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TV debate lighting

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David Klaus
TV debate lighting
on Jan 7, 2016 at 6:12:08 pm

Hello everyone!

I'm new to this forum and my first question will be about TV set lighting. I'll hope that's ok.

I've been asked by a local TV station to light several political debate that will take place in a mall. There will be two or three journalists and 6 candidates around the table. This will take place at night but the lights of the mall will still be on. That will give us an ambient lighting.

I designed two lighting plots. The first one is almost made only of fluos (kinoflos style).

I intend to use fluos for the key lights and a few tungsten fresnel for the backlights. I also added two sources for a bit of fill.

But i'm not sure the rental company we will work with has fluorescent lights. So i designed another plot with only tungsten lights.

It's pretty straightforward. Everyone has its own source. Every source for the candidates are used as a key and as a backlight for the person on the opposite.

But i'm full of doubts. If i need to go for the second solution i'm not sure what power i need to choose for the lights. I guess 750w each will be enough?

I need your opinions on those two diagrams. Are they correct or am i completely out of tune? Your advices would be very much appreciated.

Thank you everyone!

P.S.: i come from Switzerland, hope my english is ok

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Rick Wise
Re: TV debate lighting
on Jan 7, 2016 at 10:05:16 pm

A lot depends on the level of ambient light. Missing from your diagrams is the camera(s). I presume there's one on the 2 journalists, and one left and another right for the candidates. I would think going fully Kino Flo, preferably 4x4 or equivalent for both key and back lights would be your best bet. That way you can cut down light to match the ambient background, if needed. Color temperature is another serious concern. Is the background lit mainly "daylight" or "tungsten"?

The tungsten units could also work, especially with some decent diffusion flown in front of each. You are trying to make everyone look good, and usually soft light works better to that end, much as I love hard.

Rick Wise
MFA/BFA Lighting and Camera Instructor Academy of Art University
San Francisco Bay Area

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