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Old May 16th, 2007, 04:39 AM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
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Suggestions for indoor lighting setup

My friend and I are filming an instructional dance video next week and are looking into renting lights from a camera / video store in the area ( While waiting for a response from them, I'd like to receive some input from members of the forum as to how we should go about lighting this video.

In the past, we used two 500w halogen worklights bought @ Home Depot to light the lobby of a hotel room / casino area with this kind of effect.

Dancing with the heat of the lights made the process difficult, but despite the lighting being harsh (and in turn producing a harsh effect visually), we managed the heat and the video ended up well compared to past videos where no external lighting was used. For this edition, we'd like to get an effect that is similar to this:

The overall effect we're looking for is softer and/or brighter. This is a picture of where we will be filming:

The couches and tables will be moved out to clear for filming and lights. There are doors next to the set with curtains, so they will be lowered during the filming to prevent glare. The television will also be playing visuals during recording.

Another thing to keep in mind is that we won't be using a high-end prosumer camera. The model is a Panasonic PV-GS19. I'm sure this factors into getting the desired effect somehow (as that screencap was from a commercially sold video). We'd like to get a good idea of how to properly utilize lighting before we start renting these types of camcorders.

For now, we'd like to see what options are available to reach this effect, even if the lights may not be listed on the site. We will adjust which lights we end up renting accordingly to our budget. So, any suggestions in regards to filming / placement are appreciated as well as economic alternatives if possible.


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Old May 16th, 2007, 08:11 AM   #2
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Location: Shenzhen, China
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Use fluorescent lighting and you'll kill two birds with one stone. You said it was too hot with other lights before so that problem would be solved. You also said you wanted a softer look and fluorescent lighting can accomplish this too. Go for daylight tubes of a relatively high CRI (80 or above) and you should be okay. You only need 2900K to 3200K if you're mixing with other conventional lighting or "practical" fixtures like household lighting or lamps.
Richard Andrewski - Cool Lights USA - RED #114
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Old June 4th, 2007, 01:48 PM   #3
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Location: Wurzburg, Germany
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If you can't afford new lights (two fluorescent video lights will be a few hundred bucks at least unless you want to build something yourself) you could diffuse your worklights with either diffusion gels or white sheets - the more distance from the light to the gel/sheet, the more diffusion you will get, but you will also lose more light output (should be ok with 2x500W in a small room).
If you want it still softer, bounce the lights. When the walls and ceiling are white you can just bounce them off the walls and ceiling, if not, or if you want to have better control of the direction, bounce them off a white reflector (white styrofoam insulation boards can do a pretty good job).

Another very important thing you need to change if you want to improve the looks of your footage: don't light from below (like in your first picture). The huge shadows on the back wall are a total no-go!
The further you move your lights up, the less shadows you will get on the wall behind your talents.
By the way, your second picture, supposedly a professional video, isn't that good at all... The main differences to your picture are that the light comes from slightly above (smaller shadows on the back wall), they are a little further away from the back wall (even smaller and less intense shadows on the back wall), the room is all white so it looks more "stylish" and it bounces a lot of light so the overall impression is softer and brighter. They also used a wide angle lens which makes it all look roomier.
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