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Basic lighting kit.

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Mr Davis
Basic lighting kit.
on Aug 28, 2011 at 7:01:49 pm

Hi Everyone,

I hope I have the right forum to post this... if not someone please let me know a good place for my inquiry. I am looking to buy a basic lighting kit and green screen. I am basically going to shoot retro/cheesy music videos (guy dancing in front of computer generated backdrops).

What is a good lighting kit? After watching some videos on Youtube I was pushed in this direction:
http://www.tubetape.net/servlet/the-59/QL-1000--dsh--2000/Detail

Would that work well? Is that an ok price?

Thank you very much for any advice.

Jon Davis

Powermac dual 2.5 G5, Production Bundle, Canon ZR60


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Rick Wise
Re: Basic lighting kit.
on Aug 28, 2011 at 7:17:26 pm

This topic has been covered multiple times on this forum. I suggest you search for "green screen" and "lighting kit" and work through the results to find your answers.

Rick Wise
director of photography
San Francisco Bay Area
part-time instructor lighting/camera
Academy of Art University/Film and Video (grad school)
http://www.RickWiseDP.com


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Mark Suszko
Re: Basic lighting kit.
on Aug 28, 2011 at 11:01:22 pm

A couple of softlights, something like what that tubetape site offers is what I use to light my green screens.

However, you will still need to light the actor separately.


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Rick Wise
Re: Basic lighting kit.
on Aug 28, 2011 at 11:19:11 pm

Also those specific softlights have fans, which may produce enough noise to make it impossible to shoot sync sound. This one, http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/721782-REG/Chimera_7995_TL_Lightbank_..., might work better.

Rick Wise
Cinematographer
San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.RickWiseDP.com


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Mr Davis
Re: Basic lighting kit.
on Aug 29, 2011 at 12:25:52 am

To light the actor would you recommend another of the same light or something else? Sorry for the novice question... :)

Jon Davis

Macbook Pro i7, iPhone, Final Cut X


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Mark Suszko
Re: Basic lighting kit.
on Aug 29, 2011 at 1:59:39 pm

I usually do use another softlight for the keylight on my talent, but that's really up to what your particular needs are.

The point is to make the lighting on the talent match the type of lighting and overall look of the substituted background. You copy the angle of the sun and its color temperature if the substitute shot is outdoors.

If the substituted environment is an interior, you match it's color balance and then look for "motivated sources", that is, points where lights already are in that scene - and you arrange your lighting to look as if it comes from those points too, or one just like it yet just out of camera range.

One way amateurs often botch an otherwise technically clean chromakey effect is that the light on the talent is coming in from a completely different angle than the background, or it's a hard type of light when it should be soft, or vice-versa.


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Mr Davis
Re: Basic lighting kit.
on Aug 29, 2011 at 2:38:04 pm

Thank you Mark for the tip... I am very much an amateur so this is just the beginning of the learning process... much appreciated!

Jon Davis

Macbook Pro i7, iPhone, Final Cut X


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Craig Seeman
Re: Basic lighting kit.
on Aug 29, 2011 at 8:55:45 pm

For the budget minded you might consider Two Lowel Total lights with White umbrellas to light the green screen.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/465459-REG/Lowel_Tota_Light_One_Light...

You'd then need to consider lights for the talent and that may depend on the look you're after.



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Rick Wise
Re: Basic lighting kit.
on Aug 29, 2011 at 9:05:26 pm

The Tota lights should work fine. However the white umbrellas let a lot of light pass through them, spilling into the rest of the room. That could be of no importance, or seriously in the way. Lowel also makes a silver umbrella which doesn't let so much light out the other side but creates a hard light -- not an issue here.

The other question is whether or not you would get enough even spread out of these units. The cheapest solution of all is to use Home Depot Tungsten shop lights. They cost $30 a pair. The color temp is 2800K but that doesn't matter for the green screen.

If you have to worry about client perception, spray paint them matte black (they are canary yellow) and call them something fancy like, "custom green-screen lights."

Rick Wise
Cinematographer
San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.RickWiseDP.com


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Mark Suszko
Re: Basic lighting kit.
on Aug 29, 2011 at 9:11:00 pm

Craig, I've had to light with Totas and umbrellas, and I think I'd rather use a silver bounce card or shoot the light thru a diffuser than use the umbrellas, as they eat up too much of the light IMO. The white umbrellas can be used transmissively as well as refectively. But you lose a LOT of light hitting the subject that way, forcing you to work closer, and this can get in the way of a shot as well as make the talent sweat. And as was mentioned, you raise the overall room light level from the stray light.

All these reasons and more led us to get Lowel Rifa Lights, and we use the heck out of these all the time, just very pretty light and super fast and easy to use.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Basic lighting kit.
on Aug 29, 2011 at 9:40:24 pm

Just to clarify, I'm using Totas to light the screen. White umbrellas make them softer.
Talent should be lit separately and far enough away so as to not be toasted by the Totas.

Usually I'm lighting a 10 or 12 foot wide green screen and the talent with a Rifa some feet away.

In small offices I'm looking for an alternative such as LED where heat and spill is much more of an issue and the green screen is smaller at 6 feet wide.



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Mr Davis
Re: Basic lighting kit.
on Aug 29, 2011 at 11:29:01 pm

Reading... learning... again thanks!

Jon Davis

Macbook Pro i7, iPhone, Final Cut X


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