Production: How To Shoot Day for Night

Many Hollywood film directors know how to shoot day for night, and this is a very important skill to learn. By mastering this skill, it will be possible to apply various effects to your videos during the night scenes. It will also make it much easier to get all of your actors together to make your film.

The techniques were created as a way to shoot night scenes in the time of black and white photography. The reason these techniques were developed was because adequate technology simply wasn't available to record at night. The entire technique is actually miraculously simple. The scene is darkened, and with a few tweaks to the color and contrast, it will be possible to make the audience believe that it's night.

Step 1: Setting the Shot

When you are shooting night for day, you should never include a shot of the sky. The sky completely changes during the night and day. Get close to your subject so that the sky is never seen in shot. Anything which covers the sky, including a woodland or alleyway, will also work.

If you really want to use the sky, then you will need to use filters to make the sky look like a nighttime sky. These graduated filters aren't, however, perfect because it can also affect the look of your subject.

Step 2: Turning down the Lights

You need to dim the lights in the shot. The best way to do this is to increase the contrast. Either decrease the light level to darken the image, or use a filter.

Step 3: Light

To make the shots believable, it's important to include lights of some form. By adding things that are normally only seen at night, it will be much easier to make the scene believable. Lighting candles will create a suitable effect, however, this won't be bright enough. Have someone in the film carrying a very bright flash light, or make sure that all the cars have their main beams on in your shots. These bright lights will be able to compete with the sun in a way that a candle cannot.

Step 4: Noise

Even the sounds at night are different. There are rarely cars buzzing around at midnight like there are during the day. This means that you will need to adjust the audio. Replacing the audio with another track or tweaking it slightly is often enough.

Step 5: Shooting at Twilight

If you are shooting a short scene, then the best time of day to shoot will be at twilight. This is after the sun sets but before it goes completely dark. This time is wonderful for filming because there is no sun and there is still quite a lot of light. The only problem is that you will only have around 20 minutes to get your footage.

Step 6: Shooting

Now all you need to do is shoot the footage and then load it on your computer. It is then simply a matter of applying nighttime filters with video editing software to adjust the contrast and color balance. The new audio track can also be added at this stage too.

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