Colour temperature, fluorescent lights and slo-mo capture. Not forgetting redhead bulb failures and minimal work space. We've learned a great deal over the last few weekends as we shoot more and more scenes for the film. If money were no object, which it always is, we'd have ditched the hot lamps for balanced filmmaking LED's. As it is, we have 5 redheads and 2 blondes. In one day we had all five redhead bulbs blow. The first two weren't a problem, the rest quite clearly made things difficult. Especially when one of the new bulbs also blew.
DP Alex Powell duly kept his cool and swapped out to the Exposure LED bicycle lights we had and added the relevant gels to correct the colour temperature, so all was not lost and, in the footage, it's difficult to tell anything changed. Awesome result.
In the image above you can see what the bike lights do to the smoke, a slight blue tinge, but elsewhere in the shot (side of face and jacket) it's unnoticeable. The smoke was slightly bluish naturally and, to be fair, we liked what the colour temperature of the lights did to it.
Fluorescent lights are less an issue with green tints these days and it's not hard to correct the white balance in-camera. But when you turn up on location for a pick up shot and one of the unique (therefore hard to replace) bulbs has blown (what is it with bulbs?!?!) it's hard to fill in with redheads and bike LED's. Reshoot the whole slo-mo scene, add time to the day and, in true Zen style, accept that things change. Done.
After Christmas we have the final three scenes to shoot in three different locations. Undoubtedly they'll throw up some similarly unexpected challenges and we'll post them here as our continued learning curve.
Have a great festive season everyone!