Wednesday, January 9, 2008

"Things..." episode 018.

018: Shine a light.

When it comes to horror movie props, I'd guess flashlights are as popular with the good guys as machetes are with the killers. The cinematographer in me thinks they look pretty cool on camera, too.

Having done a few flashlight scenes for Interplanetary, I've come up with some tips that might help you release your inner Mulder or Scully.

  • Brighter is better. We've been using Mag-Lites, which are okay, but I'd like to find something even brighter. Any suggestions?

  • Keep plenty of fresh batteries on hand. That'll keep whatever lights you're using as bright as possible.

  • A little party fog will break up the light and give your beam(s) more definition. Don't overdo it (unless you're going for a Sherlock Holmes thing or something).

  • No matter how bright your flashlights, you're probably going to need some supplemental lighting (unless you have many flashlights or are shooting in a very confined space).


Andrew Bellware said...

You got xenon flashlights? LED's can be pretty bright too.
I'd go ahead and have the actors hit bounce cards with their own flashlights.
And of course, in the world of sci-fi (where every space helmet has a light on the inside) you could make your flashlights with some diffusion over the front and reflectors to bounce the light back at the actor holding it.
Me? I just love the rude "anti-beauty" up-lighting of flashlights.
Oh, and if you like spending money get a hazer rather than a fog machine. The juice lasts a real long time, the haze stays in the air much better, and it's a lot less harsh to breathe. They'll run you almost $1000 though.

Chance Shirley said...

Thanks for the tips, Andrew! Looks like I should have asked you about flashlights before we started work on Interplanetary...