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Old February 20th, 2007, 07:37 PM   #16
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Thank you guys for your responses. I'm afraid there has been some confusion. I am interested, as well as individual pieces of gear, mostly on how to set up the lighting for an interview in this artistic high production style. I want to know arrangement and combinations of lighting elements, without too much budget restriction (since I'm borrowing from professionals, or if I have to, renting).

ie: Do I use a softbox, an open light and reflector? If so, where do I put the softbox, where do I put the reflector, and where do I put the other lights. I'm interested in the whole kit that I could use, and how I would use it.

Quote:
I am basically asking what would be a good setup (within reason) for an artistic HD production with a 35 mm adapter. I can't obviously ask for a kit in the 10,000$ range, but I am fortunately perhaps less restricted than most in this department (lighting). I obviously don't know exactly what I have access to, so if you could just suggest a range of products I can get an idea of what to ask for. I am basically just looking to get a concept of the type of setup that would be appropriate. If it comes down to it, we can also rent a bit.
Cole: I am not in fact looking for a budget solution (though I appreciate the tips which may be useful on my smaller projects). I understand that one can pull something together for very little money (with such suggestions as the bedsheet etc), but if you reread my original post, my situation is quite different. I have access to a few people (not extremely high level, but professionals) who will lend me equipment. We want very high production value, and do not need to cut (many) corners. Thank you for your suggestions, and sorry for the confusion.

Jimmy: Thank you. I am not in fact very educated on lighting for DV. It is not school equipment I would be using, but my teacher is one of my possible sources of equipment. That article is very useful; thank you.

Don: I realize that that clip is not lighted (much), but was providing as an (perhaps useless) example of a look we would be happy with -- I'm not saying I want it to look exactly like that.
I am very interested in your work in the area. We are focusing mainly on Richmond High, so we wont be in many houses, but point taken on traveling light. When we do go through the triangle we were going to go via cop car (too many bad stories) and try to shoot that way. I would very much like to hear your experiences. Perhaps we could correspond via email (if you're not too busy)? brianorser@gmail.com - if youre interested in sharing your experience. Thanks for the advice on the lights -- more what I was looking for. However, which Kino Flo do you have in mind?

Ralph: Again, sorry for the confusion. I never mentioned buying equipment. I am indeed renting, but for free, from friends. :) I will also rent (not for free) anything they dont have that I might need. Thanks.

Thanks everyone, sorry the thread got confused, and please try again to help me out. :)
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Old February 20th, 2007, 08:32 PM   #17
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Read everything on this site: http://www.efplighting.com/
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Old February 20th, 2007, 08:46 PM   #18
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Ya, thanks Bennis, it is indeed an amazing resource. Someone pointed it out to me. Thanks a lot. :)
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Old February 20th, 2007, 09:04 PM   #19
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The higher budget version of the lighting setup would be to grab a large white scrim in a frame and blast a largish light at it to give a huge soft light...You can see an extreme example of this in the BTS for Casanova with Heath Ledger. They used the sun in this case, but a 6x6 scrim in a frame with a 1k light pointed at it will get the nice big soft light you're looking for in that clip you originally posted...you can use existing light this way as well using the sun as source. The goal is to make the light much larger than it is in relation to the subject.
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Old February 20th, 2007, 09:11 PM   #20
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Thank you Cole. I'll look into that.

By the way, everyone, please don't place too much emphasis on Phillip Bloom's piece which I posted. It was perhaps a mistake - it is not necessarily an example of how I want to light our piece. It was more to illustrate a look that is similar to the one we're looking for. It is not even exactly what we want. Please don't let it affect your suggestions dramatically.
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Old February 20th, 2007, 10:53 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bennis Hahn
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Old February 20th, 2007, 11:46 PM   #22
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:) Um, is it possible that I could change the topic of this thread? Admins? I just realized why people were confused at first - it could be read Lighting without too much $$$ (without the "restriction" bit) completely altering the meaning. If its possible someone let me know.

Thanks for all your advice.

Brian
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Old February 21st, 2007, 12:06 AM   #23
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we shot over in the triangle about 3 years ago ... we had 3 days ( 9-4pm) of interviews in persons home and a few interviews in a corner ? lot? park ? ( not sure what to call it) .. we were a crew of 4 w/men, 1 w/woman( 2 camera's, soundman, director & producer- our age range 40 -70- which i think was a plus)... we didn't drive the lexus - we drove rent a wrecks (with dents) ... the interviews went good - each house that we shot at the person of the house usually had to go outside within 5 min of our arrival and tell persons out in the street that we were "OK" ... shooting at the park had some tension as our persons had to have friends on nearby corners keeping their eye out for certain cars( not the police) ... we did see police while we had camera's out but they never stopped ....
the 1st interview we brought in 4 lights , few C stands, flags/nets - next interview only ONE light ... 2nd & 3rd day - all natural light & 4x4 foam core ....

today the triangle is much more dangerous - especially the last 4-5 months ...
a friend ask me to shot a interview of a person over there about 3 weeks ago - i said NO to anywhere near the triangle - but i would do it in point richmond - which we did in the park ( end of tunnel) ...

i'm not sure where Richmond high is located ? but i would say a high school is safer then being out in the streets ...
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Old February 21st, 2007, 12:31 AM   #24
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Very interesting. Sounds about as sketchy as I would assume. I am well aware of the deteriorating situation in the triangle and narf in general. What do you think of the idea of from the window of a patrol car?

Also, I would like to run the viability of our interview set-up past you.

We'd be kids, administration, teachers (many of whom will be friendlies as we know 1st and 2nd hand many of them), and potentially parents (this one is the most unsure).

We plan to mic them with lav and boom cardioid (for coverage), lighting is obviously still being decided, and we'll have a big HDV cam (prolly JVCHD110) with 35mm adapter and lens. Is all this too imposing? We're - to tell the truth ;) - just kids, high school seniors, which might alleviate down the intimidation factor.

We don't want this to look like a documentary - filmic and more like a narrative in style and story - so we want this to look as rich and pretty as possible.

What do you think?

And, in relation to lighting, should we just go for a key light and reflector? Or key and soft fill? Or can we get more in depth?

Thanks for your help,

Brian
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Old February 21st, 2007, 06:19 PM   #25
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Brian,

You can get very close to the portrait lighting in the sample clip you provided by putting your subject by a large window. If you do this, you would get more consistant lighting with a northern facing window and keep in mind that your light temperature will change rapidly as you approach either dawn or dusk. If you shoot around noon, this might work well for you.

With the depth of field you get with the 35mm adapter, you might be able to get away with not using a back or edge light, but I would keep an extra instrument on hand just in case. I wouldn't shoot with out a edge light with normal video though, my personal preference I guess.

If you like the look of the soft key, defintely go for a soft box with a reflector, or two soft boxes and put an extra diffussion layer on your fill. This will knock your fill down a couple of stops as well.

You should be able to get by with your basic media department lighting kit, though. I would try to shoot some tests, and try to achieve the look your going for as closely as possible. Do some location scouts as well, so you know somewhat what you'll be up against. Good luck.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 08:48 PM   #26
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Thank you Greg. I realize that that clip isn't lighted, and as I clarified earlier it's not a particularly perfect representation of the look we want - just something I like and has the feel of the interview look I want. But, point taken on the northern window, and time of day.

I will certainly be trying to keep it soft, and will try these setups. Thank you.

We are planning on spending a while getting our "look" down, as well as the setup process, once we get all our gear. A very good idea.

Thanks for the help.

Brian
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Old February 23rd, 2007, 01:14 AM   #27
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I agree with the comments about the inspirational footage making use of natural light. The window n one shot looked like it might have been covered with soft difussion.

For really soft light, pass chimeras and go straight to a 3' x 5' or 4' x 6' silk in a frame around 3-5 feet from talent. The lights, maybe 2 or 3 of them, shining into the silk can be 500 watts and up, adjusted and focused at will.

The 'softness' of light is not only a function of how 'grainy' diffusion material is but also how large the area of the light source is and how close it is to the subject. The great thing about silks is that you can keep the 'source', i.e. the silk close and back up the lights themselves to control the amount of light.

The drawbacks to this method are that it involves more gear and longer setup time,than quickly whipping out a chimera, and you need flags to control spill, but if you have the time and the gear it's really worth it.

As far as gear goes, open face lights, a silk with frame, or homemade creative substitute and c-stands with knuckles and flags/foamcore. Just another approach.
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Old February 24th, 2007, 01:06 AM   #28
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Eric, thank you. Interesting, and completely new to me - silks. I'll certainly check the idea out, though your comment on the added time to set-up makes me think perhaps I won't be able to use this method for all my interviews, as they will be much more rushed.

Again, thanks for the info.
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Old February 24th, 2007, 02:03 PM   #29
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The silks & scrims would be functionally similar to the bedsheet mentioned earlier.
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 12:45 AM   #30
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A really nice interview kit is 2 2'x4bank Kino Flos and 3 Dedolight DLH4 150W Fresnels. The Kinos can be lamped with either daylight, or tungsten, or a mix. The Select ballasts allow individual control of the lamps. The Dedos put out almost as much light as a 300w, because of their double lens design. I got dichroic blue filters for them so I lose only 1 stop when converting to daylight. It also saves on gels, since they discolor rather quickly.

Use 1 Kino for Key and 1 for fill. Use 1 Dedo for a hair/edge light and a second to light a piece of the background. You can also get away with using 1 Kino for Key and a refelctor for fill, if you are tight enough on the framing. Kinos are nice because they don't get quite so hot, so you can pack them up quickly and do other things while you wait for the Dedos to cool down.

This kit can go into a a car trunk. I was lucky to find a case on ebay that fit everything pretty well. Smaller Kit stands should be alright, but be sure that you have some shot bags or Matthews Boa bags to keep things from falling over. I have six breakdown C stands that I carry in two Lightware stand bags that work great.

Kino Flo,

Dedolight, click on the link to download the catalog.

If you need to be more compact a Lowel Tota light and a small Chimera are great. The speed ring is the bulkiest thing. Just be sure that you let things cool down first, or you're liable to melt your Chimera.

Oh, I almost forgot, the Matthews Roadrags kit is very helpful too. It's a folding flag and net kit. They come in 12x18 and 18x24. The kit consists of two breakdown frames and 1 each: flag, single, double and silk. This adds another level of control to your kit that is invaluable. They now have a breakdown 4'x4' Roadflags kit.

This kit can be set up and taken down rather quickly. It would be a good idea to have a Gaffer with you, that way they can handle the lighting, while you are dealing with camera. Even better if your gaffer has a best, who can help him/her. If you are in situations where there isn't much time, more hands make the work go faster, as long as they are qualified. Not sure what your budget is but if you can have a three or four person crew, that would be best: DP(Director of Photography), AC(Assistant Camera), Sound Mixer/Boom Op, Gaffer. Nice if you can set it up that way. On a lot of shoots it's me doing camera, lights and some of the audio. I make the AP(Associate Producer), or Field Producer mic up the talent.
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