Destiny's Child "Soldier" video clip. How was it lit? at
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Old March 10th, 2005, 06:12 AM   #1
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Destiny's Child "Soldier" video clip. How was it lit?

If you haven't seen the video clip, it's a completely white stage (background and reflective floors). Shot B&W. It was lit perfectly well (even and soft). The white backgrounds are not over exposed.
you can check some parts of the clip in their website:

Now, I'm shooting a video clip with the same concept. The stage is being built. I need some tips on how to light it (all range of lights are available). I know it's probably multi-thousands lighting-job, but I'll try to get a look as close as possible.

The artists will be lit with soft boxes. My main concern is how to light the BG and floors, without overexposing them or the lights hitting the artists. All tips are greatly appreciated.
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Old March 10th, 2005, 08:54 PM   #2
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Hi Nawaf. Just some basic lighting tips for any stage or background: If you flag the subject's light such that it does not fall on the background, you can have a separate exposure for the bkgrd than the subject.

In terms of the clip you are suggesting, they spent money on consistency of the cyc background, and got a high gloss shine on the floor to make it reflective like that. Lighting on subjects appears soft, overhead and high-contrast, such that the shadow under their chins is soft but dark. The lighting is a dead giveaway in the pupils. You can see every softbox reflected. You can see there are two very large overhead boxes, and three smaller one to camera right. The overheads create ambient imllumination, the ones to the right add direction and fill shadows. They may have also had low-angle filler on the closeups, and reflectors camera left to make the lighting contrast softer.

The set is all painted white and is lit to normal exposure, then maybe an additional 1/2 stop added to take it up another notch. In this set it looks like they had their main spot to the middle, and let it fall off left and right. Keeping this falloff in check can all be done with lightmeter with a spot attachment. You can spot-check the white level of the background, and depending on what medium you are using (neg film, slide, video, etc.) just stay within the 5 or 6-stop range and you are okay. You will not lose detail in the highlights. You can also use an incident lightmeter and just see how much light is falling on the background, but that doesn't tke into account the reflective quality of the white paint (is it bright white, pale white, grayish white....)

As for the subject, the same rule applies. Flag the background light so it does not hit the subject, and you have full control of the subject's appearance. In this case, it seems like you want to be a 1/2 stop under the normal level. So if the normal level is f/5.6, the bkgrd is f/5.6 1/2, subject is f/4.0 1/2. Then you also do lighting contrast (different from image contrast, which depends on the medium's latitude), so you light your subject such that the key-side is at exposure (f/4.0 1/2), and the shadow side (filled side) is 1 stop under. That gives a very flattering soft light, with deep dark shadows, and shows light direction (not flat). The more a subject has to move around, the more difficult it is to maintain these ratios, and the bigger the lights and the farther away they have to be. Sometimes it takes a big budget to hire the people to rig and truss all this stuff, but it can also be done on a small budget with a lot of effort. I did similar lighting for aa car commercial, and I had 3 4K HMI's and a long piece of wide muslin on speedrail, then 2 1K HMI's on softboxes to the sides. It worked, for under $2000 with grip/electrics. Good luck!
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Old March 11th, 2005, 04:08 AM   #3
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thanx alot !! that was really helpfull.
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