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Graham` Adams
Best lighting kit
on Nov 9, 2011 at 3:50:56 am

Hey guys I am just wondering what the best lighting kits are for 3 point lighting I have a panasonic Hvx 200 and I plan on doing interviews, I just want the best affordable kit because I am currently in school right now for film and broadcasting I have been filming for a long time as a passion but decided to get my papers and I am sick of using the school stuff so I want to get me own. thanks guys


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Mark Suszko
Re: Best lighting kit
on Nov 9, 2011 at 3:57:35 pm

"Someone else's" :-)


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Bill Davis
Re: Best lighting kit
on Nov 9, 2011 at 7:01:41 pm

Bit like asking
"which are the best spices to use for American style cooking"

Sure you could answer "salt, pepper, and (fill in the blank)" and at one level it would be hard to argue with that - but it certainly wouldn't be an answer that really tells you much of anything about how to season food well.

A cook has to understand a wide array of spices and get experience in which ones complement what you're doing. For example, the flavor combination of lamb and mint is historically revered. Ham and mint, not so much.

Therein the problem.

just keep curious and keep learning and you'll do fine - no matter what "gear" you end up with. Even if it's not ideal, you can learn a whole bunch about how, where and why it FAILS to meet your needs - and that's very precious information.

Good luck!

FWIW.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Graham` Adams
Re: Best lighting kit
on Nov 10, 2011 at 3:13:18 am

thanks Bill the only issue I have is I am use to filming outside this is what I have learn before I started school I am 24 years old and have been filming for fun since i was 12 years old just learning as I went and trying things out I seen on TV.. Here is some work i have done for fun





maybe i should rephrase the question what kind of lighting kit do you use and why? the school uses lowel pro lights just wondering about them as for pricing wise and reliability.

The reason being is the only way i seem to learn the best is if I just get out and learn on my own instead of someone giving me a time frame telling me I got to learn by this time. I like school and will stay in it but I need that lil bit more time to learn on them. Lighting is a tricky thing as I am finding out.


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Bill Davis
Re: Best lighting kit
on Nov 10, 2011 at 4:37:22 am

Graham,

Again, the important thing is that you're interested in improving. That's the core of everything!
Since you asked so politely, I'll try to give you some tips.. Understand that they are suggestions only. Not rules.

First, about lighting. I started with the worlds cheapest Smith Victor kit. It was big, uncontrollable scoops that vomited light all over the place. No control, but it didn't matter because I didn't even know what control even was back then. They were tungsten only, so they taught me what goes wrong when you try to use tungsten lights in situations where daylight, fluorescent, and tungsten all mix together. (It's a color temperature mess.) But seeing that it was a mess is how I started to learn. When I started getting paid a little, I started doing "front fill" using Home Depot fluorescent tube fixtures on stands. Since those lamps matched the lamps in the stores where I was filming, they helped since I started learning to TURN OFF stuff that was a problem and shoot in ONE kind of light.

When I finally scraped decent money together I bought my first Arri kit. Fresnels were a RELEVATION. It was the first time I could use a barn door to actually cut light off of something. I'm still using that kit today. It killed me to pay over $2000 bucks for it USED, but the $500 SV kit lasted me about 2 years and fell apart, and the $2000 Arri kit has lasted me 25 years plus. Do the math.

Then over the years I added and or worked with every lighting technology available and each and every time, I used the knowledge I learned on EVERY light I ever owned and operated - including the crappy stuff I started with! (It's every bit as useful to see what doesn't work as it is to see what does.)

So buy what you can. Shop for used stuff. Read, read, read. There are no shortcuts. You can take a great light and use it terribly, and you can take a flashlight and a piece of typing paper and make art if you take the time to learn how.

One more thing.

I want to compliment you for posting your work. The fact that your work is a bit raw is totally insignificant compared to the fact that you had the guts to put it in front of critics.

Learning to take criticism (as tough as that might be) is the single most important aspect to your continued growth and success. CRAVE criticism. And learn to toss off the stuff that's uninformed (EVERYONE's a critic these days) and zero in on what people tell you that you can learn from.

In that spirit here are a few gentle notes on your posted video.

Take a piece of paper and watch your video again and do this exercise. Describe EACH AND EVERY shot in it in terms of how you framed it.
Shot 001 - Medium wide
Shot 002 - Medium wide
Shot 003 - Wide
Shot 004 - Medium wide
Shot 005 - Close Up
Shot 006 - Wide
Shot 007 - Extreme Close up
etc. etc.

When you do, I think you're going to find that you actually don't have much "variety" in your shots. Variety is a way to keep your audience involved. We like being shown something different more than seeing similar things strung together.

I know at an event, you might feel that you're stuck in one place. But as a videographer, your JOB is to get the best shots you can. That means you have to get up and go to where those shots are. A videographer stuck in one place is one that's NOT going to be able to make a very interesting modern video.

Next about your subjects. Your video, as it stands, is mostly shot after shot of two things - the place and the machines. Machines are well and good. But kinda boring after the 5th or 6th shot. It's machines going through the mud. We get it.

So what else was interesting there? What about the PEOPLE? I didn't see a recognizable person until the last frame. A dozen close ups or even medium shots of the crowd watching the machines would have made a MUCH more interesting video. We're all curious about people. Who goes to events like this. What are their reactions to the event? Are there kids watching? Grizzled "old timers" Girls? You're telling the STORY of the event. And the real story isn't just the obvious (quads in mud) it's much bigger than that. What about the expressions of the drivers? Were they stressed? Joyful? Hurt? We don't know from your video. Yeah, they were covered with mud. But only from where you were and when you were shooting them. They weren't' obscured when they were getting ready or when they were washing off. Think about that.

Just a few tips.

Keep practicing. And watch how the masters do it in movies and on TV. Do the same exercise there and look at how they use wide shots, mediums, close ups and even EXTREME close ups to bring more visual LIFE to their stories.

That's enough for now.

Good luck. And keep shooting.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Graham` Adams
Re: Best lighting kit
on Nov 10, 2011 at 2:17:14 pm

Thanks again Bill, I agree with you 100% criticism is free I like it thats why i got into making videos the listen to the people that don't like it more then those that like it, I pay teachers $3000 to be told not to do this not to do that when people on forums and sites tell me the same thing for free so its good and everybody has an opinion and as a filmer you have the choice to use the criticism or just laugh at it.

I am working on learning WS, MS, CU to ECU and working with raw footage sheets, I already no how to use editors pretty good so thats not a problem your right more work with the camera is needed thats why I want to get a lighting kit but i will wait till I start up at honda (factory) in the summer because my money is a little tight due to school.

I have other videos I have done recently that are little more sequenced and more of a story line, I just thought i would show you that video because it something i took in an event where the organizers weren't letting me move around to much because of insurance reasons I had to take what I could get..

thanks for your time


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Craig Seeman
Re: Best lighting kit
on Nov 12, 2011 at 7:15:01 am

[Bill Davis] "I know at an event, you might feel that you're stuck in one place. But as a videographer, your JOB is to get the best shots you can. That means you have to get up and go to where those shots are. A videographer stuck in one place is one that's NOT going to be able to make a very interesting modern video.

Next about your subjects. Your video, as it stands, is mostly shot after shot of two things - the place and the machines. Machines are well and good. But kinda boring after the 5th or 6th shot. It's machines going through the mud. "


Izzy Video recently did a webinar basically for people starting out, learning how to tell a story with a camera. This might give you some ideas. The first version is just a head on shot of someone getting on a motorcycle in profile. The second is a series of shots showing the same action. Basically this exemplifies what Bill is imparting.
http://www.izzyvideo.com/example/



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Mark Suszko
Re: Best lighting kit
on Nov 12, 2011 at 1:35:41 pm

Craig, you're right, but there's other ways an audience wants their video sometimes, that would make creative people scratch their heads. Sometimes straight documentation of the meat-and-potatoes variety is what they want.

A friend once told me of a gig revolving around Alaskan hunting. The video is just killshot after killshot of animals being taken down, from a telephoto lens perspective. You and I would look at hat and say "BORING: it needs more story". Guy making the video was making money hand over fist and said that's exactly what his customers were asking for, no more, no less. Go figure.

What it means to us is, never lose sight of what the CUSTOMER wants, and think hard about imposing your aesthetic on it when it isn't appreciated. True, some customers are inarticulate, they don't have the vocabulary to express what they want, they'll tell you when they see it. You job is to try and communicate with the customer and get in their head to learn their expectations, and maybe advise and steer- where it is appropriate to do so.


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Craig Alan
Re: Best lighting kit
on Dec 18, 2011 at 2:38:06 am

Hi Graham,

I’m not a lighting pro, just a generalist who teaches video production. But I thought I’d throw you some pointers.

But first: A school for “film and broadcasting” doesn’t have a ton of lighting and grip equipment? Really?

Read the following: Not saying any given piece of gear in this kit is the best, but it’s an interesting assortment from a working pro’s POV.

http://www.bluesky-web.com/light-kit.htm

Next, take a look at the kits on http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=fresnel+kits&N=0&InitialSearch=yes. Ari and Mole Richardson Fresnels. In a ton of configurations. But affordable is relative – they ain’t cheap. Ari’s and Moles will be good for a very very long time and have good resale value. I chose a Mole kit for my class because it is built like tank. It has an old Hollywood feel to it. To it you can add barn doors, gels, Chimera speed rings and soft banks and egg crates. So it can be hard or soft. Very versatile. It’s my favorite piece of gear. Fun to set up and play with.

If you just want even flat lighting, you might consider Kino flos, which can be changed to either daylight or studio temp and will also light a green screen. However, they are mostly flat and boring compared to Fresnels.

You didn’t say where these interviews would take place. Can’t beat the sun as a light source. Get some reflectors and scrims or diffusers and stands and sandbags and experiment. Hint the fashion photographers like sunset, the magic hour, and overcast days for a reason. At noon, look for shade and think light filtered through trees. When you walk around squint your eyes as you look at scenes. This is somewhat close to the way a video camera sees. Another thing you might consider is attaching a proper monitor to your camera’s output. You may or may not have a great eye but at least you’ll capture what you see rather than hoping it will look good and relying on an LCD screen.

If I were a student and could borrow the school’s light kits, I’d go that route. You can use the Lowels to bounce light off a white board for soft light. They come with barn doors for control. You can gel them. They are easy to carry around. The other thing you might consider is looking around for an internship. Tell them you are film student looking for experience and willing to work for free. Then pay attention to what is going on.

OSX 10.5.8; MacBookPro4,1 Intel Core 2 Duo 2.5 GHz MacPro4,1 2.66GHz 8 core 12gigs of ram. GPU: Nvidia Geoforce GT120 with Vram 512. OS X 10.6.x; Camcorders: Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Graham` Adams
Re: Best lighting kit
on Dec 19, 2011 at 5:43:17 am

Hey craig thank you very much for the advice and the contacts I looked at the lights thats kind of the price range I am looking at about I think the Ari's are the best fit for what I am looking at. The other thing is I didn't say there isn't enough lighting but there is 50 other students that use the lighting equipment and its a pain in the butt and can only take it out for 3 hours a day and no weekends I want to practice with lighting on my own time you can't really do that through the school so thats why I want my own stuff..

Its like sharing a car when u want it badly you can never get it and when you do something doesn't work and it sits at the mechanics so in the long run for better results u need your own equipment to get more practice. I also race fourwheelers on weekends and I want to blend lighting into some cool stuff I can do with my fourwheeling videos and the school wouldn't like that too much..


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