Shooting on water and faking for the ocean at night

Matthew Woolf

Hi Everyone,

I have a spot coming up where we need to shoot the front half on water. I am being told by production that they don't want to shoot green screen.
The scene is some people at sea sitting on a buoy at night with the moon in shot reflecting on the water.
The probability is that we have to shoot in a swimming pool somewhere.
Can anyone think of some believable suggestions that might work for faking this? 
We start with a wide shot, so it will make faking a lot harder. 
My one thought is that we get some kind of trans light in the back drop and shoot on a shallow depth to make it out of focus.
Any thoughts would be welcomed.
Thanks as always

Matthew Woolf
US based DP - bi-coastal

Rob Leitzell

Hi Matthew--

Without actually solving your problem, I'd suggest thinking about an infinity pool near the waters' edge, if you have access to such a location.  I've seen a few things done on the cheap in that way.  You get water, you get horizon, etc.  Wouldn't solve all your problems, but might solve a few.

I also did a shoot recently where I rigged a couple Skypanels to the top of a boat in the background and played it for a low moon.  It wasn't in shot, so who knows how it would work for you, but might be a not-awful paint job rather than going full blue.  

My two cents, before someone wiser hops in.

Rob Leitzell

Jordan Cushing

I once had art department print up a big moon and stick it on foam core to create a reflection in a puddle. Ours was about a metre wide to fit the puddle but you could certainly go bigger. Much more manoeuvrable than a translight. We positioned it appropriately and hit it with an HMI. Some combination of infinity pool at night, plus physical moon on a stand would probably get you close.  Maybe throw in an LED or sequin starlight drape if that fits the aesthetic?
Jordan Cushing
London Milan