September 14, 2014 at 8:32AM
Lighting an interior to look like candelight
Hello all - I'm currently nearing the end of the shoot for my first feature. The majority of the film has been exteriors - all shot with natural light/reflectors. We've got a couple of interior scenes coming up, and for those the only practical light is a candle in an old-fashioned lamp... and because of the location we're filming in (a library) we can't use an actual candle - it's going to be one of those 'fake flicker' battery powered ones!
We'll be shooting on a BMPCC (and possibly, if I can borrow one, an A7S) and we're not able to set up masses of kit. I'm currently thinking that an Arri 800 into a gold reflector (being wiggled a bit) might help raise the ambient level without looking too fake - but unless our lead holds the lamp up to head level (which can be done, but maybe not for the whole scene), we're going to get very little light on his face. I might potentially work with it that way - and bring up the level around the actor as much as possible, leaving the actor silhouetted, holding the torch (and relying on a more 'physical' performance through silhouettte).
Just wondering if anyone has any tips/suggestions? I've already shot one candlelit scene for the film (in a tunnel - pic here: https://www.facebook.com/dsrmovie), and I shot most of that at f0.95 or thereabouts... That was manageable, as we were in a space where the actor could barely move - but I don't want to be doing that in this location - focus will be unmanageably shallow and we'll miss half the detail that makes the space so good.