No Gels? Use Spray Paint: Dirt Cheap DIY Lighting Tricks
Lighting can be expensive, especially if you're using professional gear. Luckily, our buddies over at Film Riot have shared a few DIY tricks that'll keep your costs low, light your whole scene, and let you play with spray paint all without a single pro light.
The point here is modifying the lighting that already exists at your location (home, office, etc.) to fit the look you're going for, as well as finding a solution that works for filmmakers with limited professional resources -- not everyone has access to pro lighting kits, ya know.
I have to say, I really like this high heat spray paint idea. Granted, it doesn't seem to be a perfect or overly precise way to color your lights, but the accessibility seems worth it. (Which would be faster and easier: tracking down a local photo supply store for gels (I have ONE in my town) or running into Walmart or Home Depot for spray paint?) Since I use clamp lights quite a bit, especially if I don't have access (or am too cheap/lazy to get access) to pro lighting kits, popping in an inexpensive bulb spray painted whichever color I want for my scene sounds like a simple way to light. However, I probably wouldn't go that route on a project for a client or on a film that requires a little more cinematographic finesse.
Now, if you're thinking, "Why not just use gels?!! They costs pretty much the same as high heat spray paint and you don't have to go through all the trouble of painting stuff!" Well, yeah -- that's true, but according to Film Riot, a single can will take care of well over 10 separate lights, which is well worth the cost. Plus -- spray paint. It's fun.
A quick safety note: Be sure to use the same amount of caution when handling these DIY lights as you do with professional ones , people. Using home fixtures and 35 watt bulbs may ease you into a false sense of security, but those things get hot, so use gloves (said the person who has burned herself on many a PAR bulb -- at home -- like an idiot). Also, I'm no electrician, but the fixtures at your house may not be able to handle the higher wattage bulbs. If you're determined to use them, don't keep them on for long, or you could risk starting a fire -- probably.
What cheap DIY lighting tricks do you use on set? Have you used high heat spray paint before? How did your shots turn out? Let us know in the comments below.