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Old March 26th, 2008, 10:09 AM   #1
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best lighting kit for music videos ?

Can anyone suggest any links to the cheapest lighting kit that can achieve this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUZ6ICMAeUA

I'm planning on doubling up the use of lighting for stills photography as well; save money.

So, I'm guessing daylight approx. 5600k or so temp will be needed? I'll be shooting music vids against black and white backgrounds, and chroma key, in a small dark room with no windows and editing in post to make it look bigger and do effects etc. Want enough power to bring out the colours and make it look glossy. How much power is needed? What type of lighting? (e.g. cool lights... flourescent... redheads....) Is cool lighting any good? (e.g. http://www.cameras2u.com/Store/s6267...t/details.aspx )

I'll want enough versatility to play with lighting and do a variety of shots (e.g. type of lighting as shown on above video... soft lighting with no shadows.. occasional high contrast lighting.. silluette lighting..etc), but would like to achieve results with minimum cost.

I've done lots of research, but at this point, am looking to see examples, ideas, and suggestions from people who have used the equipment and seen results.

Any advice appreciated! Thanks :-)

Matt
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Old March 26th, 2008, 02:41 PM   #2
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The cheapest lighting kit that can achieve this would likely be a 3-5 ton grip truck rented from a competent grip house and used by professionals that know what they're doing - in a light controlled studio setting.

Just from looking at the lights and shadows, I would guestimate that $15-25,000 worth of specialized lighting gear was used.

The "whiteout background scenes" alone would require a serious lighting grid with significant cyc lighting. And that's before you even considered lighting the dancer/singer.

You might be able to re-create a few of the more basic shots with a kit approach - but you simply can not recreate all these shots with a cheap kit and a converted room at home.

Sorry.
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Old March 26th, 2008, 03:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Davis View Post
The cheapest lighting kit that can achieve this would likely be a 3-5 ton grip truck rented from a competent grip house and used by professionals that know what they're doing - in a light controlled studio setting.

Just from looking at the lights and shadows, I would guestimate that $15-25,000 worth of specialized lighting gear was used.

The "whiteout background scenes" alone would require a serious lighting grid with significant cyc lighting. And that's before you even considered lighting the dancer/singer.

You might be able to re-create a few of the more basic shots with a kit approach - but you simply can not recreate all these shots with a cheap kit and a converted room at home.

Sorry.
What would the grip truck be used for?

We are all entitled to our opinions, I just don't agree with you in this case.

Any more ideas welcome! :-)
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Old March 26th, 2008, 04:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Stedeford View Post
What would the grip truck be used for?

We are all entitled to our opinions, I just don't agree with you in this case.

Any more ideas welcome! :-)
If you don't even know what a grip truck is, how can you disagree with Bill's (practical) advice- advice you asked for?

Here's an idea: prove him wrong by doing it your own way.
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Old March 26th, 2008, 06:43 PM   #5
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The Grip Truck is full of lights, stands, reflectors, etc. etc. etc.

I did a weekend video project with a Betacam SP a number of years ago. We rented a truck for the weekend for the day rate of $275 (or maybe less, I don't remember exactly).

(I also hired a DP and 2 crew members, but that came in a bit more than the truck.)

I don't know what a truck rents for now, but I think you can get quite a bit for under $500.

But if you don't want to rent a truck, and you want to buy, then let's put the question this way: If I only have $300 and want to light a music video, would someone please list the 10 pro lights I should buy first? And what should I buy with the money that's left over? Thanks!
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Old March 26th, 2008, 09:48 PM   #6
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You don't necessarily have to shoot in front of white or black cycs to get those effects. You could shoot the entire thing in front of green screen (as long as you do it right and you get good keys) and replace the background with pure white or black. People do it all the time. Unless your key is good though, you probably won't like the effect as you'd see an outline around the person. Good separation between screen and subjects, good rim lighting to counteract green spillover, will be important to this.

And on the question of is fluorescent lighting any good, yes of course it is, people are using it successfully every day. Its used quite often now for cyc lighting on a green screen shoot for both subject and background. Just light in two layers. Subject has their own lighting and effects. Background lit evenly and smoothly without hot spots and white balance to the foreground/subject lighting with green screen lighting turned off. Then after white balance, relight the screen and shoot.
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Old March 26th, 2008, 10:13 PM   #7
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Matt I'm seeing a lot of edge lighting from overhead and the frontal lighting is clearly a very large soft lighting source. Suggesting a large setup and LOTS of watts. Something like a kit you linked to will not cut it.

On my website click the "morning for the masses" link and watch that--done with about 3,000 watts of tungsten, assorted 500 watters placed in certain areas and 2,000 watts shone at a bounce sheet to provide soft light from the side. I now have an addition 1300 watts from a soft fluorescent light source and it still isn't enough to achieve the lighting in that video you linked.

Sorry to say, Bill is mostly right here, although I don't think cycs were used, but rather chromakey.
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Old March 27th, 2008, 11:48 AM   #8
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Hey guys, innocent bystander here. Don't attack me, but what's a cyc?
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Old March 27th, 2008, 12:58 PM   #9
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cyc, aka strip light, flood light.

From cyclorama: A cyclorama is a cylindrical panoramic painting designed to provide a viewer, standing in the middle of the cylinder, with a 360 view of the painting. (source: wikipedia)

Cycs are used to "paint the stage with light" you could say (welll I said it anyways).

George/
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Old March 27th, 2008, 01:29 PM   #10
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I've seen chroma talking heads placed on white. reasoning was to get the same white behind everyone when video was shot in 6-8 different locations.

that said, the video was almost certainly shot on a white cyc. its a lot easier that way. large diffused frontal sources where used, 6X6 or 8X8 most likley. to light this that meant at least a 2K openface or 2 behind each silk, or a 5K. certainly a small 3-5 ton truck worth of gear.

the black shots most likely where done on a 20X20 solid. done this enough times, then crushed the blacks in post to eliminate any variations. could of done CK, but thats more of a pain then anything else.

then to get a longer lens and that look, you need to be able to get back 20 to 50ft with the camera, and that only happens in a suitable studio space.

no you can't do something like this in a small room. ain't gonna happen and look the same. you know people will spend $10k for a camera, but the won't spend $10k for lighting gear, even though that gear will last for the next several cameras. lighting and audio gear is a good investment, cameras poor.

and of course once you have the gear, you also need to crew to set it up because one person just can't move all of it fast enough....

better to rent a truck, hire a couple of grips, and do it right.
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Old March 27th, 2008, 03:30 PM   #11
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Does anybody know a reliable company to rent a 3-5 ton truck with crew in Dallas/Ft Worth???
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Old March 29th, 2008, 03:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Stedeford View Post
What would the grip truck be used for?

We are all entitled to our opinions, I just don't agree with you in this case.

Any more ideas welcome! :-)
I don't know. Bill seemed to be trying to come up with a constructive answer and this response sounds sarcastic. Was it meant to be?
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Old March 29th, 2008, 09:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Stedeford View Post
What would the grip truck be used for?

We are all entitled to our opinions, I just don't agree with you in this case.

Any more ideas welcome! :-)

Cool. We disagree. That's healthy.

But please understand that I've had to light stuff like these scenes. And. forgive my presumption, but I suspect that you have not.

That's doesn't make me "right" and you "wrong" necessarily. It just means that I answered from a knowledge base of a couple of decades doing this kind of work to put food on the table. So for me it's less "theory" and more practical experience.

You picked scenes that were professionally produced with VERY high production values.

And if a $300 kit could produce the looks you referenced, I'd expect every kids school play would look just like your examples.

And they don't.

Worse yet, every school cafeteria probably has a few THOUSAND DOLLARS in lighting gear installed. And videos of school plays on those stages look NOTHING like your examples.

Yes, part of that is technique.

But part of it also is that several thousand dollar school stage lighting arrays are STILL NO WHERE NEAR capable of doing the kind of work you referenced.

So, I'm sorry you don't like the answer. But it's STILL the answer. You simply can't re-create the looks you're referencing without the proper equipment.

Simple as that.
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Old March 29th, 2008, 10:59 PM   #14
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After looking at the video, Bill is undoubtedly right. You get this kind of look with 6ks punched through 12x12 muslin photographed on 35mm, not with a lighting kit. Those silky smooth skintones are from huge and powerful soft sources, not kit lights.

It's not the truck, its the material that the truck can carry. I personally own a 3 ton package but I don't own a grip truck. I can't fit huge lights, a big generator and 12x12 kits in my pickup truck. I think thats what Bill was getting at. a professionally done music video like this is done with big boy toys, it's look and feel cannot be replicated (at least very closely) with prosumer gear and a lighting kit.

Not to say you can't get a great look with smaller cameras, HD and a lighting kit, that's what I shoot with most of the time, but it won't have the same type of look as this promo does.

Dan
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Old March 29th, 2008, 11:51 PM   #15
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Another voice for Bill.

There's a fair amount of instruments working here, and while you could approximate it with maybe a couple 2Ks and a couple 650s, it wouldn't be quite as polished. Bill knows what he's talking about.

Lemme show you the lighting order from a greenscreen shoot I did 2 weeks ago at Smashbox Studios in West Hollywood:

--------------------------

1 X 9-lite Maxi brute Complete (medium globes)
2 X 5K Baby Complete
2 X 6K Spacelight Complete
2 X 1K Baby Baby Complete
2 X 650W Tweenie complete
2 X 4' X 4 Kinoflo complete (globed tungsten)
1 X 5K Variac
3 X beefy baby stand
1 X premie stand

1 X 6' X 6' frame (now quantity 1)
2 X 10' speedrail
2 X speedrail ears
2 X lollipop
1 X menace arm kit (remove entirely)
1 X 6' X 6' 1/2 silk
1 X 6' X6' Full silk
1 X 4' X 4' #216 gel frame
1 X 4' X 4' #250 gel frame
1 X 4' X 4' Opal frost gel frame
2 X 4' X 4' silk
6 X 4' X 4' black flag w/ flop
2 X 4' X 4' bead board bounce
2 X 2' X 3' (of each below)
black flag
double net
single net
silk
2 X 18" X 24" (remove all 18x24 flags entirely)
black flag
double net
single net
silk
1 X 1' X 3' cutter (w/ flop?)
3 X 3-riser combo stand
2 X set of combo wheels
3 X 2-riser combo
3 X hi roller stand
2 X low combo stand
20 X C-stand
3 X baby C-stand
2 X Platypus clamp
2 X cartellini clamp
2 X mafer clamp
6 X aircraft cables

(leaving out all distro)

This all to produce just:

It's not even a truck's worth!
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