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Old November 16th, 2015, 05:22 PM   #1
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Lighting and audio help for interviews

Hi everyone

I am moving from weddings to doco's so needing to expand my kit quite a bit!

I need more gear to assist with lighting an interview and boom pole kit as well. I currently use a Rode NTG2 on my camera so can get the boom kit for that and will need to get a mounting solution as well as I won't initially have a person on sound. Any suggestions would be great.

My biggest need is lighting... I purchased a Dedolight DLH4 a while ago for weddings however don't have a diffuser for this so am wondering if it is even worth trying to use it for an interview or if I should just start from scratch for this?

Thank you in advance!

Diana
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Old November 16th, 2015, 06:47 PM   #2
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Re: Lighting and audio help for interviews

You'll probably get a lot of ideas and suggestions. I've learned the hard way that you should buy the most you can afford and then some because lighting is as diverse as personalities on this board.

I need an LED kit, but they're pretty over priced for what they are. A dimable LED kit would work well for you, but get ready to fork out 2k or so.

As for a diffuser, you could use a lot of things, Ive used a five in one reflector with it's transparent piece, works decent in a pinch.
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Old November 16th, 2015, 07:46 PM   #3
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Re: Lighting and audio help for interviews

For audio, you need a
shock mount,
boom pole,
c-stand,
and
boom cradle


For lighting, you can go tungsten, florescent, or LED. I listed in order of expense. Used Arri and Mole kits are cheap. Kinos are the standard florescent fixtures. The Litepanels Astra is very popular, but Mole makes some LED fresnels which are very good.

Any way you go, you'll need stands, bags, and stingers.
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Old November 17th, 2015, 08:58 AM   #4
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Re: Lighting and audio help for interviews

Hey Diana,

As hard as it is to resist, don't go cheap on your light kit.

I can't tell you how many Arri knock-offs I've thrown away because I thought I was saving money.

My kit basically consists of Kinoflo Diva's and an assortment of Arri lights.

The Kinos give nice diffused light but also come with a diffuser that fitas over them to soften the light even more.

The Kinos have flaps on the front that act as barn doors but because the light is so diffused it's not a very directional light and you won't get a hard edge if you're looking for that.

The Arri's of course are hard and need to be diffused to soften skin. The nice thing about them though is that you can use a small watt one ofr a hair light and get some nice seperation by using them without any softening.

But between the two I have a pretty good kit that I can use in a variety of situations. But like I said, not cheap.

There are all kinds of boom poles out there. I have a Gitzo that goes out like ten feet or something, but I think the next one will be a carbon fiber model.

A lot of times I just use a lav because it's easier than using the boom. Just depends on the situation you're in.
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Old November 18th, 2015, 11:15 AM   #5
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Re: Lighting and audio help for interviews

For your first light, look for something versatile. By that, I mean it's got good power (at least 500w for tungsten, and ideally 100w for LED). It's nice to have bi-color as well, but more important is flexiblity in modifying the light. Starting with a hard source is good, since it can be softened via umbrella, softbox, bounce card, clip-on diffusion...etc. If you start with a soft source, chances are it's a big instrument, like a 4' fluorescent.

I love my Photoflex Starlight 750, as it was the first decent light I bought. Add a 3x2 softbox and grid and you've got a beautiful, yet controllable soft source. Be warned, it gets very hot and takes a while to cool. More recently, I've gone with monobloc style daylight balanced LED lights, like the Alzo 3200, which can be modified like a studio strobe and produces a very bright light, but runs cool enough to pack quickly. It's an A/C source though...not battery operated.

Most important, take a few lighting courses. The best tool in the worst hands is nothing compared to a poor tool in the best hands.
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Old November 18th, 2015, 12:18 PM   #6
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Re: Lighting and audio help for interviews

One-man crew, I'd go wireless lav mic everytime.

Couple of LED panels, it's pretty easy to start (relatively) cheap.

Lighting takes a few minutes to learn and a lifetime to master.
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Old November 19th, 2015, 10:56 PM   #7
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Re: Lighting and audio help for interviews

Thank you everyone

I will rent some decent lights this time I think and work on getting them right before I rush into buying. I agree it probably isn't worth getting something cheap just because it's cheap!

I really appreciate your comments.
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