Shane Hurlbut on How To Light Day Exteriors

 

Shane Hurlbutt offers some insight into how professional shows deal with lighting their day exteriors.

Butterfly

I have received many requests for information about how I light day exteriors. I thought I would break it down for you. Lighting day exteriors is as much about choosing the right time as it is about your manipulation of the daylight. Sometimes you can choose the time that you shoot. Many times, you are locked into a schedule that doesn’t necessarily work for your lighting approach. If it is not the right time, you have to go with it and do your best.

On Need for Speed, we have a location that takes us 2.5 hours to get there. The location should be shot in the morning, but because of the crew’s turnaround the night before, we cannot get there until 8am. Sunrise is 6am, so we do the best we can to work with it. You have to say, is the location worth it? This one is absolutely worth it. You compromise the light to gain the big picture, a location that the audience will be blown away by. You do not worry that the light is not exactly how you envisioned it. Making a film is about compromises. Period. If you don’t approach a movie this way, you are being a little naive. It is all about making those compromises and turning them into a positive, every time!!!

“The Tools for Finding the Best Time to Shoot”

I use a variety of apps to educate me on where the sun is no matter where I am shooting on this wonderful planet. My first choice is Helios, but it is pricey. This is a very advanced program. I have not been able to figure out all of the uses yet because there are so many.

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