lighting for interviews? at

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 January 30th, 2013, 08:14 AM   #1
Regular Crew
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: liverpool, England
Posts: 143
lighting for interviews?

Hi Guys

I have a job coming up which involves filming some 2 minute interviews with company directors.

Initially i envisaged the interviewees in a blackout room and just lighting the person up, is this feasible to set up in a meeting room?

Also, what lighting kits would I need or recommend? I have seen many ranging from 90 to 1200!! I dont think my budget can go past 500

Hope you can help
Phil Gadd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 5th, 2013, 01:59 AM   #2
Regular Crew
Join Date: May 2008
Location: U.K
Posts: 154
Re: lighting for interviews?

It sounds like you've not done this before? If so, then you might want to knock the blackout on the head and go with the most simple and easy set up. Shooting these kind of jobs, at least in my experience, is usually very quick in turnaround, with little to no set up time. Blackouts can be tricky to get right, especially in a small room.

How about hiring a couple of light kits for now?
Adrian Frearson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 5th, 2013, 02:11 AM   #3
Inner Circle
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Belfast, UK
Posts: 4,151
Re: lighting for interviews?

A black background drape would be the way to go. It's difficult to get a black in your standard white walled office.
Brian Drysdale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 5th, 2013, 06:31 AM   #4
Regular Crew
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: liverpool, England
Posts: 143
Re: lighting for interviews?

Thanks Adrian/Brian

You're right, I havent ventured into video lighting before although I supply a DJ/singer and uplighting service for the region Home - welcome to Pzazz Parties

I often wondered if up lighters (american DK LED megapanels as i have 24 of them) could be utilised but the white is a mixture of RGB so not wonderful.

Never really thought of hiring which could be an option.

Am I to think that when the Pro's do this, they do it in a controlled environment in their studio?

Phil Gadd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 5th, 2013, 08:24 AM   #5
Inner Circle
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Efland NC, USA
Posts: 2,315
Re: lighting for interviews?

The reality of how you put together an interview setup is nothing like what you might expect it to be.

The setup you see in the attached crappy cellphone photos ( IMAG0164.jpg & IMAG0165.jpg) took about 1.5hrs to setup then another thirty min to tweak to the style sheet sent by the network. We were in a briefing room of a police station. This room had emergency lights we couldn't turn off so they had to be covered. This one was more complicated because it was being shot in multiple locations by different crews but they wanted it all to match. Way overkill for most needs but an example of how much work can go into some of these setup.

For a much simpler and more common setup using a conference room check out FV Interview.jpg. This is a setup for a corporate video. We used the length of the room to get some depth in the shot and put a table and the other things you see in the background there to add some interest. It took 5 lights for this setup (including the lamp on the table).

Lighting setup for the conference room shoot:
2 softlights for key/fill
1 hard light for light slash on wall (HMI with CTO gel)
1 light for highlight on plant
1 practical (lamp)

Not a light but important:
1 piece of black fabric on the ceiling to choke spill from the lights in the background.

Some of the basic ideas to incorporate in your setups where you can is to get the subjects away from walls. Distance between your subjects and the background is your friend. Put things in the background to add visual interest and/or context for the interview.

Lighting matters. There are tons of writings on the subject. Read as much of it as you can get your hands on.

Tricks for your kit - Get some white and black foam board from your local craft store or walmart. Have a couple of moving blankets and a background stand in your kit. Use them as positive and negative fill to make your lighting more interesting. This stuff can be had very cheaply and are very powerful tools to control the environment and make your interviews look professional. Its not always about adding light. Sometimes you need to take it away to get the shape you want.

Have fun and know its a journey. :)
Attached Thumbnails
lighting for interviews?-fm-interview.jpg   lighting for interviews?-imag0164.jpg  

lighting for interviews?-imag0165.jpg  
Chris Medico is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 6th, 2013, 10:09 AM   #6
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Cornsay Durham UK
Posts: 1,959
Re: lighting for interviews?

You may find this book useful:
As for lighting kit a basic set-up involves three lights and this can be a set of tungsten redheads or some led lights all the way up to some fresnels or even dedo lights.

I would avoid RGB lights as they will give colour casts but they could be useful for lighting backgrounds and black backdrop material is a godsend.

I am just across the pennines in Co Durham and have loads of kit if you wish to loan some to try out rather than buy for one job.
Over 15 minutes in Broadcast Film and TV production:
Gary Nattrass 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 02:12 AM.

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