Philip powell cinematographer

I really enjoy recreating daylight in a studio setting and lighting room sets. B&Q were after a series of short films for their Christmas social media campaign “what would Christmas be like if the kids were in charge?” I decided to shoot the interiors in a studio as we were working with children and adult actors meaning the cast would need some sort of green room facilities. Plus, It would give me greater control of the lighting. The main challenge was to then light it so that it didn’t look like a set within the limited turn around time I had on this shoot. For the exterior nighttime parts location presented a different challenge as I would need to match hundreds of practical lights.

The studio set for the lounge I designed coming together.
The studio set for the lounge I designed coming together.

The print I found of a tree in a meadow didn’t quite look right but with a little lighting magic, I was happy I could make it work and save a bit of the budget. I wanted the print of the trees outside the window to be two and a half stops overexposed.  I figured the latitude of the camera could take that and still retain a bit of detail to give a convincing impression of a bright garden outside.

The first sketch up of the lounge lighting plan. The plan is to have an even f4 area in the main using some 2 stop nets and a couple of Arri Skypanels.
The first sketch up of the lounge lighting plan. The plan is to have an even f4 area in the main using some 2 stop nets and a couple of Arri Skypanels.

I like to light the area around the window from outside using some sort of cold source, I settled for a daylight LED 4×1 strip just above the frame on the outside. Despite the sunshine blasting through being quite warm, the area by the window would be lit by the rather cooler/bluer light reflected from the sky above. I would have prefered to key with a 10K dimmed to around 50% with a half CTS however the studio only had a 4k to hand so I used what I had.  The overall effect can be seen below.

cinematographer Phil m