the blackness of the space that we created you zoom lenses and you could never ever have a camera sort of within sixty feet of an astronaut not see that there was something that was interfering with the little surface or breaking their rise in mind any time we could ever do that was when we get hide the camera in the lunar module structure you know on dh way came upon the real problem the real problem was it on astronauts on the moon they only have won six of their body weight occurs the moon being much more than he has one six of both gravity so people move in a very, very different ways that you kind of people is wondering around it would have looked ridiculous and so we have these initially this grand plan to and I use wigging above them and put them on harnesses and fly them around of course as soon as we saw the helmet three with misers we realize that all that stuff being metal would have reflected it would just as we immediately in reflection so I said well why don't we put them on helium balloons and uh and luckily there's building I think it's so tall that it's I think it's almost two hundred feet tall in the center I mean it's just massive and will be about ten forests and one here and wait and so we thought, well, that could be cool because I'm on their backpacks actually had an antenna that um it looks like his deal were so if we could cable to that point then imposed we could just cut it off and pretend it was just the antenna so we for most of the shots I mean the suits were so having in earth gravity that we had to use done and because it was agonizing to be inside these suits and more than fifteen minutes because you know, we had to have cooling systems to keep him from dying of heat exhaustion just the sheer weight in the suits and all of those sorts of things led to it's me unbelievably difficult this isn't a point where I realized that all those idiotic rumors we've heard about you it was all fake jumping everything realized what comm please and nobody could do this and and especially not thirty years ago, you know, because the technology didn't exist to be able to fake it up thirty years ago it was hard enough for us. So anyway, so we we realized that we needed these massive black helium balloons that would, you know, have to be at least fifty feet above them too I'm not reflect him would disappear into the darkness of me out in the field of light and so on and so forth and dealing trouble was that it was so huge about thirty feet in diameter when the astronauts came to come together of course the real owners wouldn't allow them to assume, you know, it was just a lack of imagination and we ended up with balloons that were twelve feet in diameter but seventy feet door you know made out of black vam brick and that way they could at least and coming together and not be sort of pushed apart by the pressure of the balloons you know so that was how what we had to do, you know, thinking outside of the box and solving problems that had never ever mean in campus or encountered people rather you know, to get around all the various problems one by one it was just you know, luckily we had vision reproduces and because of john hangs on dh ron howard and I only got I should imagine, you know, on hbo they realize that there's had been intended to be a way this was something that was going to be a serious that had to be, you know, basically absolutely yankee right absolutely historically accurately couldn't be something that looked fake in any way it had to be achieved. And biggers andi as time will tell I think it will become one of those on television programs that will be seen by schools and seen by kids in future generations is being the ultimate sort of documentary of everything that needed to go through to put people on the moon basically and that was just an example of our tiny side of it on dh compared to what nasa had together to achieve all of land things to book men on the moon of course our side was absolutely nothing but you and I he knew a lot of very, very brave people died in that I think it was apollo come on which apollon number it was when the astronauts a sixty aged in a test and it was just in the simple task and the reason was was because they they ran the test with a pressurized having capsule but it was pressurized with pure oxygen on what nobody knew was that a mel crow which astronauts fell in love with because everything floated around they could stick things wherever they needed to and be there when they went to look for women so floating off nobody had ever done a test on velcro in pressurized hundred percent oxygen on discovered that it was incredibly inflammable and you know normally you can stick your lighter are sticking over flame and it nothing now mr but just under there's that one circumstance pressurized oxygen velcro became unbelievably inflammable and that's what you know, just a little short circuit in a wire and suddenly the whole thing was on fire and very sadly the design of the capsule was such that you had to open the door inward because of the pressure of the uh you know the expanding air in an oxygen driven fire the brush was way too great for the astronauts have able to open the door and escape that they're all miss vixie eight and it was things like that kind of inspirational in trying to do a great job and, you know, try and, you know, at least do my part in living up to the dream of all of these amazing people that have been part of that project that had cost billions and billions of dollars. And sadly, no, I don't think we'll ever see projects like that again. So, uh, that was one of the biggest projects, probably the biggest project I've ever worked on like that. Um uh, so it was kind of, you know, it's a great theory is running it, it will stand up for a long, long time in schools and things like that is being historically very accurate and onda we got to meet I was like, enough to meet and a lot of the astronauts davis guards who was on walked on the moon on apollo fifteen was technical advisor absolutely wonderful, man, I mean, these these air super people, I mean super special people, and that was a great experience and, you know, they're let's, um, but just came back to how you solve problems. I mean, that was one example, I mean, on top of solving problems is often in lighting. When I was talking about thinking outside the box there's often lots of subliminal messages that you can put in there and there was a particular scene which, again, sadly, I can't show you where I really didn't feel like astronauts were kind of the nearest that the human race and got to becoming gods or angels or whatever you we want to say I mean, because there's a special beat bologna, it was sort of trying to think of a way to kind of make them in the in the syria's kind of have that feeling. And so there was a scene we did in a dressing room where they or a kit room it's where they've got kids it up into a where you know them outfits and you know, everything obviously is not tight and so on and so forth and before they put on all their extra telecommunications gear there, the helmets almost effectively, just like a plexi goldfish bowl and I thought, wow, wouldn't it be really called? You kind of get a reflection of a halo in the helmet because nobody will notice it, but I believe that if you put things into the subconscious or you put things into images, then to the subconscious of the viewing audience and so it could be just a shadow on the wall that's rather spooky or it could be the shape of something that four moves a threat or something a bit scary in this case. In order to do that, I asked our art department to build a massive ring light on the ceiling, which was about thirty feet in diameter, just a big soft I'm circular light on, you know, on those fluorescent, is that the kind of circular but like a massive version of that? But it was built onto the ceiling, and, um so by positioning the one of the actors in a certain position, it made an absolutely circular citing distorted because of the plexi reflection on his helmet and effectively put a halo on his head, and probably nobody would ever notice it. But if you if you look for things that you think about things like that you, when you go to a script, you you think about those sorts of subliminal messages, I think it's when you can really do very interesting things in photography and that's part of what I'm studying the script on doesn't really matter whether it's a, you know, a huge epic, it doesn't matter whether it's a little tiny, low budget film, the opportunities for that kind of thinking always exist.