Todays shoot was a long process, but despite some delays everyone managed to pull their weight for a successful outcome, all of which was an enjoyable experience. The fact shots had to change last minute due to Sam changing the schedule I ended up adapting my original lighting plan, but work with Jack (DP) we created a visual style that we were happy with.
Sam (Producer) was able to secure the TV Studio space at Bower Ashton meaning we could build an office set for scenes 3 and 5. Due to this last minute change in location I found myself having to locate scenery on campus rather than focusing on my job lighting the scene, however I couldn’t really light anything until the set had been constructed in the studio. Jordan (Boom) and I managed to source some furniture, leaving it to Kurt (Director) to make the verdict of how to place them in the scene with Jack.
The change in scenery meant I was dealing with a studio environment with no firm walls, only darkness from the black surrounding curtains. Continuing to take influence from ‘Escape From New York’ I used a strong down light over the table, and scattered similar beams to highlight individual items in the frame. One addition was three fresnels focused on various points of the floor as Jack Steel (Ian Hoyle) walks in, creating this great effect as his face cuts in and out of darkness. The key behind the lighting choice was high contrast and slightly stylistic, I feel the influence of this design was heavily suggested through its execution.
Despite a longer setup than anticipated lighting was generally in place for the day as we were in a controlled studio environment. Using the overhead rig allowed room for Jack to roam for all of his shots without needing to re-establish the lighting, in some shots I just had to kick in some extra fresnels or LED panels to accommodate. By using studio lighting we had lost time in the morning (mostly due to set construction), but it allowed opportunity to pickup time as I didn’t have entire lighting setups. I was generally happy with the lighting, sometimes we faced issues with the high contrast nature, but I feel between Jack and I we covered all bases.
The majority of the day kept to the same lighting setup minus a few adjustments between shots. For the shot where Jack Steel kicks down the door Jack asked me to set up simulated daylight to intrude when the door opens, the choice being a large diffusion panel over a CTB gel on Arri 2k. Following this we were able to move to the small studio (interrogation room) for the last few shots of the day.
The brickwork of the small studio made it ideal so I ensured to catch this design with Dedos working as backlights. An overhead Arri 650W on the desk replicated the high contrast lighting that is familiar for all of the office sequences. By this point (and the nature of the scene) it meant lighting setup was quick turnover.
Jack and I worked extremely well together today, he was very comfortable behind the RED fully focusing on that and grip operations whilst I ran around and lit up the scenes. We had good communication and constantly bounced ideas off one another, definitely a working relationship I look forward to continuing throughout the course of the project and hopefully beyond Postal Service.
Lighting was a success today, looking ahead I need to prepare myself for location shooting in an environment I cannot control as well. Time management is definitely something to improve upon, despite some errors holding up production I really think I can make even quicker turnovers. Looking ahead to house filming I have prepared the Dedos, KinoFlo Divas, Arri 2K, LED panels and reflectors.