LIGHTING DIAGRAM #34 – ISHTAR

            Another day, another restaurant scene with Dustin Hoffman and Charles Grodin sitting across a table from each other.  This one was shot on stage at Kaufman Astoria Studios and was set at night.  Find it at the 00:40:42 mark…

            The diagram begins with the shot that gets Hoffman into the restaurant and quickly transitions into the exchange at the table.  Once again there’s something of a low-key, romantic feel to the lighting here, as is further indicated by the timing instructions affixed to the slate: “Evening: White-Orange.”  This’s appropriate, as Grodin’s character is a CIA agent who’s trying to seduce Hoffman into becoming an asset.

            In an economical stroke, the 25mm lens dollies back and pans Hoffman left-to-right as he enters and settles at the table across from Grodin.

           For the close-ups (two sizes: 50mm & 85mm), the actors were cross-shot with two cameras simultaneously, as was the custom with most every set-up like this one – and there were many in this film.  Each man is keyed by a 650W 9-light fay unit, also set at cross angles just outside the semi-sheer curtain.  Those lights were pushed through Lee 216 diffusion and a sheet of Full CTO, which provided the warmth.

Be sure to take a close look at the diagram below – it contains a wealth of information. I don’t know… I must’ve had a lot of free time on set that day.

3.19.2021

6 thoughts on “LIGHTING DIAGRAM #34 – ISHTAR”

  1. When you say “25mm” do you mean a prime lens or did Storaro like to use a zoom?

  2. Hey David – Storaro would use the primes most of the time. The zoom usually came out only for the dolly or crane.

  3. This blog is awesome. I always thought these movies were lit in a very difficult manner. It is simple but elegant.

    Apart from this. Hoffman is lit by a recessed practical at the beggining?

  4. José – Thank you! I don’t recall the unit that was hitting Hoffman as he entered the door, but it was no doubt something small-ish…an Inky, perhaps. It also looks a bit cool which would probably indicate a sheet of 1\4 CTB.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.