Lighting-for-Interviews. By Tom Kirkman People The first thing to come to terms with is that you won't have enough time, the location won't be easy, and your subject will either turn into a wallflower or a Prima Donna the moment you train a lens on them.
But, if your interview is well scripted and your lighting complements your subject and his metier, you'll witness an almost magical transformation that can be quite revelatory. Equipment You'll need at least two lights, preferably three. I'd go for a 16x22" box (which fits almost anywhere) or a 24x32" with a 300-500 watt lamp. Used this way, you shouldn't need a fill, but if you wish you can use another soft source on axis with the camera and 1 to 2 stops weaker than your main light.
The background light should be a controllable, directional source with some focusing capability, and it should accept barndoors, gels, etc. An alternate set up (see diagram) uses the 12x16"; softbox as a side light instead of a fill. White Balance: the great equalizer. Two Interview Lighting Tutorials That’ll Kick Your Footage Up a Notch. So you’re getting ready to interview that expert for your short documentary, and you want to review your interview lighting technique.
Or maybe you’re just looking for an introduction to lighting in general — where do you look? Check out these two interview lighting tutorials — not only are they a great review of the basics, but they each do a great job of illustrating just how every light can help shape the subject and tone of your footage: The first tutorial comes courtesy of stillmotion, the folks behind SMAPP (which looks like a pretty useful filmmaking app for folks learning the ropes).
Not only does this tutorial do a great job of illustrating a general lighting set-up, it does so while jam-packing key terms and concepts. It’s a solid introduction to lighting in general — from key lights to fill lights, to lighting ratios, you get a lot of great information: Do you have any tips or techniques of your own? Related Posts. Cinematography Tips: Breaking Up & Diffusing Light! Frieder Hochheim on the Growth & Advancement of Kino Flo. Blind Spot Gear is Creating a Series of Lighting Tutorials: What Would You Like to Learn? If you could learn anything about lighting for narrative and documentary film, what would it be?
Earlier in the year, Blind Spot Gear unveiled the Scorpion Light, an insanely versatile minuscule LED fixture designed with professional filmmakers in mind. Since that time, Billy Campbell, Blind Spot's founder and friend of the site, has been hard at work bringing the Scorpion Light into existence and DPing films for a number of major clients. He's also working on a new educational resource for filmmakers - a series of free lighting tutorials in which the topics he teaches are crowdsourced from sites like ours.
Billy recently put together the first tutorial in this new series - the pilot episode, if you will - and it covers a basic documentary interview lighting setup. Now that the first video in the series is out in the world, Billy is reaching out to the online filmmaking community to ask what they would like to learn next. Dear Shooters, Look forward to hearing what you all think. Lighting Tutorial Web Series Pilot. Thoughts on Lighting & Shooting Interviews from a 40 Year Industry Veteran. Unless you work in narrative or commercial filmmaking, chances are that you're going to be shooting a whole lot of interviews.
Our good friend Billy Campbell, a working documentary filmmaker and creator of the Scorpion Light, is working on a series of lighting tutorials based on feedback from readers of this site. Recently, he's also put together another excellent educational resource for filmmakers, an interview and tutorial series with his father Douglas Campbell, a 40-year veteran of the film industry who has seen and done it all. In the first installment, the pair talk about the process of conducting and lighting an interview, which is the bread and butter of filmmakers working in documentary, corporate, and some genres of television. The key takeaway from this conversation is something that we've all heard before — content is king, and style is secondary.
An Simple Interview Setup Using Natural Light There are a few things to keep in mind when using natural light. Blind Spot Gear - A Conversation about Interviews on Vimeo. Interview - Natural Light on Vimeo. Interview - Two Hander Stylised on Vimeo. Video Lighting Tips & Tricks - Using Only One LED!