This is a 15 minute setup in a space 14 feet square. It couldn’t be much simpler.
But it does require a little bit of preparation and a willingness to hack your lights. This is a single light, a Castor 2K tungsten Fresnel, which is … no longer a Fresnel. I removed the reflector behind the globe to eliminate the double shadows (see The Venetian Blind Problem and Tungsten Fresnels) and removed the lens to reduce the size of the source, making it basically a bare 2K globe in a black box with barn doors. I have a single scrim in for safety until I can work out a more permanent solution. (I didn’t count that work in the prep time because even though this is reversible surgery I’m not planning on it.) This is my noir light now.
I set it up like this – a tiny footprint in a small space. The reason for the mirror (if you haven’t read my other posts) is that the relative distance between the light source and the cookie is an important factor in the clarity of the thrown shadow. Instead of a 3 1/2 foot distance, with the mirror I have about a 6 foot distance with hardly any greater footprint:
That’s a simple plane mirror, 17″ X 13 1/2″, which I reduced (using construction paper and gaff tape) to 17″ X 9″ to control spill. The cookie is an empty picture frame, 27 1/2″ X 19 3/4″, with paper tape for the ‘blinds’.
The setup looked like this:
That’s it, that’s all there is to it.