Hey David -
Next week I'm shooting in a picture house here in Los Angeles over 4 days. One particular sequence has me a bit puzzled. Our protagonist is stuck without power in the house, during a thunderstorm. She needs to use a lighter (implied fill light) and walks out of a room ... (still from our location scout)
... and down a hallway. There should be lightning hits in the background.
You can see the hallway around the 9 second mark here:
The hallway has a recessed part of the ceiling for stashing lights. I was planning on having a tiny bit of implied tungsten coming up through the stairs to give the bannisters a nice silhouette, and then having the large window have lightning hits. Then maybe a joker bounced off a blue card and diffused in the above recessed area for a bit of ambient foreground light.
The director has asked about using strobes as the lightning hits, but I'm a bit worried about the fact that we're using CMOS based cameras (RED) and in my experience it doesn't always play well with strobes. Also, I feel like using multiple lights for the same bit of lightning would be more realistic, as lightning tends to move with each strike, as well as adjusting in diffusion and luminance. I'm going to do some tests tomorrow.
In addition - how about the idea of using just the flame as fill - any way I could/should augment that? Right now my plan is just to use that ambient foreground to help with illumination, but keeping the foreground as a nice silhouette against the bannister and back window.
How would you light this?