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Conference / Exhibit Hall Interview Lighting

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Jenny Dewes
Conference / Exhibit Hall Interview Lighting
on Jul 29, 2014 at 6:29:23 pm

I will be shooting some interviews at a conference and am looking for some lighting advice.

The interviews will take place at/around an exhibit booth in a conference hall, I am not sure what the pre-existing lighting is like as I have never been there before (Music City Center in Nashville). I will need to be quickly and easily portable to move around the conference as needed (with just me to carry things), so I need something paired down and definitely battery powered.

Right now I am thinking a couple 1x1 Litepanels w/battery mounts, a flood to fill out the front and a spot to edge. I'm wondering if anyone has additional suggestions, or advice on how best to set up with those litepanels. I want to fill out the overhead lighting but not have it be harsh and sourcey - the interviews are for testimonials so I definitely want them to have as nice and soft of lighting as is possible with a run-and-gun situation.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!


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Mark Suszko
Re: Conference / Exhibit Hall Interview Lighting
on Jul 30, 2014 at 6:39:22 pm

If the lightpanels have enough "grunt", bounce them off of silver-foil-covered foam core or a fold-up reflector. or, make a softbox attachment for them, out of foam core and some Rosco Opal frost. Or at least put a gel frame in front of the lightpanel and apply the diffusion gel.

Skip edge or back lighting. With a proper ratio on the keylight and lens opening, you won't need it because the BG will naturally go a little dark. Concentrate on framing and selecting the shot angles and DOF to minimize "junk" in the background, and if something local is making lots of light, don't fight it too hard; rather, try to incorporate that light as a "practical".

Remember that a higher or lower than eye-level lens position can eliminate a lot of distractions and backlight problems.


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Bill Davis
Re: Conference / Exhibit Hall Interview Lighting
on Aug 1, 2014 at 6:41:11 pm
Last Edited By Bill Davis on Aug 1, 2014 at 6:48:56 pm

Two Light panels are serious overkill, IMO. Way too much to schlepp without a crew.
You're right that the existing light mix will be all over the place. So you have to keep your expectations reasonable.
Keep your objective up front. Delivering information. Not making people pretty. What the interviewee is SAYING is the critical thing. The visual field will often be a crowded mess. So don't focus on perfect lighting. Both these subjects were literally standing "in the dark" before I added light. So my lighting had ONE goal: focus on simply bringing their face up out of whatever mess I was facing.
These are from show floor videos I shot at NAB. One from 2012, one from 2013. Look at the JVC still. God awful overhead spill from a pattern projector. Over bright signs in back that you can't control. I hated it. But it's the BRANDING element. So it's the second most important element in the scene (after the presenter) so it earns it's way into the shot, even if I hate it's levels.
In terms of pure lighting grace they're both actually pretty awful. But in terms of getting the company message out and taking the viewer into an engaging experience where they learn and get the feeling of being AT the show - both shots did their job well. Because the job is getting the info out. Not making people go "wow, that guy lights great." (I get to do that when I'm in an EFP situation, not when I'm shooting ENG.)
Both of them were lit with a single LED battery light on a collapsed (legs closed) stand that was strapped to my rolling rig. ALL i wanted it to do was get a head or higher light in place to raise the subjects faces out of the ambient level so the viewer could see them. Period. End of story.
My 2 cents.





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Rick Wise
Re: Conference / Exhibit Hall Interview Lighting
on Aug 1, 2014 at 7:04:35 pm

Excellent points, Bill. And having your single light strapped to your rolling rig is a terrific way to make sure the light isn't kicked over. Plus, running off of batteries removes the trip-over-the-stinger factor.

You don't mention dominant color balance (as opposed to light intensity.) I would think having a variable color-temp light would be most useful, though not absolutely necessary.

Rick Wise
Cinematographer
MFA/BFA Lighting and Camera Instructor Academy of Art University
San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.RickWiseDP.com


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Todd Terry
Re: Conference / Exhibit Hall Interview Lighting
on Aug 1, 2014 at 7:14:00 pm
Last Edited By Todd Terry on Aug 1, 2014 at 7:21:22 pm

[Rick Wise] "I would think having a variable color-temp light would be most useful"

For sure... and for that I would heartily recommend the little Switronix TorchLED...

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1012133-REG/switronix_tl_bt220_torchl...

I have one, although I've rarely used it as an on-camera light (I usually use it as a hair light, or to give a little background kick somewhere... although I had to rig up a gadget to adapt its shoe to fit a regular 5/8 baby pin).

It's little, inexpensive, VERY punchy, runs a loooong time on its battery, and is fully bi-color. Half the LEDs are daylight balance, half tungsten... and each set has a dimmer knob (and they will go down to legitimate zero) so you can pretty much dial in whatever exact color combo looks good.

T2

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



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Mark Suszko
Re: Conference / Exhibit Hall Interview Lighting
on Aug 1, 2014 at 8:50:43 pm

I know it's the Lighting forum, but the nicest lighting means nothing if you get crummy audio, so, keep that in mind as well.


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