Punch Up Your Action Scene Lighting With Rosco DMG Lights

Dark Asset is a new action thriller directed by Michael Winnick and produced by Narbeh Tatoussian. This intriguing, fast-paced film starring Byron Mann, Robert Patrick, Helena Mattsson, and Shani Rigsbee tells the story of a super soldier who has escaped from a top-secret military program that has transformed him into a “lethal living weapon.”  Cinematographer and Rosco Ambassador Eduardo Ramirez shared how he relied on Rosco’s compact and powerful DMG Lighting fixtures to illuminate many of the scenes that were shot at Fonco Studios in Los Angeles.

Following his work on the historical musical drama Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story, Eduardo made a major genre shift with Dark Asset. “The challenges of this movie were considerable and very different from other movies I have been doing,” he said, noting how most of his past projects were mainly dramas and thrillers. This project was packed with fight scenes and chase sequences and he needed a lighting package that would help him capture the action. “Lighting this action film with DMG Lighting fixtures was amazing,” Eduardo remarked. “The DMG MINI™ and DMG SL1™ fixtures became important allies for me while shooting everything from dynamic fight scenes to flattering close-ups."

Action Scene Lighting Needs Contrast

An action scene lighting setup with DMG MINI & DMG SL1. fixtures.

Eduardo highlights the importance of having both contrast and quality lighting in action films. “For me, action needs to have contrast, with a very good exposure on the faces because you are going to have a lot of movement in the fights. You want to be able to see the characters’ faces clearly so that you can tell who is who in the fight scene.”

To light the fight scene in the above video clip, Eduardo hung a DMG MINI outfitted with a SNAPBAG® and a SNAPGRID® from the ceiling on one end of the set, and he set up a DMG SL1 on the opposite end to accentuate the two actors. Both fixtures were set to warm color temperatures, which contrasted with the cool ambient lighting in the space.

Make Your Action Stars Look Stunning

DMG fixtures enhance the actors on the set of Dark Asset.

One of the reasons why Eduardo chooses DMG lights for many of his projects is their soft, flattering light that enhances the talent. Eduardo noted that this was especially true for Dark Asset because the director required that “all of the actors and actresses in the movie looked stunning.” He stressed this was particularly important in the above scene, which featured more close-up shots of the actors than any other scene in the film. “It was very important to have really clean lighting for this scene. The DMG lights are so powerful that using one DMG SL1 and one DMG MINI for the close-ups was enough to have the main actors lit the way I wanted,” he said.

One Fixture Lights Several Actors With Different Skin Tones

DMG fixtures were used in this action scene lighting setup to create contrasting warm tones against the cool lighting from the practicals on set.

The above scene, Eduardo explained, required “a very precise, dark, yet colorful” lighting scheme. He mounted Astera tubes as practical lights under the tables and on the door jams to recreate the environment of an underground facility where the robot humans are kept. To light the actors he relied solely on DMG Lighting. A DMG MINI, set to 3200K and mounted up high, creates a warm backlight to create contrasting warmth from above. A DMG SL1 was placed behind the camera and set to Gel Mode to produce the color E651 HI Sodium. This intense yellow tone on the actors created a dramatic contrast with the cool blue from the Astera tube practicals. Eduardo noted how the one-meter-long DMG SL1 was powerful enough to properly illuminate all three actors with different skin tones. “We had an African American actor on the left and two white actors on the right that were all lit with only one DMG SL1 fixture.”

Light Your Scenes Faster With The myMIX App

An action scene lighting setup using a DMG Lighting SL1.
Using the MyMIX app to select the color from a monitor on set to send to the DMG SL1 lighting the action scene.
The final scene showing the actor lit in the faint blue tone created in the myMIX app.

Lighting changes on set can really stall the momentum of a scene. This is especially true when you’re shooting action sequences. Eduardo shared a story about how the Rosco myMIX App became the hero of the shoot by speeding up his lighting workflow with his DMG Lights. He was lighting a scene where he needed to simulate the glow of a computer monitor on the actress’s face. To accomplish this, he took a photo of the monitor in the shot and used the Capture feature in the myMIX app to select the color of the monitor in the photo. He then sent that color to the DMG SL1 fixture that he was using to illuminate the actress’s face. “The myMIX Capture function is great, it helps me work fast,” Eduardo noted.



Want to see the results of Eduardo’s lighting setups? Dark Asset will hit select theaters, and be available on VOD, on September 22, 2023. If you would like to learn more about Eduardo’s diverse, cinematic work, visit his website eduardoramirezdop.com, or follow @edudp_ramirez on Instagram. For more information about the action scene lighting fixtures that Eduardo used while shooting Dark Asset, please explore the DMG Lighting product page on our website.

Tatiana Massano September 21, 2023 Questions?

About Tatiana Massano

Content Marketing Specialist: Based in the Madrid office, Tatiana is ideally positioned to share inspiring stories of how customers use Rosco products to accomplish their ideas in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.