What programs feature the best interview lighting? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Photon Management

Photon Management
Shine an ever-loving light on you.

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 28th, 2004, 01:37 PM   #1
Major Player
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Cereal City USA
Posts: 286
What programs feature the best interview lighting?

I'm a big fan of Front Line. I often have to tape it because I'm so focused on the look of the program, I find I'm not paying attention to what is being said.

Beautifully lit and composed interviews.

What other shows out there motivate you to produce better lighting?
Patrick Gault is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 28th, 2004, 01:42 PM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,707
My favorite is 60 Minutes. They have always done a black background...a lesson in "less is more". I believe they've had a top rated show for decades now.

The subject should be the focus. I've seen so many interviews where you can't even concentrate on what the person is saying because it's so busy. If you follow the basic 3 point lighting you can't go wrong...that's my advice!

Christopher C. Murphy
Director, Producer, Writer
Christopher C. Murphy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 1st, 2004, 03:37 AM   #3
Regular Crew
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Posts: 55
I'd agree with both of those above as my favorites, too!

I watched a BBC documentary, "A Brief History of Time" about Stephen Hawking, a while back where I enjoyed the production's lighting techniques and talent placement.

They seemed to use low-key 3-pt. lighting for the talent, with the key level with the talking head and fill at-level or below the talking head. Both the key and fill seemed wider than usual from the camera. The background light were often gelled and used to highlight narrow swaths behind the talent. They even lit adjacent rooms that show up in doorways in the background. It seemed, for their shots, they were able to position the talent far enough away from the background to attain a shallow depth of field, so the background. Even though the background was selectively lit, it wasn't distracting at all.

Another thing I noticed was that they positioned the talent's chair maybe 45 degrees or more (my guess) away from the camera, forcing the talent to turn to talk their head to the interviewer, who seemed to be positioned near the camera. Interesting, but I wondered if the talent's neck got sore from turning it over the length of the interview? :-)

I don't know if that was a particularly exceptional production, but it inspired me to play around with lighting and talent positioning a bit more.
Harris Ueng is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 1st, 2004, 08:41 AM   #4
Major Player
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Northridge Ca
Posts: 734
A lot of good lighting is showing up on the "true crime" shows on cable, such as "New Detective," "Cold Case Files," etc. Saw one the other night where a young man told of his escape from a monster who broke both of his legs while holding the fourteen year-old captive. A chilling story that was more effective coming directly from the young man, than in the recreations. Lighting on the entire episode was excellent.

Softer backgrounds indicate full size, 2/3" cameras were used, such as Betacams.

Wayne Orr is offline   Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

(800) 223-2500
New York, NY

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Texas Media Systems
(512) 440-1400
Austin, TX

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

(800) 323-2325
Mineola, NY

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Photon Management

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:29 AM.

DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2018 The Digital Video Information Network