Lighting Technique: Simulating Theater or TV Screen – Filmmaking Tutorial 12

Lighting Technique: Simulating Theater or TV Screen – Filmmaking Tutorial 12

Hi and welcome to another filmmaking tutorial.
My name is Tom Antos and today I’m going to show you guys a simple
but very useful lighting trick that you can use in your next film or music video.
The example that I’m going to be showing you is from a music video that I shot recently.
We’ll start off with something like this. Inside a movie theater.
That’s the actual lighting that was in the theater. And we end with this. So, as you can see, this little scene is about
a couple that goes out to a movie theater for their first date.
And I have to simulate the light that would come off a movie screen while watching a movie.
Now, in real life, as you are watching a film inside a theater, it’s so dark that you
wouldn’t be able to get an exposure. Even with digital SLRs.
Maybe if you bumped up the ISO to 6400, you’d get some kind of an exposure, but it would
still be very dark and obviously very grainy… and just flat looking.
Now, here is how the theater looks inside with its lights on.
It’s still fairly dark. This image is underexposed
by about one to two f-stops. And it’s also grainy because I had to put
the ISO up to 1600, I believe. And it’s not interesting looking
– it’s flat. So, what I decided to do is to simulate
the light bouncing off of the movie screen by simply putting a big 1000W
Red Head tungsten light. But you can use pretty much… even a work light.
Any kind of a light will do. It doesn’t have to be a Red Head.
Basically, I put up that light right in front of the actors, pointing at their faces.
The light is behind and above the camera. And just point directly at the actors.
And as you can see, right away it gives you this effect of the light coming off the screen.
But what the image is still missing is it’s sort of flat.
It’s darker there in the distance and there is nothing else really in the scene.
So, to make the scene more three dimensional, I added a little rim light,
which you can see here, on the left side, behind the actors.
It’s slightly behind the actors and to the left side of the screen.
So, it’s just out of frame. And that light is, again, a 1000W Red Head.
Again, you can use any work light, hardware light, whatever you have.
And now to make that light look a little bit different than the light
coming from the screen, I gelled it blue. So, just by putting a little bit of a blue
gel on it, I right away changed the color of it.
As you can see, it makes the scene a bit more three dimensional.
You can see that that rim light makes the actors and those seats there stand out.
And that’s pretty much it for the lights. Now, the only thing is, you’ll see here,
that the scene is missing… it’s not moving. The light doesn’t change.
Obviously, if you are in a movie theater, the images on the screen would change and
therefore the intensity and the color of the light would change with it.
So, in order to simulate that, I created this very simple lighting trick.
You can see me here testing it out. Basically, all it is, it’s a simple light stand
from a hardware light that I had lying around… you can see it has three legs on there. And I took some tape and took a red and a blue gel,
a lighting gel, and I taped them to the light stand, to those legs.
And I left one side without any gel on it. Then, I simply put that in front of the light,
the 1000W that shines directly at the actors’ faces. And I just rotate it, as you can see up here. What that does is, it creates this flickering
effect on the light. It makes the light slightly change in intensity… the colors change
ever so on… from warmer to cooler to neutral. And, right away, it makes the whole scene
come alive, as you can see up here. And after that, the final thing that I would
do is a slight color correction. This scene doesn’t need a lot since
it’s for a funny music video, so we want it to look more or less natural,
but I adjust the contrast. I increase the contrast.
And then I adjust the saturation. I put the saturation a bit down
so the colors do not blow out. And that’s basically it.
Now, the only thing is, in this scene after the couple watches the movie…
basically, what happens in the scene is that the movie ends and so the theater lights
have to come on. And since the actual lights in the theater,
as I said earlier, were too dim, I had to simulate that.
So, all I did, I put two soft boxes… they were fluorescent lights because
I wanted the light to feel drastically different from the movie theater lighting.
And I placed two of those soft boxes facing the actors from the front,
but both on each side. On the left and on the right side…
at a 45 degree angle. And that’s pretty much it.
I hope you guys liked it. Stayed tuned for more tutorials.
And before I go, I’m going to let you guys see a bit more of this hilarious new music video.
It should be premiering soon on the Nocturnal Emissions’ website or
you can check out their YouTube channel, as well. I’m going to post the links up in the video. And, in the meantime, while you’re waiting
for the music video to premiere, go check out their other hilarious videos,
which they have up on their YouTube channel. Alright.
Enjoy it and see you guys next time.

56 thoughts on “Lighting Technique: Simulating Theater or TV Screen – Filmmaking Tutorial 12

  1. i love your tutorial so much!!!
    By the way, would you mind speaking a little bit more clearer and louder?
    i think your voice is like humming

  2. Fantastic tutorial Tom! Thanks for the plug. Love working with this guy. Best attitude ever! This guy's is a film ninja! if Ninja's were awesome at making film things.

  3. @dcondax I know… that's why now i arranged my work schedule so I will be uploading a new tutorial every other friday. And hopefully in 2011 ever friday a new tutorial.

  4. Your videos are very helpful. Well, I'm just a starter and don't have enough money to buy equipment, but hey… I have to start from something. Thank you for that. Question though… Do you work only with lighting? The picture writes "filmmaking tutorials + tips" and I thought it would be great if you could also show some camera techniques or tips.

  5. @JudicatorMX No… i dont only show lighting techniques. i will be showing other filmmaking tips soon. keep checking back! thnx!

  6. Why do you use The Nikon 50mm 1.8 instead of Canon 50mm 1.8 ? I have the Nikon 50mm 1.8, but I don't know if I should buy a adapter or the Canon 50mm 1.8 for my 7D ? Hope you can answer my question (:

  7. @haddip I use the nikon 50mm cuz I bought that lens about 10 years before I ever even touched a Canon camera. Same with all my other Nikon lenses… so i use those on my canon 7D using an adapter cuz it's cheaper… but if you're buying new lenses then just buy Canons so you don't have to buy an adapter too. There really isnt much of a difference between the two.

  8. These days, you might bring in a flat screen TV, put it close to the subject, and let the variable light play on their faces.

  9. I've been watching your tutorials and it's finally what i was searching for. Searched everywhere and no one really explained in detail. Thank you so much for these.

  10. Wonderfull Tom Antos, I learned a lot from your tutorials, watch this movie commercial that I directed, has a scene in a movie theater. I added a backlight to simulate the movie projector and reflect the light in his own movie screen back to the actors.


  11. Very helpful video thank you. I'm working my way through all your videos especially lighting. They're great and informative. Thank you.

  12. Question.Noticed here you've used a redhead with blue gel to backlight subjects, but in other videos you've used fluorescent lights to do this (achieve the same cool light effect).Which do you prefer? Im about to buy some lights, & am wondering as a beginner (lets say max 3 lights used for most scenes) what lights I should invest in? eg. 1 fluorescent/softbox and 2 redheads? I guess I'm asking which type of light you find most versatile for different uses, or are a MUST-HAVE even for beginner.

  13. WATCHED ALL YOUR TUTORIALS . Its really great your doing this posting all these to pass down knowledge. Thanks for them. YOU mention using different types of lighting in your video tutorials: florescent, tungsten incandescent etc. How do you white balance? what temp in kelvin you select on camera?
    I'm planning to shoot a short and it involves indoor night shots so I needed quite a bit of lighting. What would you recommend in a lighting kit(soft-box,strobe etc),$100-200 range total.

  14. The Canon 50mm 1.8 has a weird 5 bladed aperture that has just plain AWFUL bokeh as a result. Every out of focus light is going to look like a pentagon and it is just not pleasing at all. By contrast, the best actual cinema primes have 8 or 9 bladed shutters, so out of focus elements look a lot more like circles. The Nikon 50mm 1.8 has a 6 bladed shutter, but its actually a HUGE difference from the 5 bladed one.

  15. Hello!! I have a question what do you suggest or what do you use to take the noise our of your video when u use hight ISO in your film? than you!!

  16. the simulation rig for the screen looks terrible flashing the same three colors too quickly. great rig if not for that.

  17. pleaaaaaase tell me how can i make lightning effect in a natural way without spending tons of money on dmx lightings i'm dead!i searched everywhere nothing effective is on youtube

  18. this video is over 8 years old, you probably won't see this, but I'm still going to ask:
    What if I had to show the screen glowing, with the actor facing it directly? I cant turn on the TV, I'd do a screen replacement on post. How do I light this? Would putting a light on the floor facing the actor from below work?

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