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Old July 14th, 2006, 10:05 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Thunder Bay, ON. Canada
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Commercial lighting setup

I am new to commercial shoots, and mainly stick to wedding videography. I was wondering what a good but basic setup would be to shoot commercial spots on location within local stores and outside areas? I live in a relative small city with only one television company which has this market cornered but charges way too much for crappy commercials. I have been getting a lot of requests but know nothing about lighting for this type of event. Any help would be appreciated.

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Old July 16th, 2006, 10:18 AM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Cedar Park, Texas
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The majority of my shooting is done with lighting and I come from a still photography background.

There are lots of links on the Web (do a search on "video lighting tutorial"). There are many discussions on this forum. You might also look into 2nd-Unit TV. There is a link on DVi.

This is the short version:

I prefer softboxes. IMO they give me the best overall solutions. I can take the defusers off if I want more light and more direct light (with shadows). If I want less shadows but lots of light, they do that very well.

I basically use three to six lights, depending on the environment and what I need to achieve. I use two softboxes minimum, a main light (or key light) and a fill. The main light has the most wattage or coverage, the fill is just that, filling in the shadows on the opposite side of the main light. I place them on either side of my camera and change the angles to gain the desired effect. I generally have them about 90 degrees from each other but that varies.

I also use other lights, not usually softboxes, to do things like light the background or as a kicker light, that is used to highlight the edges of a subject or a "hair light" to highlight the hair on a subject or accentuate a facial line.

Hope this helps.
- Jesse
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Old July 16th, 2006, 01:12 PM   #3
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Location: Toronto, Canada
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A good approach would be to get a versatile light kit, which implies a variety of lights.

Some it of comes down to your personal preference, your budget, and how portable you want the kit to be.

A very basic kit to start off with might be something like:
-A soft light source like a chimera/softbox or DIY nanolight (see victor milt's lighting DVD for instructions on how to make one).
-A fresnel light
-Reflectors- crinkled tinfoil works very well (just tape/glue it to cardboard), or get the kinds that fold up (photoflex is one company that makes these); these will need stands to hold them; the cardboard side can act as a flag
-A Lowel Pro-light for hair/rim. These are cheap (compared to other professional lights), light, small/portable, and you can hang 'em off a ceiling with the right clamp (get those too).
-Accessories - see the low budget lighting sticky to see what you need

From there, that's about 4 light sources (more if you can use more reflectors)... and you can combine the lights in different ways to do 3-point lighting or whatever else you want to do. You then might want to add some other lights... at least one more soft light source, another fresnel, maybe a chinese lantern, etc.
If you're a one-man army, you may not be able to setup that many lights anyways... so you might want lights that setup fast (i.e. Lowel Rifa / softbox).

- One person's light kit:
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Old July 16th, 2006, 01:35 PM   #4
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The Power of Lighting series is well done:
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