Posted by: novemberfilm | March 20, 2009

Lighting Plans for Hotel Scenes

Our next shoot is tomorrow. We will be shooting the scene in a hotel room which in the script is supposed to be temporary overflow housing for the university that the girlfriend Elsa goes to.

Read more to see our plans for lighting the scene complete with diagrams.
This is a lighting diagram from the first establishing shot.

Elsa Returns from Swimming
She will walk from the door turning on the first 300 then to the bed where she will drop her backpack and swim gear. The 150 has a blue gel to simulate outside night light coming through the curtains across the bed and her stuff. She’ll go to the closet to take of her hoodie and will turn on the scoop light to silhouette her. She will walk back to her stuff on the bed to get her books and then to the desk behind the couch around the wall. At that point, the camera will change to a close-up on her.

This is the first time we really see her in the film. I wanted to introduce her, what she does, and her room all in one shot. So I have the camera placed by the bed, framing her in a long shot at the door and then as a medium close-up when she reaches the bed. I want to quietly observe her world and let the audience attach to her without being distracted by cuts or camera movement. The dim regions of light should help create a mood of contemplation and being alone.

This second diagram is from the last scene we will be shooting. This is near the end of the script when Elsa returns from partying defeated and sad after arguing with her roommate about her boyfriend. She sits at her desk and calls one of her friends.

Hotel Room - Elsa

We will be shooting directly into a white wall unless we can come up with a better angle. Maybe rotating her so that we shoot back across the TV towards the couch and door would give a better background. Either way, we have a 300 watt Arri with a blue gel pointed up at the ceiling to cast blue light into the background. We have a flag on a C-Stand over her, to keep the blue light from hitting her skin tones. We will use a 150 fresnel with a frost or a 650 on a dimmer with a softbox to get a soft key on her face that drops off into shadow. This will bring her skin tones out in contrast to the blue background.

We’ve already gone to the location twice to look at our options, so I’m interested to see how closely we end up sticking to these diagrams. They are really just a starting point for us.

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