September 30, 2017 at 9:29PM

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Low Budget Outdoor Night Shooting?

Hi,
I'm planning to shoot a short film for a local festival in which one of the scene is outdoors at night. It's on a lookout, so shooting day for night isn't really an option, as I want to capture the lights of the suburbs below. There are also no power sources around as it's on the side of a mountain and I can't afford a generator as I'm on zero budget. Any ideas?
Cheers!

6 Comments

That would depend on the lighting concept/scheme as well as the camera's sensitivity, which lenses you are intending to use, what overall mood you want or what you're trying to convey by the scene. Also are there any motivational sources of light such as a street lamp etc? An honest evaluation of the idea is recommended, first ask yourself, is the idea worth doing and is the idea doable if you answer no, then maybe you should go back to the drawing board and come up with a substitute scene instead according to the available resources and locations.

October 1, 2017 at 8:56AM

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Elmoutasam Aziz
Chief Learning Officer
247

Aim your cars headlights at some bounce boards.

October 1, 2017 at 9:15AM, Edited October 1, 9:15AM

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Thanks for the feedback guys. It's gonna be a tough shoot but I'll do what I can. I've been doing some tests with the ambient lights in the area, using a few cheap cordless light sources, silhouetting against the view, etc. I'll plan ahead and hopefully it turns out ok

October 2, 2017 at 4:49AM

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Can your characters hold flashlights in the scene? Or check their cell phones with screen at full brightness?

October 4, 2017 at 11:24AM, Edited October 4, 11:24AM

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Ethan
Producer/Writer/Director/Prop Maker
142

If you just want to light your subject you can use the torch function on cell phones - I just did exactly this overlooking the lights of LA from Griffith Park - worked great (only used the cell phone as I had nothing else to hand at the time)

October 4, 2017 at 1:05PM, Edited October 4, 1:05PM

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Thomas Dove
DoP
190

Update - have done some tests using a car battery to power some worklights borrowed from a friend - looks better than I thought! I've also written in some torches in the scene to provide a little extra light where needed. Thanks for all the feedback, it's really helped.

Shooting this weekend. Wish me luck

October 10, 2017 at 10:59PM

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