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Interview lighting should make the subject and the interviewer look great. But you need the right equipment and the right understanding of the shoot's goals to accurately control its look and feel. Join Rich Harrington and Jim Ball as they walk through the gear and information you need to properly light a video interview. Discover how to determine the mood and genre of the interview, properly expose your shots, establish a schedule for the shoot, choose a backdrop, and frame the shot. Plus, learn techniques for controlling the light with flagging, bouncing, diffusion, and other techniques used by the pros.
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Another area, Jim, I think that sometimes dictates the lighting is the genre or something those unwritten rules of the style of video you're shooting. You and I both work around a wide range of projects. And if I'm doing something for a nonprofit they may want it to not look too overproduced. Because they don't want to be looking like they spent a fortune on their video project, even if they didn't. And you're shooting something for a broadcast news package, that's going to look completely different than if you're shooting something for a major television network. How do you sort of balance out these unwritten rules? Do you do research? Do you try to find other examples to show them? >> Well, there's always that balance between what's appropriate with time and resources and budget and expectation.
With you know, something that's I don't know, by definition good or appealing or attractive. I mean, I don't think anybody ever strives for anything less than pleasing to the eye, unless there is absolutely a creative reason to do it. >> Although some times they will say, I want this to be very simple and minimalistic. For practically that example I gave you, they wanted to match other productions that they've done. Like, oh, this one can't look so much better than all of our other footage so, make it good but tone it down.
Or, oh, don't make it look like we spent a fortune here because, it's going to send the wrong message. And then other times, they just want it to look lush with pools of light and make the set look enormous. >> Well, that's something as a free lancer and most directors of photography live in the free lance world is your ability to step in to already existing situation. Like things that have been shot before you by multiple people and what have you. And and, and you know, sort of walk the fence of, you know, continuity and what's already been established.
With something that still is acceptably you know the aesthetic is acceptable. And that's part of, that's part of your skill set. It's not always about doing what I want to do and starting from scratch, you know. It, it, it is about collaborating in the big picture of the project. >> And sometimes, let's just be realistic. We show up on a set. We have some ideas in our own brain. But you ask the client, they have no opinion. You ask the PR firm or the ad agency, and they can't reach agreement.
So, you will walk into times where either there are too many ideas or not enough ideas. And you have to sometimes be the last one at the end of that creative chain to make it happen. So, do you sometimes plan to have two looks that you can quickly switch over between? Or, do you just sometimes make an executive decision and hope everyone's happy? >> Well, there are plenty of times where you're, you're walking the line of interpreting what somebody might want. Or maybe only have the information in the, in the sense of, we know what they don't like.
>> LAUGH >> And there are, there are plenty of grey areas and political areas of, of this process that you also need to have a skill set. And in interviews are very much in that category. You know, for example, many times, you may not have any idea the physical qualities and the demeanor of the interview subject until moments before, moments before. Especially if you're dealing with say, celebrities or figures, people that have very limited time.
And there's, there's not been an opportunity to, you know, get all the information you want. In that case, yes. Just what Rich said, I will, you know, set up plan A, plan B, even plan C in terms of lighting. So which is extra work and extra time. But it may save you when you have literally minutes or seconds to start rolling on an interview and you're seeing the person for the first time. And you, you've already had a plan. So if it's a matter of, it's much quicker to shut a few lights off rather than have to rebuild an entire setup.
Because you didn't expect the person to look a certain way or act a certain way. Or, or whatever you, whatever curve ball gets thrown your way. >> And there are always curve balls and what Jim's alluding to does take planning. So when we come back we're going to talk about some of the tangible steps you could take in order to establish a schedule. Whether you're working alone or with a large crew, you still need to have a time schedule. If you're going to hit the goals you need from a production standpoint.
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