FORUMS: list search recent posts

Lighting a Press Conference with "tiny" budget

COW Forums : Lighting Design

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
clyde villegas
Lighting a Press Conference with "tiny" budget
on Jun 23, 2010 at 2:03:22 pm

How do you light a press conference with really small budget? I'm thinking of a few red heads because those are what the client can afford. I might not be able to hire my D.O.P. who (usually lights my scenes for me) for this project because the client can't afford him. There will be five guest speakers and an audience of about 20 people in front of them.

ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus


Return to posts index

Mark Suszko
Re: Lighting a Press Conference with "tiny" budget
on Jun 23, 2010 at 2:24:25 pm

I do this about three times a week, been using the same Lowel Omni kit for this for 20 years. Basically two 1K omnis with diffusion frames, 45 degree angles to either side, just *behind* where the cameras are set up, adjust so the nose karet shadows look good and the body shadows are not too obvious. Flag them with the barn doors. If I need more light, I can double-up; the Omni's have a built-in connector stud on them, so two or more Omni lights can stack together on one stand, yet each one is still independently steerable.

Is it artful? No. Does it work as basic news conference lighting? Yes. Is it what the news guys want and expect? Yup. No complaints yet. Some rooms, it may help to raise the overall room level with a ceiling bounce as well. I don't rig backlighting for news conferences: in news situations, the cameras tend to go almost anywhere, shooting low and high angles for cut-aways, and you risk a head-on shot into the light at some point for somebody, if you place a backlight. Also, untrained people mill about at pressers, so the fewer stands you have, the fewer chances some bumbler will bump into one or trip over an untaped cable run.

Tape down EVERYTHING that can possibly be tripped over!


Return to posts index

Todd Terry
Re: Lighting a Press Conference with "tiny" budget
on Jun 23, 2010 at 3:20:33 pm

Whatever you wind up doing, if at all possible try to get some backlighting in there.

The lack of backlighting is one of the main things that make the vast majority of news conferences look so horrible.

With most of these setups there is not a lot of room and the speakers end up closer to the backdrop or back wall than would be desired in an optimal situation... and with no backlighting the image gets even more "compressed"-looking with no separation, and the talent usually looks like they are crammed up flat against the wall. They might as well be holding up a sign with their name and inmate booking number on it.


T2

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






Return to posts index


Mark Suszko
Re: Lighting a Press Conference with "tiny" budget
on Jun 23, 2010 at 4:47:18 pm

As I said in my post, backlighting would be nice, but in the most typical situations for in-the-field press conferences, a backlight is a luxury and usually impractical to put in for various reasons. I agree the lighting is flat, then again, artifice and drama, no matter the subtlety, should not be the focus of news shooting. I restrict my artifice to softening the lights enough that the shadows are not ugly, and the scene is adequately and evenly exposed, no racoon eyes, no ugly nose shadows, no 5 O'Clock shadows....

We have some press conference rooms that are permanent facilites, and these DO have backlighting, as well as built-in mult boxes for audio feeds. But news in the field is another animal. Trying to make it too much like the staged press conference room defeats the purpose of being at a location in the first place. Location brings context, when done properly. And a backlight only works from one narrow angle of view; elsewhere, it gets in the way of a wide shot with too much glare, unless you take a lot of time to mask it off. Pressers are set up and lit in 30 minutes or less; there just isn't much time or need for "art".


Return to posts index

Todd Terry
Re: Lighting a Press Conference with "tiny" budget
on Jun 23, 2010 at 4:55:48 pm

Mark, don't make me have to fight you, or call you a hurtful name.




Kidding.



T2

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






Return to posts index

Mark Suszko
Re: Lighting a Press Conference with "tiny" budget
on Jun 23, 2010 at 5:55:06 pm

I know you've got my back, Todd: just don't try to light it:-)


Return to posts index


Dennis Size
Re: Lighting a Press Conference with "tiny" budget
on Jun 23, 2010 at 9:26:33 pm

CAGE FIGHT!
CAGE FIGHT!
CAGE FIGHT!
CAGE FIGHT!




Return to posts index

Todd Terry
Re: Lighting a Press Conference with "tiny" budget
on Jun 23, 2010 at 9:33:49 pm

Dennis is stirring the pot. He's a pot-stirrer.



T2

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






Return to posts index

Mark Suszko
Re: Lighting a Press Conference with "tiny" budget
on Jun 23, 2010 at 9:35:35 pm

Duel.

Weapons will be un-screened 1k's at three yards, at dawn.

Uncorrected!


Return to posts index


Dennis Size
Re: Lighting a Press Conference with "tiny" budget
on Jun 23, 2010 at 10:21:15 pm

Make it REALLY dangerous and a deadly duel to the finish!
Use open faced LOWEL's



Return to posts index

Bill Davis
Re: Lighting a Press Conference with "tiny" budget
on Jun 24, 2010 at 10:45:40 pm


Not just "Lowel's" but specifically (shudder) Pro lights.

Take all yokes and mounting hardware off and then make the fighters HOLD the damn things BARE HANDED!

I guarantee the freakin' lights will get so dam hot that the whole fight will be over in 15 seconds and the only question will be who dropped theirs first.

(can you tell I'm NOT a big fan of Pro lights?)



Return to posts index

Dennis Size
Re: Lighting a Press Conference with "tiny" budget
on Jun 24, 2010 at 10:51:10 pm

Be careful Bill. Mark's LOWELL lights are like children to him. Insulting his lights will REALLY piss him off! :-)




Return to posts index


Bill Davis
Re: Lighting a Press Conference with "tiny" budget
on Jun 24, 2010 at 11:16:56 pm

And one should always "love" their children. However it's also important to understand every child's individual strengths and weaknesses.

It is a strength of the Pro Light that it's so small and powerful.

It is a WEAKNESS of the Pro Light that it's design builds and holds heat like a black car in the Arizona summer. I've been burned (quite literally, NOT figuratively) by more Pro lights than any other device in my career and so I don't like them.

I ADORE Totas in soft boxes, warehouses and anywhere else a small, light, compact perfectly designed fixture needs to blast out a WHOLE lot of light. I own EIGHT of them.

I'm agnositc on most other Lowel stuff, but appreciate that the line has great value for what it is, and was designed by folks who really know video and especially the line's accommodation for lots and lots of light control accessories.

At the point in my career where I was looking for affordable gear, I found a great deal on an Arri fresnel kit and so I built my skills with fresnels - which as everyone knows are a whole different beast from open face lights. So I had no need to ever own or get intimate with more Lowel stuff than I ran across in other guys kits.

Hence the burned fingers - figuring that a small Lowel fixture might be designed like, for example, a small Arri fixture as regards to heat dispersion and that I could grab and pack the suckers at a similar point in the "cool down time cycle." It's NOT. At all. Period. Ouch. Not AT ALL.



Return to posts index

Dennis Size
Re: Lighting a Press Conference with "tiny" budget
on Jun 23, 2010 at 10:19:50 pm

We haven't had a good cage fight in the FORUM in a long time.




Return to posts index

Mark Suszko
Re: Lighting a Press Conference with "tiny" budget
on Jun 25, 2010 at 4:38:55 am

I object on two counts:

One, I use Lowel Omni-Pros, I have Totas as well, but haven't had need to pull them out for some time since we got the Rifa lights. These days I use the Omni's and the Rifas or just the Rifa and a bounce card, if backlights are not an issue.

If you've burned yourself handling a type of light more than once, you're a slow learner. :-) Like I said, I shoot an average of three news pressers a week with this 20-plus-year-old kit, and they DO have very nice and always-cool handle grips. The light sheet metal they are made of has little mass and is all-black, so it cools off rapidly, IMO. My normal procedure is to douse the lights first, then by the time I have wrapped the mic, mic cables, and mult box, and bagged up the camera, the lights are only warm to the touch, and can go right into the case, no problem. I must be doing it right because I lose maybe just one bulb a year doing things this way. Those lights are workhorses.

Two: my real children have each already let me down many more times than Lowell lights ever have... and I had a fabulous Father's day this year: the wife and kids gave me a new ukelele! (Might be as close as I ever get to Hawaii on my salary).


Hey, you wanna use Fresnels, you have my blessing; they are great lights too. I will even stipulate that their quality of output may indeed be "superior". I just think mine are lighter and actually cool down faster, and are less fragile. *Maybe* a little less expensive too. And they do the jobs I need them to do.

We can do a shoot-out some time Dennis: we'll do it on the honor system. You run your comparable Fresnel light for 20 minutes, I'll run one of mine. After twenty minutes, turn them off, wait fifteen, measure the temp on the outer case. I'll take your word for what your results are. Friendly gentleman's wager: Loser sends the winner a useless and valueless trinket representing their town or home state, a key fob or fridge magnet or some such. I just need to figure out where on each unit the thermometer should be attached for a fair reading, before we go ahead.

My guess ahead of time is that in fifteen minutes, they will both be cool enough to handle without a glove (though I always carry one or two in the kit). In case of a tie, we can agree to continue being great friends who just haven't met in person yet.




Return to posts index


Bill Davis
Re: Lighting a Press Conference with "tiny" budget
on Jun 25, 2010 at 7:04:43 am


Mark,

I think you're getting me confused with Dennis Size.

*I* am the guy who hates Lowel Pro lights. (with a passion)

I also believe you're getting the Lowel PRO light - confused with a Lowel Omni light.

BTW, I totally understand confusion. It gets harder and harder each year to keep the brain cells operating with anything approaching efficiency - so I'm pleased I still can still tell the difference.

Still, you'll see that on the REAL Lowel Pro light, there's not only NO HANDLE. but virtually NO PLACE TO GRAB The sucker except the body of the light (which after too few minutes typically approaches the temperature of the surface of the sun.)

Sorry, that's my story and I'm sticking with it.







Return to posts index

Mark Suszko
Re: Lighting a Press Conference with "tiny" budget
on Jun 25, 2010 at 12:35:45 pm

Bill, my offer still stands, I'll take you BOTH on :-). Give it the same 15 minutes and I'm confident you can handle it as well.

I don't know any gaffer or DP that doesn't keep a glove around for handling lights when they are hot. That's what we use when adjusting barn doors. I have used the Pro-V adjustable as a back light and as an on-camera light. You can put a handle on it if you plan to hand-hold it, I guess, but that's not what it's really for.


Return to posts index

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