Brightness in night scenes

Brightness in night scenes

Postby Roger Schmid on Mon Oct 20, 2014 12:37 pm

I have the following question: When I look at the scenes in the night (indoor and outdoor) I think that it is in the film more bright than in reality. Regarding at the scene at the great staircase there is everything lighted and I think that the then used technique in lights wasn't at bright as shown in the film. What do you think? I think if it were the correct light it would be much more darker in almost every night and indoor scene.
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Re: Brightness in night scenes

Postby Jeremy Aufderheide on Fri Oct 24, 2014 10:54 pm

Given that the average bulb wattage at the time was less than half of what we're used to now, it's a safe bet that the night scenes in Cameron's film are much lighter than reality. Lightbulbs of the time were generally 25 - 40 watts. I don't know what kind of bulbs they would have had on deck but they couldn't have been very bright at all.
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Re: Brightness in night scenes

Postby Arlene Blundell on Fri Aug 14, 2015 2:01 pm

With most Titanic film and television productions I've seen, nay all of them, completely fail to discern the unique weather conditions that prevailed on the night of April 14/15. So, as a consequence, they always get the exterior light conditions wrong as well. This mistake was repeated even in the James Cameron epic. When Rose and Jack are in the water, their faces are clearly lit by moonlight. This is also the only time we see condensation appearing from the mouths of the actors. Every deck scene should have featured this detail, but you can't have everything when you film in a temperate climate and try to simulate near zero temperature.

For the record, my understanding of these unique weather conditions runs like this.....

-An unusually warm summer breaks off a mass of icebergs from their northern locations and sends them south on the currents in an unprecendented mass.
- No moon
-No cloud cover
-No breeze at all- (Lightoller thought this was the straw that broke Titanic's back, making no wash of phosphoressence visable at the base of the bergs)
- No breeze meant a "polished steel" effect for the water, meaning not only no water wash on the bergs, but making lights on the horizon difficult to distinguish from stars, and the stars themselves reflecting off the water to dazzle and confuse.)

The stygian darkness that the site of the sinking would have been plunged into would also have the immediate effect of giving everyone who was looking at the Titanic night blindness until their eyes adjusted, (And Bruce Ismay is the only survivor account I'm aware of where the writer deliberately chose not to look at the sinking wreck. Everyone else was "transfixed" by the impending doom of the ship, so, really, nearly ALL would have been very night blind when the ship actually dissappeared.). Chances are, most people only HEARD the death throes. This is why so many survivors have so many different accounts of how she went down.

Even Jack Thayer's drawing shows the bow section briefly refloating before sinking. Thayer must have been hallucinating at that point, for no other passenger describes this, and Thayer was supposed to be "closest to the action and therefore the most able to get a clear picture".

Refloating of foundered shipping sections is very rare, and actually depends on the type of cargo, and the speed with which the ship takes to fill up and gain enough weight to be pulled under. A 10,000 odd ton section of vessel that has just spent two and one half hours filling to the brim and pulling the rest of the ship out of the water will NOT refloat as Jack Thayer intimates. Ships that sink quickly may still have large air bubbles in their interior, which sometimes, though mostly not, enable previously underwater sections of wreckage to briefly refloat before filling and foundering again. Generally, one can surmise that this happenes largely when a ship sinks intact, leaving internal compartments stilll intact and empty.

And as we know, Titanic broke apart. :ugeek:
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Re: Brightness in night scenes

Postby Arlene Blundell on Fri Aug 14, 2015 8:16 pm

The other weather condition that I forgot to mention that did not directly affect the sinking except in the minds of the participants.

All say that the crystal clear night sky was full of meteorites, more than anyone had ever seen in one location their entire lives.

I would have thought that "money bags" Cameron, at least, would have added this bit of computer graphic to the final print, a'la George Lucas embellishing the original print of "Star Wars" with computer technology not available in 1977.

Perhaps I'm asking too much as a 'buff'?

Maybe not. When you spend 400 million dollars on a motion picture, and pay scenery construction crews to manufacture Titanic interiors down to the last detail, for scenes that appear in the film for not long at all, you can be accused of missing the obvious.
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