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  • Writer's pictureTIS Team Member

Lighting Night Scenes

I have a friend that had a brilliant idea for a movie and planned on shooting it. In the indie world of filmmaking, it’s typical to be on a shoestring budget. And this go around, she couldn’t afford to hire a gaffer. So she thought of filming it at night, where you little or no lights right?… WRONG!

Have you seen a movie, and automatically knew it was night without any establishment of the time of day? Why is that? A lot of it has to do with the color blue. There are many ways to film exterior night scenes, but using blue lights is what we’ve been

psychologically associating with the moon since the beginning of technicolor films. A common misconception in film is that you don’t use light in night scenes, but the truth is that you do. You may even use more lights, but it is not meant to be noticed by the viewer.

Atlanta Idea Studio, is a #productioncompany that has spent years studying and perfecting the craft of night time shoots. We film night in many styles, depending what our clients are going for. But one style that people request the most is to that deep blue moon look as you would see in Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman’s 1999 classic, Eyes Wide Shut.

How does one go about getting this look? Here’s three tips that will lay the ground work towards getting that cool dark look that’s all the rave.

Tip 1: Use CTB

Color temperature blue or party blue is the key to get that blue moon effect. Pop a few of these gels over your HMI lights and boom, you got the first step done. Blue mixed with tungsten creates a stunning contrast that you can’t help but love. (It may be beneficial to use ½ CTB)

Tip 2: Lower that ISO

In night scenes, it is important to know that you can introduce a lot of nasty grain into the image. You will will want to lower your ISO and adjust your exposure accordingly so you get a pristine final product.

Tip 3: Be Reflective

The use of reflectors or bounce boards is very useful when getting that night time look. It makes it look almost natural. Try to avoid direct light as much as possible because the look you will be going for is soft.

And voila! That is the gist to pulling off a night time scene for your film. Hopefully you can take these tips and make something cool with them. We hope to do business with you in the future so we can help you create the night scene of your dreams.

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