Week 49: Liquid Lights

Week 49 was all about experimenting and having a little fun. I liked the look of Week 48’s slow motion water so I figured I’d play around with that and add in some lights and colored filters. Sometimes you need to try new things and experiment, just to shake things up. For me it helps stir up creativity. Even if the experiments don’t work, it’s still good to try things.

With that in mind I went to the studio and filled a pyrex dish with water. I put it on a piece of black acrylic.


Pyrex dish, also works great for lasagna.

I then got a few Arri lights and put a variety of gells on them with C-47’s (Clothespins). I use C-47’s a lot, I was going to call my first production C-47.


C-47’s to hold the filter on.

Here’s a quidk tip, wrap the lights chord around the handle instead of dropping it to the grown, then you don’t have to bend down to turn the light on and off.


No need to bend down.

I use Lee Filters. I have 2 sets, a master location set, which has various colors, CTO’s, CTB’s and diffusions. I also use the Color Pack, with a variety of colors.


Lee Filters Master Location Pack

I put a variety of colored filters on the lights and pointed them at the water, I then splashed the water around with my hand.

I recorded it in slow motion with the Sony FS700. I used the Canon 100mm lens and the Metabones Adaptor.


Metabones Adapter Ring.

I spent about 40 minutes shooting. I got a few interesting effects and some that were completely useless. You have to be creative in thinking of how to use them. I could see these used as backgrounds, or overlay lighting effects on footage, or even as transitions.

I edited in about 30 minutes in Adobe Premiere. I shoot flat, so I added a little saturation and contrast. Other than that it’s just a selection of a few of the more interesting light/water effects I got. I found using two different colored gells looked the best, it just added a little extra color to the edges.


The set up, 2 colors worked better.

I got the song from the free music archive. It’s called “Who” and it’s by Spin Day. I used it with a creative commons license. I liked it because it was a bit mysterious sounding and I felt it fit the piece. I put the track on the timeline and added the effect footage at various points to match the music.


free music archive.

I called it Liquid Lights because that’s what it was. I wanted it to just be Liquid Light instead of lights, but I typed in an “s” and didn’t realize unitll after I posted the video. I didn’t think it was a big deal so I left it. The font was Neou Thin. I liked the modern, minimalist, clean look of it.

Like I said, sometimes you need to experiment. This reminded me of a project I did back in film school in 1991 or 92. We had to make an experimental film or film effect. I shot some liquids (water and milk) with various food colors, oils and vinegars, alumnium foil and other things. I shot it on an Oxberry, which was a huge camera used for animation. That project didn’t really turn out how I wanted, but it looked interesting.


Oxberry Camera.

So I guess the message is, go out and experiment, you never know what you might get. It could help spur your creativity, and you may even have a little fun.


Gout and shoot and have some fun.

You can watch Week 49’s “Liquid Lights” here.

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