Lighting bmx/skate video shoots at

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Old March 12th, 2008, 07:20 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Owensboro KY
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Lighting bmx/skate video shoots

Im planning on using a panasonic gs320 for filming bmx which is very similar if not identical to shooting skate videos. I don't really know what type of lighting setup i would need in order to film at night. I know alot of people use workilights and generators. But i want my setup to be a little more portable since a generator would be hard to carry while riding a bicycle. So im thinking that an on camera option would be best. What are some of your thoughts?
Brandon Whitfill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 16th, 2008, 01:34 AM   #2
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I don't watch a lot of bmx videos (other than what you see on the extreme channel) but I have filmed quite a few skate- and snowboard videos over the years. I guess the biggest problems are when the light you're using is the main/only source of illumination -as opposed to just filling in some shadows.

In bmx do you tend to do the up close + death lens thing or is it wider and further away shots?

You can normally get away with the on-cam option for death lens shots in sk8 vids as you don't mind only having the board and feet properly lit.

I'd imagine that in bmx the required lit area is a lot larger (bike+rider+probably obstacle) so straight away you're going to need a lot more and wider/more diffused light.

Also, I think bmxing tends to take place over a lot more ground and obviously the further away from the light the less illumination -can you film and ride alongside like skate filming?

Maybe you could also try some of those big rechargeable torches you use for camping. You could probably get 3 or 4 of them in a backpack. Perhaps you could experiment by diffusing them with some baking paper(greaseproof) to avoid hotspots. Maybe you could also carry some collapsable tent poles if your filming in dirt (to tape/tie the lights to).

I think (as in sk8ing) this is a situation where you're not really interested in modelling or too much finesse in the lighting setup, you just want the cam to be able to resolve a decent image. Also I'm sure it's as true for bmx as for sk8 that in some spots you don't have time for a lot of filmcrewing around before you may be politely urged to depart!!
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Old March 16th, 2008, 10:12 AM   #3
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if I remember correctly, the hard part of using a generator and lights is the packing up and running away once the "authority" has been called.

if you get an on camera light you are gonna need one with an external power supply (like a battery you can hook to your belt or something) because running off your camera battery is not gonna be powerful enough to light the scene while the guys are ridin around.

the setup I had back in the day when I shot biking was my truck, and in the bed was the generator and lights, and then if we needed any more portable lights we just had a couple flood lights on battery power.

have fun out there.
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Old March 28th, 2008, 08:56 AM   #4
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I've done a few skateboarding videos, and I'd have to say that your solution will depend completely on budget and the size of the space you're shooting in. I've found that a Pro Lite works fairly good at illuminating is smaller areas, although the beam is then directional(as it is camera mounted). They work pretty good for closeup work, but are not great for covering a large area.
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Old March 31st, 2008, 06:59 PM   #5
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Someone else from KY that rides BMX. I would probably get a couple bescors with the batteries. Don't expect them to last long maybe 30mins(it's been years since I had mine) and they will suck to carry around.
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