Thread: Breaking down the lighting used in outward looking theatre shot from Scorsese's Hugo

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  1. #1 Breaking down the lighting used in outward looking theatre shot from Scorsese's Hugo 
    Senior Member stormystudio's Avatar
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    Anyone care to chip in on the lighting setup for this shot.

    How do you think it was done?

    front-back-liighting.jpg

    I really like how it still 100% focus's the eye to the centre despite a lot of information still being lit in frame.
    A professional 2D / 3D animator with a passion for film.
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member stormystudio's Avatar
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    My limited knowledge breakdown.

    1k light, flagged with barn doors rigged to C-stand above the centre stage... At 45º degree angle to camera , with fog machine (or budget friendly can of new AtmosphereAersol) to create the visible light over the shoulders on our centre star.
    Bouncing light from the back of stage, to give some light to the back, hair and neck of the centre character.

    Plus the 8 on stage floor lights..

    Two statues in back of theatre, lit from behind with 1k through a rippled white sheet.

    Two light in fro the statues point upward to light part of the rear wall... Dimmed 650W... something or other.

    Two circle spotlights shot directly at camera (at the top centre of frame). Again marinating symmetry.

    High up out of view toward the back of the room a large light... is used to picket the hairline and upper sides of the audiences faces.
    A professional 2D / 3D animator with a passion for film.
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  3. #3  
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    Looks like a lot of theatre lighting as they're mostly hard sources, not soft. It'd say much of it looks to be rigged on house points, not c-stands.

    The spot is probably a 1.2K profile if static, or possibly a follow spot if it's moving. The backlighting on audience could be a few wide floods - not too soft - rigged from the same central location. The backlighting on statues could be floor mounted fresnels or similar. There's a large soft source on the front of the audience, to capture their reactions.

    It's a very deliberate composition making it clear the subject of the shot. I haven't seen the film, but I'm guessing that character is larger that life, having a moment where he's capturing the audience in the palm of his hands.
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  4. #4  
    Member Jon's Avatar
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    There's many ways to reach this image. If shot on flim my guess would be a 10k fresnel with 1/2 CTB to give a slightly cooler spot light. There appears to be cross backlights maybe (2) 5k or tungsten fresnels tilted slightly up and flagged off for more gradual fall off. (2) 2k fresnels punching through diff on the balcony. Then the tungsten practicals on stage are clipped so they're probably at least 300w globes. This could of course be shot with lower wattage fixtures depending on the camera. And of course haze.
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  5. #5  
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    If you look at all the specular reflections in the crowd there is a large source somewhere in the center of the room. The key is probably a spot on the mezzanine or catwalk. The beam looks wider than you would expect a spot to look but you've got to remember your trigonometry. If the camera is close to the axis of the spot it will look to be a much wider beam than when viewed off axis. Look at how his head is actually keeping the lens from flaring, the key is probably 10 or 15 degrees off axis, maybe less. There seems to be a matte/power window that matches the beam from the key. Everyone within the beam is much more exposed despite the light being behind them. Accent lighting is probably practical or an approximation of it. If there's any backlight at all other than maybe some ambient bounce it's just a touch, his backside isn't any more illuminated that anyone in the matte cone.

    Fun stuff. Post some more.
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