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Electrical Needs for 20 x 13 foot Video Studio

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Ryan Grabow
Electrical Needs for 20 x 13 foot Video Studio
on Sep 14, 2012 at 10:14:10 am

Hello all. I am new to your forum and have enjoyed reading many of your posts. You all sound like the experts I need. I am a surgeon and am building my new office with a small video suite to shoot green screen and other videos for patient instruction, on site interviews, etc. I am having some difficulty figuring out exactly what my electrical needs will be for the studio. Having read your previous posts I will be using fluorescents like Kino Flo or the products from Cowboy studio to light it up. I will have a 16 x 10 foot grid and plan to have 4 quad boxes near the 4 corners. A prior post recommended that each of quad boxes be separated out into 4 circuits (ABCD) so that if I turn on A one plug at each boxes is powered on and pulling juice from that circuit. Based on my size room and your previous recommendations to others it seems that I would need at least 2 sets of lights (Kino Flo 45 DMX for my green screen) 2 side lighs for the subject, and another 2 sets of lights for subject accents. Based on the low amperage of the fluorescents it doesn't seem like I will need more than 4 separate 20 amp circuits for the quad boxes on the grid. I haven't decided on the specific lights I want but considering my needs is this enough for the lighting or am I way off? I already have a separate circuit for floor level plugs for monitors, cameras, and a pc. In total I think the room should have 6 20 amp circuits (4 for the grid and 2 on the ground level for the other stuff.) Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Ryan


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Mark Suszko
Re: Electrical Needs for 20 x 13 foot Video Studio
on Sep 14, 2012 at 2:01:06 pm

If the circuits are not all on the same phase, you might find some nagging RF problems occuring.

You do need to light the green screen separate from the talent. The most typical talent lighting setup would be classic 3-point lighting, with a keylight, fill light and back light. There's a number of folks these days who don't use a traditional backlight any more, but in a greenscreen situation I think it still helps, particularly if gelled with a little magenta to help defeat any spilled green reflection from the green screen, which happens in small spaces. If you can separate the green wall from the subject by a distance of at least their height, plus one foot, you'll find fewer problems with shadows or green spill ruining your keys.


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Ryan Grabow
Re: Electrical Needs for 20 x 13 foot Video Studio
on Sep 14, 2012 at 2:05:48 pm

Thanks alot for your quick help. Any thoughts on rounding one wall for the green screen. With what I am planning on doing do you think it is critical. Where is the rounded wall for green screen helpful?

Ryan


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Mark Suszko
Re: Electrical Needs for 20 x 13 foot Video Studio
on Sep 14, 2012 at 3:04:01 pm

You only need a "cove" if you are shooting full-body shots from head to toe,
A simple DIY setup I always recommend is to buy inexpensive vinyl sheet flooring on deep discount, the pattern makes no difference as long as the bottom side is smooth and not textured. You trap one edge of the sheet in sandwich of boards screwed together and hang this, so it falls to the floor in a natural catenary curve, and you leave about eight to ten feet on the floor to stand on. This loose part on the floor can be carefully rolled back when you need floor space for something else.

Anyhow, prime this surface with Kilz brand LATEX (NOT OIL), that's KILZ brand LATEX-BASED primer, this, when dry, will take your green screen paint very nicely in just one coat.

Sure, you could go with a paper roll of green photog's background paper for around $60. But paper tears and gets dirty when you stand on it. You could get two, maybe three uses out of a standard roll before you've thrown all the damaged parts away, and for some gigs, that's acceptable losses. You could also go with a roll of cloth, I recommend RoseBrand in New York as a good source - but cloth will get dirty from standing on it as well. The vinyl cleans with soap and water, and really bad scuffs can be painted-out with a bottle of the left-over paint you kept for touch-ups.

If you are goign for a more ambitious 2-walled cove, there are kits made from panels of molded plastic that you glue together to create a seamless cove in two dimensions. That seems like overkill to me. A trick to remember when on a smaller budget is, the talent turning in place looks just the same in the final composite, as shooting from a second camera angle, except for the lighting.


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