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Lighting Tip, using HDR-FX1 indoors

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Jon B745435
Lighting Tip, using HDR-FX1 indoors
on Dec 12, 2005 at 1:58:35 am

I just picked up the Sony HDR-FX1 to get into HDV mode to shoot a feature length narrative (obviously a low-budg project but you gotta start somewhere).
Most action in the story takes place indoors, in a basement (7' ceiling, dimly lit, some practical recessed lights in room, one small window).
I only have exp. lighting for 16mm color, and am not sure how HDV takes to certain lights.
1) what basic 3-pt lighting kit can you recommend for under a grand?
2) Since dealing predominately with basement setting, is soft-box lighting the best recommended design so as to not overdo shadows/contrast? I am trying to create natural light setting so I also assume low wattage (ie. 250-500k) would yield truer results.
3) What effect does fluorescent lights have on HDV? Same as film (i.e, green tint)? Do I need camera filter or a light filter?
4) Any books / DVD's recommended for teaching lighting for video?

Sorry for all the elementary questions, and as always thanks for any input you can lend.


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scott davis
Re: Lighting Tip, using HDR-FX1 indoors
on Dec 15, 2005 at 2:05:58 pm

Lower wattage Lowell Rifa lights work okay. I have a couple of LC88's (1k's), and they put out an acceptable amount and quality of light.

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Bob Cole
Re: Lighting Tip, using HDR-FX1 indoors
on Dec 19, 2005 at 3:05:51 pm

Perhaps you might start by researching some feature films which have great scenes in basements or prison cells. (Psycho, Rue 13 Madeleine are the only ones that come to mind immediately, both black and white.) Rent them. Study the lighting. Try to reproduce what you like.

Typical basement lighting is kind of schizophrenic, which could help tell your story. Either totally hard, bare tungsten light bulbs, or totally soft overhead fluorescent "shop lights." Either way, a Chimera or Rifa aimed from the side wouldn't work.

-- BC

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Re: Lighting Tip, using HDR-FX1 indoors
on Dec 29, 2005 at 7:15:55 pm

Lighting for film or video has 3 basic issues to deal with:
Exposure, contrast and the 'quality' of the lighting scheme.
Exposure is what it is. You need enough for the system you are using, film or video.
Contrast is usually easier to deal with on film so video might need a bit more soft fill light.
Quality of the lighting scheme shouldn't change from film to video except to deal with the contrast issues. This is a matter of taste and appropriateness to the scene.
If you have been shooting film, then video should be easier as you can have a quality monitor to instantly see your results.
A '3 point lighting kit' has no meaning in the dramatic film arena. You light the scene to look as you want it to look which might take one light or 50 lights along with a bunch of controlling equipment like flags, nets, dimmers, clips, cards, gells, etc.

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