I was wondering if you wrote that article on LED and fluorescent lights that you mentioned in the Cow.
I am looking to light a small stage (8' by 6') that will have 2 people in chairs talking to each other. Also, the host will get up and talk to the audience directly as well. I am looking into either the 1000 LEDs or some fluorescents. As my experience is with tungsten lights, I am worried that these lights will make things too flat. I am thinking of using a simple three light set-up.
The more I looked into the details and products I needed to cover, the more it became clear the project was way too big for the few dollars the Cow would be able to pay me. So I canceled it.
8' x 6' isn't small, it's miniscule. No matter what lights you use, you will have a very hard time making this look good.
The kinoflos or equivalent, and the LEDs are both designed for soft light. They can look very pleasing if placed correctly, allowing some shadow. If you want, you can add a 4th hard light to throw a splash of "sunlight" across shoulders, bodies.
With such a tiny space, you are going to have a hard time getting the lights placed where you want them, and getting equal intensity on both people. I suspect your best bet is to cross-key them from 3/4 back.
Attached is a simple diagram not to scale. Instead of the "soft baby" you could use a 3rd Kino or LED as front fill. Just don't over power the key. Leave some shadow. Note that you will need either to fly the Kinos with C-stands or rig suspended from a bar stretched across the back, or some other thing.
Note also that what is missing here is any light for the background. You may need something there too. You might consider, if possible, adding a "practical" lamp with a shade on a dimmer between them to make it appear that it is this light that is lighting your subjects. That light could also take care of the background, becoming itself a background element. If it throws too much light on the wall behind it (probably will not) you can tape something to the back side of the shade to slow it down.
I am afraid I did not give you enough info in that the production is an alcove in a small church. The stage will actually be a riser (the 8' x 6' or even 8" x8') and the the alcove is 13 feet long and 21 feet wide. And so I have more room to place the lights. Would you still go with a cross-key from 3/4 back?
But you've added a complication I didn't notice, since it was not in your original email to me and I didn't check whether your first post had any changes: the host rises and addresses the audience.
Fortunately, the dimensions of the church (your newest information) allow you to move the lights much further away from the subjects than I had thought. I would work to get a large soft 3/4 back key for the host set far enough away so that when he/she rises, the intensity of light will stay the same as when seated, and the quality will remain pleasing. Ideally, the key for the other person would be placed equally. But, it can be smaller and closer and scrimmed so than when the host rises he/she does not receive too much of the interviewee's key. Note that in the cross-back key, the key for one person often becomes somelthing of a side-back-light for the other and usually needs to me scimmed so that the back-light portion has way less intensity. If you use an egg create on the keys, you can probably keep the spill as a back-light to a minimum or remove it entirely.
Equally, the fill light needs to be large and soft and far enough away from the host that there is no change in intensity when she/he rises.
Tungsten lites do not necessarily create a "flat" look. It's how the lighting designer places, controls and modifies them. If anything Kino's could be accused of being "flat" because they are only a soft source and subject to proximity effect.