At Harry's house where we shot some of our 'couple' narrative shots we used the school's Arri portable lighting equipment. Some shots at Harry's house were difficult to light due to
natural light coming in through windows, giving us more limited control of lighting than one might normally have indoors. The bedroom shots required more time to light because of the large floor to ceiling window on one of the walls which did not have curtains, which shined in quite a heavy amount of grey/blue light, which looked unprofessional without quite significant work using the Arri kit. We planned the shot to appear as if it happened at night, as Roza was going out, but we could not wait until too late to get the shots as we had to shoot within reasonable hours.
The location recce shows how the heavy natural light comes in through the windows:
In the studio, we used the Leapfrog lighting board and computers upstairs to create lighting setups for our shots. Other groups of media students in our year also had setups saved but it was easy to toggle between them as each would be named after being saved. From the control desk upstairs we had control of the ceiling lights installed into the studio, with which you could change the colour and brightness of every studio light for the setups.
Meanwhile other group members downstairs manually adjust the lights using the lighting rod to change their horizontal and vertical aim, and how spot lit or wide the lighting should be. Group members downstairs also had the portable Arri kits, and stronger, moveable turret lights, like the one used in the hair flick shot.
|Lighting set up sketches for the studio shots|
We made a written plan for some but not all of our lighting setups, because often we knew the composition and framing, etc, but not how the technicalities might play out as lighting can sometimes be challenging; it took some time to optimise our lighting for the silhouette shot. Our planning was more hands on and usually involved a slight element of trial and error that we could afford since early in a session, cast members would be doing makeup.
Our two main lipsynch performance shots were the 'wet' look MCU and the fire shot, which had a variety of distances. The wet shot was inspired by shots from at the start and end Beyonce's If I Were A Boy music video. We used an infinity-white backdrop, which features in other shots also. We sprayed Yssy with water from a spray bottle in order for light to reflect off her with a slight glint like in some of the shots from Papi Pacify's video (FKA Twigs) but without glitter. It would also adhere to our theme of using the elements for symbolism.
For the fire performance we took inspiration from Rhianna and Calvin Harris - We Found Love music video.
We were keen to emulate something similar but were often told that the school's projectors would likely not be strong enough but we were adamant to try. Because it had not been done before in the school, the idea of lighting a shot solely with a projector was met with an understandable degree of skepticism.
We found a good YouTube video of fire that we could use as it went on for 4 hours and had the right type of orange colour we wanted. We then borrowed one of the school's projectors, plugged it into a laptop, and played the video after aiming the projection and blacking out the studio by turning off all lights and closing the blinds. Projecting onto the infinity-white backdrop in a dark colour meant that even though white surrounded the area projected on, the studio was kept very dark due to the strength of the projection - as opposed to reflecting the light back and lighting the room too light like with a standard white light.
The colour actually looked really good and came up well on camera. We first shot it on the HF G30 camera but although we liked the shot it seemed slightly flat and looked better off camera and in real life than the result we got from the footage. After a group meeting and talks with the school's media technician we decided it would look even better if shot on the 5D, which it did.
Colour comparison between the HF G30 and 5D shows an obvious improvement
For our club scene, where the boyfriend gets into conflict with Roza for flirting with another girl, we blacked out the studio like with the fire projection shots but lit using a mixture of colours from the studio lights above, mainly reds and blues to give it the atmosphere of a club.