How to Light Day Interiors: Pt 1

INCLUDED IN THIS LESSON:  14 Minutes of Instructional Video, In depth written breakdown, Lighting schematics and side by side comparison to see the light differences.

IN THIS LESSON YOU WILL LEARN:  This Lesson is Part 2 of a 4 Part Series on how to light Day Interiors with DIY lights, using the power of the 1500 Watt Metal Halide Sports Fixture we will create shafts just like HMI 4K Par lights for a fraction of the cost, use them for bounce light and shape,  every decision to shape and make the image more cinematic on every stroke is shown in detail.

In this lesson we start to turn our lights on and balance our interior with our exterior light.  Seeing each stroke of light is the concept in this lesson.  I will take you on a journey of discovery and you hang over my shoulder seeing it all come together.

  • Where do you start when you are lighting Day Interiors
  • Where is your light motivation
  • What is the emotion of the scene
  • How can you light the scene in a way that it takes the emotion of the character higher


<<<Ricardo B>>> This tutorial is amazing. AND Shane DIY’s the whole thing, what?!
<<<Brad T>>> This Lesson is amazing!
We are directing all comments and questions to our New Forum, please find the related course in the forum’s categories to submit.

Joseph Katches 7 days ago

Shane! It’s awesome having a DP of your caliber share your wisdom and knowledge with us. You do a ton of educational content and I can’t thank you enough. Not only are you a technical expert you have an amazing personality! Quick question: Is there a more budget friendly fogger/hazer you’d recommend

    • Shane Hurlbut, ASC    5 days ago

      @Joseph Katches I know that the DF-50 hazer from REEL EFX's has been going down in price. The problem with the cheap ones from party stores is that it does not hang in the air, it dissipates very quickly and swirls more than diffuses.

IanHurtadoDOP 20 days ago

Hi, just wondering in a more ”professional” scenario with what lights you would replace those diy options for the same output/quality ? Thanks

    • Shane Hurlbut, ASC    20 days ago

      @IanHurtadoDOP HI Ian, I would use 18K fresnels to create the shafts and Arri M40's to bounce into the white bounces. Now you could get away with M40's for all of it, M 40's creating the shafts as well as the bounce, but M40's do not create hard shadows, so your shafts will be more muted a soft compared to a Fresnel light

    • IanHurtadoDOP    19 days ago

      @IanHurtadoDOP Thank you for the quick reply, the 18k seems like a lot more output than the 4K you said the metal halide delivers. If the issue is the quality of light, harder in comparaison with the M40's do you think that 6k Frenels like the ARRI's Compact 6000 would do the trick ? Otherwise, why getting M40's, expensive and full of features, just for bounce ? Will a Maxibrute 12 or other openface solution would not be better in this case ? Thanks

    • Shane Hurlbut, ASC    19 days ago

      @IanHurtadoDOP Hi Ian, the Arri M40 is one of the greatest lights every designed. 6K fresnel is pissing in the wind when you are dealing with balancing interior daylight with exterior daylight. M40's can do many things and yes I use them for shafts and highlights in the background and I can flag them, it just requires some modifications to get a good shadow. I use hamburg frost in front of the light so that it unifies the beam and gives you and more pure hard cut on this light. A Maxi brute is a great bounce light but you would have to use full and half CTB to get it to 5600K and then you will basically have the output of a 2.5K HMI. Now what I do on many interiors and exteriors is use the 18K as a back light edge and then also backlight with 12 light maxibrutes. It softens the HMI and it feels more like the real sun. You can see it in use on my Burger King spots at the funeral scene here:

    • IanHurtadoDOP    16 days ago

      @IanHurtadoDOP Thank you for the answer

    • Bill Stone    15 days ago

      @IanHurtadoDOP Hi, Ext / Int daylight matching can be intimidating, and this is a helpful series. Perhaps I’m misunderstanding something regarding Ian’s question & your answer regarding the daylight “shafts” on a “professional” production. Obviously you’re dealing with productions that have the resources for any number of 18Ks that you would use for the daylight “shafts” instead of the DIYs you use on this course. My question: I read an output on an 18K Arri Fresnel are 55-60,000 lux @ ~35 ft (spot), and about 20,000 lux (spot) on at the same distance for an M40. Using the 18K for these daylight “shafts” I’m guessing it would blast out your bounce ratio - would you just scrim it down? (I’m trying to get a handle on the idea of having more than enough light, but not going overboard and freaking out the producer when you give her your gear list.) Second- I watched that Burger King commercial - you mixed the Maxi Brute straight tungsten (no CTB) with the HMI 18K back edge? Thanks.

    • Shane Hurlbut, ASC    15 days ago

      @IanHurtadoDOP Hi Bill, We all adjust to the budget. I have DP'd films that I did it all with practical lights and units I bought from Home Depot. SO I am very clear on this. In that specific environment in the video, with all the tree cover and the time of day we shot it you could easily get away with a 6K Fresnel or a 2.5K or 4K par. I shot the whole sequence in the course: Script to Screen with 4K fresnels as my sun source and I have to say they needed to be stronger and I do not know if that extra half stop from a 6K fresnel would have done it either. So yes getting bigger lights that then put you in the best position to pull of curve balls that will come your way on set. Better to scrim down then to add more lights. Awesome, glad you watched it. I like doing that.

    • Bill Stone    11 days ago

      @IanHurtadoDOP Appreciate your detailed answer, thank you. Just that last point, however - for the BK commercial, did you use the Maxi full tungsten as is combined with the 18K HMI from the back?

    • Shane Hurlbut, ASC    11 days ago

      @IanHurtadoDOP HI Bill, Yes I did, so 18k mixed with the 12 Lite maxi Brute side by side giving me that unique mix of color temps.

fwilkerson 9 days ago

I haven’t gone through the electrics videos yet, but could you tell me how you are powering those lights? What is that box you plugged everything into plugged into? A household 20 amp plug could only power one 1500 watt light, correct?

    • Shane Hurlbut, ASC    9 days ago

      @fwilkerson HI fwilkerson, What I was plugging that into was a Distro box, we had tie into my house panel and then out of that ran our banded 5 wire cable out to the distro box. But yes, one light could go on one 15amp circuit for sure. When using multiple lights you would have to run a bunch of stingers from outlets inside the house and make sure they are all on separate breakers

    • fwilkerson    6 days ago

      @fwilkerson Perfect!! Thank you!! And Happy Birthday, I hope you have a great one :-)

    • Shane Hurlbut, ASC    6 days ago

      @fwilkerson Hi fwilkerson, Thank you so much. Will do

32twenty 10 days ago

Maybe a stupid question, but wondering why you wanted to get rid of the sunlight in the corner of the frame? Strictly cause shadow of the leaves are a mild distraction from subject or something else I’m not seeing? Thought it looked kinda neat but I guess it does lead the eye astray. Would softening the shadows help keep the eye focused or best to just flag it off?

    • Shane Hurlbut, ASC    2 days ago

      @32twenty Hi 32twenty, The sunlight coming in was at the wrong angle of the light that we had created. One it was a little distracting but mainly to keep all shadows feeling like one source of light is coming through the window. Yes, diffusion could help that, not only by taking it down, so that it is not distracting but also it would diffuse the shadow so it would not look like two sun sources

Sassle55 25 days ago

This is amazing – I love this option for cost effective lighting. Shane do one of the lessons in this group talk about how you built it? I’d love to give it a try.

    • Sassle55    25 days ago

      @Sassle55 OH! Sorry I see - you bought it and mounted it. How's the CRI on this light?

    • Shane Hurlbut, ASC    24 days ago

      @Sassle55 Hi Sassie55, It comes from Grainger that way, all I did was add a Jr. pin to it that I bought at Modern studio equipment, it is Jr. pin to 3/8 inch

paulk 21 days ago

What’s difference between using the DF50 Fogger vs a common smoke machine?

    • shanehurlbutasc    17 days ago

      @paulk Hi Paul, A DF-50 is a oil based fogger that hangs int he air perfectly and creates that volumetric light. Common smoke machines are water based and do not hang as long or as consistent in their levels. Most movie sets have made any OIL based fog fluid illegal because of health concerns.

    • paulk    10 days ago

      @paulk Oh so the DF50 being oil-based is a health risk and illegal for movie sets? What then would you recommend being a healthy yet still effective alternative?

ctdonoho 24 days ago

Are both the flood and spot metal halides 1500 watts? Or is the spot a higher wattage?

    • shanehurlbutasc    23 days ago

      @ctdonoho Yes they are. Welcome to the Hurlbut Academy my friend, you are my first comment inside

    • ctdonoho    23 days ago

      @ctdonoho First at something! I can only find FLOOD lights available, no luck finding the SPOT light versions at anywhere else).

    • shanehurlbutasc    23 days ago

      @ctdonoho Where are you located? I found a ton of them at a place called Midwest something something. HA AHA It was about 7 years ago. But where are you located?

    • ctdonoho    23 days ago

      @ctdonoho South Bend, Indiana!

    • shanehurlbutasc    23 days ago

      @ctdonoho Copy that, I have 20 of them, I was going to ship one to you if you want it, we would have to slow boat it so it doesn't cost you a fortune. How many you want?