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Re: Need Lighting Advice for live music/dance shoot!

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john sharaf
Re: Need Lighting Advice for live music/dance shoot!
on Oct 16, 2004 at 4:07:08 pm


Placing lights is always a compromise between the intended purpose, the geography of the set and the camera placement.

With this in mind the back cross keys should be placed as low as possible, but not so low as to flare the lenses that they are pointed at, and they should be aimed to the opposite side to edge light the performers there while not burning out the heads of the performers below them.

If I were to add additional equipment it would be par cans to ditch behind the performers up onto the walls (maybe as many as eight) with contrasting colors to the other lighting, and an equal number of source four lecos to use as specials on the fronts of the performers.

If you were to go "whole hog" ideally each light would be routed to a dimmer board where you could adjust the intensity of vary the lighting for different songs. In this case you might even double up on some positions so that you could introduce different colors for different moods/tunes.

Finally if price were no object you could consider "moving lights" which also have color wheels and/or spot lights and operators to add that extra energy and interaction between the music and the lights.

As you can see, there are many possibilities with the lighting to enhance the theatrical effect of music performance, but note that that is the purpose; to enhance, not necessarily to distract! The lighting style and palette should be appropriate to the type of music. This is something that is best determined by watching the act and collaborating with them regarding their own feelings about the staging and lighting.

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