Lighting a speaker in a huge room at
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Old August 20th, 2008, 10:40 PM   #1
Inner Circle
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tucson AZ
Posts: 2,211
Lighting a speaker in a huge room

I was attending a conference last week on technology roadmaps for storage over the next ten years. Very heavy stuff - right down to polymer chemists holding forth on the chemical characteristics of back-coatings applied to tape to keep the front from sticking to the back when tightly would on the reels, and hours of the intricate details of how to optimize the read-write channels of tape drives, etc etc.

My mind must have been wandering a bit (OK more than a bit) and i found myself thinking about how i would have taped it if I were taping instead of participating.

The room was a typical hotel ballroom - maybe 50 feet wide and 40 feet deep with 20 foot ceilings (more or less)

There was a large screen, maybe 10 or 12 feet high and the speaker standing to one side. The lights were fairly dim to make it easier to see the screen (and more conducive to a quick nap from time to time)

So the question for the group is, if you were trying to tape such a lecture, how would you get enough light on the speaker to get a good exposure without washing out the screen and without making the lighting too obtrusive?

I thought of maybe something like a 3 by 6 sheet of foamcore set against the front row of tables with a couple of (soft) lights close to floor level being reflected toward the speaker. But I'm not sure this would work.

Any thoughts welcome.

I'm sure the hotel could have lit the front of the ballroom more brightly, but this would have also washed out the screen and I think would have been disagreable to the audience.
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Old August 21st, 2008, 06:42 AM   #2
Inner Circle
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia (formerly Winnipeg, Manitoba) Canada
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The "proper" way to do this would be to have the hotel rig two small light bars from the ceiling (most conference rooms are set-up to do this) with 2 - 4 focusable spotlights (Lekos) on dimmers and created a subtle "pool of light" where the presenter(s) would be standing.
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Old August 21st, 2008, 10:04 AM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 892
One of the cheapest way would be with a couple of PAR lights attached to the hotels unistrut with clamps. Here is an example for $55 American DJ Par 64 Lighting Pack

Here's an illustration Illustrated Theatre Production Guide - Google Book Search

However, you'll probably want something more elaborate that you can control with DMX. At the last event we shot, it was exactly as you described, we brought in 6 Litepanel 1x1 spot's and 2 ETC Source Four's. All of this was controlled via DMX on a laptop. So we could dim the lights at any time.

BTW, the 1x1's are really cool, yes they are expensive, however they do save money over the long haul with long life bulbs (100,000 hour life) also you can run them from a battery for quick interviews set-ups.

Here you can see them used at the Olympics Video Player

Hope this helps,
Guy Cochran
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