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Old August 16th, 2019, 09:13 AM   #1
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Interview Lighting

I have to interview of a client's family member coming up next week.

I was thinking of upgrading my hot lights to led 3 light kit (key, fill, hair-light, maybe background light). So 2 1x1 panels and my on camera on a boom stand as a back light. The goal being smaller, cooler, more professional than my current hot lights.

It will be in his home so I also want compact for a possible small room and low ceiling. That’s why I’m thinking of light panel with a frosted diffuser instead of going the soft box route.

I also need to figure out how to position them. The interviewer wants to be on camera. Probably needs to be a two camera shoot but the cameras need be located together to be able to monitor them so maybe one wide and the other close up of the interviewed. Like this... https://www.diyphotography.net/how-t...-key-lighting/

Last edited by Pete Cofrancesco; August 16th, 2019 at 01:08 PM.
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Old August 26th, 2019, 12:44 AM   #2
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Re: Interview Lighting

Hey Pete,

To me....the key words in your post are "next week" and "no soft box". I love my LED light kits, but, when I converted the first thing I had to learn to deal with is what has been said on this board many times: A 1x1 panel is a very hard light, it is not a large source. If you convert in a week for a client shoot spend the time to know what your walking in with. LED is the way to go these days but it is not soft light unless designed properly for the look you want. A diffusion gel will not make it a soft box.

Kind Regards,

Steve

Edit: I went back and watched the video link you posted. The guy is demonstrating a lighting technique. All I can say is, look at the quality of light he achieved in his video, it is terrible.
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Old August 26th, 2019, 06:45 AM   #3
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Re: Interview Lighting

Thanks Steve I’ve learned a lot since my last post. I purchased a led panel light kit, a colleague lent me a great instructional video on how setup an interview by Doug Jensen, I then practice on myself at home. I filmed it yesterday. I got results that could have been better but exceeded the clients budget and expectations.

My main take away that led panels do an adequate job even without a softbox. However lighting a two person interview is more challenging, requires more equipment and setup time than was feasible for my situation. Because the area that’s being filmed is larger lights can’t be positioned near the talent without getting into the frame. You can use c stands with boom arms to suspend the lights from above and fresnels to throw light from a greater distance but for a solo shooter in someone’s living room I had to set limits to my ambition.
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Old August 26th, 2019, 05:21 PM   #4
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Re: Interview Lighting

I work on a ton of corporate talking head interviews (not that this is that, but kind of in the neighborhood stylistically, maybe), and one "newer" trend I've seen is not using a bg light at all but working with the environment (provided it's not too dark in there), letting the bg do what's it's gonna do and lighting the person, as opposed to the old way where we'd turn all the lights off and relight with movie lights.

Another trend is even on smaller shoots like yours, putting your key through a 4x4 diffusion frame. Works for LED panels.

I myself got two of the Dracast 1000 light Kalas when they were on sale, and bought the D-fuse softbox that goes with them. I's probably 1.5-2' square, so extends your surface area quite a bit. I was shocked by how nice (to me) they looked. Yes, they could like nicer, but I was pretty happy first time I used it.

Here's a still of such a setup, available room lighting with one LED light dead center with box. I know it's not perfect but it was a fairly quick set up, one man band deal.
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Interview Lighting-vlcsnap-2019-04-25-18h20m18s007.jpg  
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Old August 26th, 2019, 07:08 PM   #5
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Re: Interview Lighting

It looks fine my only criticism is itís a little too flat. Iím just a beginner but Iím ready a critic.

Btw this is an excerpt from that tutorial I mentioned

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Old August 26th, 2019, 10:47 PM   #6
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Re: Interview Lighting

After watching the video it seems that Jensen has the lighting on himself kinda flat, at least compared to the subjects that are used to promote lighting. Personally, I'm like Pete and a critic of myself, too. Also, not a lighting expert in spite of the fact I've got a number of lights.

After viewing the video it would be my preference for interview lighting to have a hair light, background light, and some but not much side light. Enough to give some shape to the persons head but not the stronger shadows that some of those have in the video.

The hair light I like is the Dedolight LEDZilla. It is small and will focus the light really fine without spilling very much. Really neat light. There is a newer model to mine with more power but this has worked well to provide a nice hair light.

Given two people including an interviewee this will be tough. It really helps to have a lot of kit available to choose from. A light for the background to give it some texture but in a small room (living room) it would be difficult to light only the background so one would have to light both the background and the talent. Don't see much other way to do it because even with a light that one can focus it wouldn't be good enough for strictly a backlight.

For my camera light I use a Comer 1800 and it has a spot focus capability that might be marginally(?) okay for a backlight but I think this is unusual.

The idea of practicing on yourself prior to the shoot is an excellent idea. Just think, with the money from this gig one can buy even more kit.

Last edited by John Nantz; August 26th, 2019 at 10:52 PM. Reason: inspire > in spite
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Old August 27th, 2019, 06:15 AM   #7
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Re: Interview Lighting

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Nantz View Post
After watching the video it seems that Jensen has the lighting on himself kinda flat, at least compared to the subjects that are used to promote lighting. Personally, I'm like Pete and a critic of myself, too. Also, not a lighting expert in spite of the fact I've got a number of lights.

After viewing the video it would be my preference for interview lighting to have a hair light, background light, and some but not much side light. Enough to give some shape to the persons head but not the stronger shadows that some of those have in the video.

The hair light I like is the Dedolight LEDZilla. It is small and will focus the light really fine without spilling very much. Really neat light. There is a newer model to mine with more power but this has worked well to provide a nice hair light..
I noticed the same thing that he looks a little flat too with no hair light. In the other video he explains for people who are bald or thinning hair, he prefers to only backlight the shoulders.

In some cases a small fresnel would be best give a smaller more highlighted edge but in other instances a small led panel will give you a softer more broad look that might be needed to avoid shine on the head.

I still need to get a hair light. I was looking at Boltzen 30.

I’ve attached my first test sample I made. Here the fill light is too close to the camera axis spilling on the background it needed to be moved left and a grid added to limit the spill. With the room being so small (13'x13') its not an ideal location. There also isn’t enough contrast between the key fill.
Attached Thumbnails
Interview Lighting-80559cb8-bc08-40e2-b18f-81fe2c5393dc.jpeg  

Last edited by Pete Cofrancesco; August 27th, 2019 at 08:46 AM.
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Old August 27th, 2019, 09:33 AM   #8
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Re: Interview Lighting

I would also say unless youre going for something different youre way too off axis from the cam. Most times you want to be looking just off the lens, say 1-2 feet (i.e an interview is sitting 1-2 off to one side of the lens). For hair lights/edge lights modern style seems to be softer is better...1x1 with diffusion, diva, something like that. a lot of folks will get away with no fill and let the edge wrap more and leave a shadowy gap where the key falls off and before the edge starts.
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Old August 27th, 2019, 10:46 AM   #9
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Re: Interview Lighting

That angle was a compromise. I did another test where I was filming a profile of each. But youíre right a more traditional angle would be shooting over the interviewer shoulder. The client conducting the interview wanted to be in the shot and only one camera. I had this look initially in mind. https://scrapsfromtheloft.com/2018/0...th-bill-maher/
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Old August 27th, 2019, 11:03 AM   #10
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Re: Interview Lighting

Gotcha. Client is king.
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