FORUMS: list search recent posts

Interview lighting basics - suggestions?

COW Forums : Lighting Design

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Arturo Glass
Interview lighting basics - suggestions?
on May 17, 2010 at 7:08:46 pm

I've got an interview which I will be shooting on a Sony V1U in a hotel room. I'd ideally like to film the subject against the window as a backdrop, which would most likely give a cloudy city view as the background.

I'm inexperienced with lighting, but can set it up myself. However I wanted to get suggestions as to types of lights or a basic setup to be able to film in this sort of situation. Would I be alright shooting without any lights and just using some reflectors/bounce cards so as to light the interview subject with available light, or am I better off using lighting? Any suggestions are welcome.

Thanks.


Return to posts index

Rick Wise
Re: Interview lighting basics - suggestions?
on May 17, 2010 at 8:02:57 pm

As always, the first step is to actually look at how the light plays on the face. Shooting directly toward the window will make your subject back lit. And you will need a lot of light to bring up his/her face to a level that allows you to set an iris that shows detail out the window. Otherwise, if you expose for the window the face will be black, and if you expose for the face the window will be blown out.

However, if you angle your subject so that one shoulder is facing the window, and light coming in wraps around the face, and you place the camera close to the wall near the window, you may be able to shoot with out any lights at all. Or, have along a 4x4 piece of foamcore or similar bounce material and adjust it so the amount of fill on the shadow side looks good to you. Beware of over filling.

As to a back light, a small unit may work, but since the outside is balanced for daylight and your small unit most likely is tungsten, you will need to add at least 1/2 CTB to the light.

And then there's the room behind. What else is in the shot? Does another window illuminate it? Or do you need to light it? Remember color balance. However, do not be its slave. If a practical lamp in the back looks warm but good, don't worry. Let your eyes really look! We mix color temperatures all the time to good effect.

Another way to go is to gel the window(s) with 1/2 CTO to convert the daylight half way to tungsten, and white balance to that light. However, if the window is in the shot it's next to impossible to gel in a way that the gel is not visible.

Finally, there are items such as Rosco Scrim to cut down the amount of daylight. But generally it's far better to really use the window light than to fight it.


Rick Wise
director of photography
San Francisco Bay Area
and part-time instructor lighting and camera
grad school, SF Academy of Art University/Film and Video
http://www.RickWiseDP.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/rwise
email: Rick@RickWiseDP.com


Return to posts index

Dennis Size
Re: Interview lighting basics - suggestions?
on May 18, 2010 at 2:29:55 am

You are bettter off lighting the interview that you will be videotaping --- NOT filming.

DS



Return to posts index


Arturo Glass
Re: Interview lighting basics - suggestions?
on May 18, 2010 at 2:38:50 am

So rather than offer any help, you prefer wasting my time as well as the other readers of this forum by nitpicking over commonly used terminology?


Return to posts index

Rick Wise
Re: Interview lighting basics - suggestions?
on May 18, 2010 at 2:50:34 am

Easy does it. Stay focused. The mood here is mellow.

I gave you a whole bunch of ideas. Do any of them click with you?

Rick Wise
director of photography
San Francisco Bay Area
and part-time instructor lighting and camera
grad school, SF Academy of Art University/Film and Video
http://www.RickWiseDP.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/rwise
email: Rick@RickWiseDP.com


Return to posts index

Arturo Glass
Re: Interview lighting basics - suggestions?
on May 18, 2010 at 3:27:53 am

They do. As I mentioned, my goal is to be able to shoot with the city as the backdrop and had assumed this would be more difficult. What I don't know is if having this available light, I could redirect it to bounce back to light the subject as I see fit, or if external lighting sources would be necessary.

The shot is basically the subject filling 1/3 of the screen, maybe a small table beside her and the cityscape as a backdrop. I haven't visited the room where we will be shooting, but from what I hear it has a lot of windows and is very luminous. Always seeking simplicity, and liking natural light, I had hoped to be able to play with the available light.

As a failsafe, I had considered your suggestion of having one shoulder facing the window so as to use direct sunlight as our sole means of lighting. But naturally, trying to get the cityscape as part of the image in the background.

Any other ideas or suggestions are welcome.


Return to posts index


Todd Terry
Re: Interview lighting basics - suggestions?
on May 18, 2010 at 4:14:43 am

In addition to Rick's excellent suggestions....

If you have the budget and availability... you could go the HMI route.

I find that I almost always resort to HMI instruments when shooting interiors where you also want to see out the windows. I was doing that just today, in fact. I didn't have a boatload of instruments, either... I lit the scene with just one 1200w HMI and a little 150w HMI to do a little back/fill lighting, one 4x4 white bounce card, and one 4x4 frame with diffusion. We had tons of other gear with us, but I didn't even break any of it out because that did the job and looked very good.

With HMIs of course you don't have to worry about the color temperature difference... in addition to the fact that they are several multiples brighter than equivalent-wattage tungsten instruments. They at the best way I know of to fight bright windows.

For the scene you suggested, you might be able to do mostly the wrap-around available light, and punch it up with something as little as an 800 Joker-Bug in a Chimera.

BUT... if you can do it with available light and the scene looks good... that's by far the easiest.




T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






Return to posts index

Arturo Glass
Re: Interview lighting basics - suggestions?
on May 18, 2010 at 1:34:22 pm

Thanks Todd. I'm definitely going to attempt to go the natural light route, but am thinking about having the HMIs as a backup plan. Thanks for the tips!


Return to posts index

Peter Rummel
Re: Interview lighting basics - suggestions?
on May 18, 2010 at 4:38:13 pm

Shooting someone with a bright window as a background is always tough. Doing it with available light is just next to impossible. While I can conceive of some room configurations that might work for this, I wouldn't rely on a room I had never seen to work out.

Light coming into the room, bouncing around on reflectors, and then illuminating your subject just isn't going to be powerful enough. You'll end up with a sillouette, or a totally blown out background. The traditional way to do this is to darken the background and then light your subject using daylight balanced sources. Gelling your background windows using a roll of ND (neutral density) gel is the most common way of darkening the background - this lets you use less light for your key, making it much more comfortable for your subject. HMIs are the lighting source of choice for these situations, because of their powerful output and daylight balance. Flos and LEDs can also be daylight balanced, but may not have enough pop to do the job.

A word about color balance - HMIs and other supposedly "daylight" balanced sources can be pretty close, but daylight itself can change color throughout the day, or when overcast, or when in shadow. Be prepared to adjust your sources accordingly.

A couple of ideas....

When I want to use the view outside a window as a background, instead of shooting it straight on I'll shoot along the window with the 2 chairs facing each other next to the window. This way I'm using the window light as the key. This setup typically needs a little extra pop, so I'll supplement it with a daylight balanced key on the window side.

And if you are shooting the window straight on, have you considered using a chroma key instead? Shooting the subject and background separately, you'll be able to use an appropriate exposure for each.



Return to posts index


Arturo Glass
Re: Interview lighting basics - suggestions?
on May 18, 2010 at 4:03:19 pm

Any experience/comments on the Lowel DV Core 500 kit? I'm looking at renting a basic kit and have this available at a local rental house. Would using this with a gel to get closer to a daylight look work in your opinion?

http://www.lowel.com/kits/DVcore500_sm.html


Return to posts index

Arturo Glass
Re: Interview lighting basics - suggestions?
on May 18, 2010 at 4:05:07 pm

Or another option is a kit with 2x Bowens Gemini 500 Monolights.


Return to posts index

Mark Suszko
Re: Interview lighting basics - suggestions?
on May 18, 2010 at 4:16:47 pm

The Rifa softbox in the Lowel core package would nicely fill in the front of the actor's face and body if the window is behind them. But you'd have to gel it to match the outdoor color temperature, unless you like the face to get very warm-colored in comparison to the bluer outside.

Contrast ratio is going to be your biggest problem; the window exposure done right means the rest of the room will be too dark. The HMI conquers this by raising the indoor brightness close to match the outside.


Gelling windows from the outside can be done using a simple frame and gaffer tape or a staple gun. If you are a flight or two up, then you cut the gel with a razor blade and fit it to the glass on the inside, adhering it with simple clear water or electrostatics, or a touch of clear tape.


Return to posts index


Arturo Glass
Re: Interview lighting basics - suggestions?
on May 20, 2010 at 4:43:55 pm

If I'm scrapping the idea of shooting the city in the background, would a Litepanels 1X1 5600 Degree Flood Panel work for my key light, using some reflectors for this and the natural light as fill light?


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]