A nighttime chase after a suspect on a rooftop…

            This’s a long scene that contains many more cuts than what’s provided in the clip;  what’s included illustrates the contributions of camera and lighting to bolstering the sense of action and suspense.

            At the beginning, note the use of the Nightsun unit by the helicopter.  It’s a powerful, daylight-balanced lamp that provided the exact effect we needed.  We also wanted to sense the presence of the Downtown LA skyline in as many shots as possible, so this influenced a number of framing and exposure decisions.

            In all, this was an easy scene to shoot.  The biggest challenge was finding the right spot to place the lamp for Shemar Moore’s close ups (a 2’x3′ LED shot through Lee 216 diffusion).  Depending on how he took aim at the bad guy, I had to be careful to not throw the shadow of his weapon’s optics across his eyes!


2 thoughts on “LIGHTING DIAGRAM #48 – SWAT”

  1. Really appreciate the coordination of the view from the helicopter
    and what’s happening on the roof. It’s interesting the two perspectives
    of the same scene. After watching several times I can see why it took
    so many cuts to create. Noticed the steam coming off the roof too.
    I assume it was actual rooftop venting you had to deal with?

  2. Thanks, Ken. There were actually many more cuts to this scene than what I’ve included in the post. We also put a device inside the vent to emit the smoke. Just the usual movie magic!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *