Lighting a Video Interview
Illustration by Esther Peal Watson

Light modifiers


Lighting a Video Interview

with Richard Harrington and James Ball

Video: Light modifiers

So, as you work with lights, you might have a need to modify >> And that's just a point to mount it.
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  1. 1m 9s
    1. Welcome
    2. Using the exercise files
  2. 9m 59s
    1. What are the objectives?
      4m 24s
    2. Things to consider before you arrive
      5m 35s
  3. 25m 32s
    1. A basic light kit
      4m 7s
    2. Light types
      7m 58s
    3. Stands
      4m 44s
    4. Light modifiers
      3m 37s
    5. Stingers and adapters
      5m 6s
  4. 12m 15s
    1. Shutter speed
      4m 54s
    2. Aperture
      2m 38s
    3. ISO
      4m 43s
  5. 13m 38s
    1. Time of day
      3m 58s
    2. Emotional tone of the interview
      4m 54s
    3. Genre
      4m 46s
  6. 9m 50s
    1. Time vs. resources
      5m 56s
    2. Compromise
      3m 54s
  7. 18m 8s
    1. Bringing the talent on set
      6m 56s
    2. Interview tone and mood continuity
      5m 12s
    3. Technical concerns
      6m 0s
  8. 10m 26s
    1. Interview space as the background
      5m 54s
    2. Interview backdrop
      4m 32s
  9. 6m 3s
    1. Evaluating the space
      2m 16s
    2. Finding the best angle
      1m 20s
    3. Talent standing in the shot
      2m 27s
  10. 6m 48s
    1. Key light
      1m 59s
    2. Fill light
      2m 15s
    3. Back light
      2m 34s
  11. 6m 19s
    1. Lighting the background
      1m 51s
    2. Lighting the talent's face
      4m 28s
  12. 12m 58s
    1. Flagging
      2m 9s
    2. Bouncing
      1m 48s
    3. Dimming
      1m 59s
    4. Netting
      1m 3s
    5. Diffusing
      3m 44s
    6. Color correcting
      2m 15s
  13. 13m 43s
    1. Using a stand-in
      2m 20s
    2. Evaluating the talent's wardrobe
      3m 5s
    3. Final adjustments
      1m 42s
    4. Set the eye line
      2m 3s
    5. Bringing it all together
      4m 33s
  14. 1m 43s
    1. Wrapping up
      1m 43s

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Watch the Online Video Course Lighting a Video Interview
2h 28m Intermediate Mar 19, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

This course was created and produced by RHED Pixel. We're honored to host this content in our library.

Topics include:
  • Creating a lighting kit of essential gear
  • Working with shutter speed, aperture, and ISO
  • Determining the emotional tone and genre of the interview
  • Choosing a background
  • Finding the best angle
  • Using three-point lighting
  • Lighting backgrounds and faces
  • Color correcting light on set
Richard Harrington James Ball

Light modifiers

So, as you work with lights, you might have a need to modify them, shaping the light or directing it into a particular area of the scene. And a lot of lights have built-in features to do this, right, Chip? >> Sure. I mean, on board the light itself, there are all kinds of modifiers that are pretty standard with with a lot of fixtures, whether they're HMIs or tungsten. The first, sort of basic one being the barn door. And the barn door is just a ring with a lot black leafs, so they're not reflective, that can shut off light and control it into whatever shape or throw, whatever, area of the subject you want it to be.

And they usually go right on the front here. >> And that could be useful, because you might want to make sure that the light isn't spilling onto your subject. So it's not uncommon to flag that that way, so the light is going out this way, but not bouncing as much this way. So the barn doors can really come in handy, to control the direction of the light. >> Next we have lenses. Some lights like this one, like this Frenel have the lens built in, it's just a frosted piece of glass. That focuses the beam in varying degrees. With lights like this par light you get choices.

You get choices of lenses. And what they do is actually control the tightness of the beam, from a honeycomb one that gives you a whiter beam to one of these more spotty beams that will narrow the beam inten and increase the intensity of the light. >> And then additionally we can also use scrims to knock things down a bit. These tend to be pieces like this where you've got basically a wire mesh. And the density of the mesh will affect how much light passes through. So these usually have color ratings to help you know which one's which.

>> And it's all standardized. Right? Green throughout the industry indicates about just under one stop work of exposure loss or intensity loss from the light beam. The red is a double which is twice the amount, roughly two stops depending on the particular brand. >> And this is basically an alternative, because sometimes when you dim a light, you change its color temperature, and you don't want that, and you may not have the space to actually pick up the light and move it further away. One of the easiest ways to lower the intensity of the light is to move it further back.

But this is just an alternative to that because you may be pinched on space or you might want to keep the light not as broadly focused by keeping it up closer to the subject. And they just go right in the back of the fixture like that And with all those things, if the light is hot, make sure you're wearing gloves, because metal barn doors, metal scrims, metal rings on the lenses, all these things are going to heat up and could potentially cause an injury if you're not using good safety equipment when the lights are powered on. And we've got one more type of light, light shaping tool.

>> Yeah, as far as another on board tool for modif, modifying light, these soft boxes are real handy tools for increasing the surface area of the source which inherently makes it softer. And the way they normally work is you would use something like a, that's called a speed ring that's specifically sized for the particular light you're using. And you would attach the soft box onto the speed ring. And in this particular case with this soft box, I have, you can see how the speed ring is already attached to the soft box.

>> And that's just a point to mount it. So you can attach to the light. Again, very attractive for interviews. We'll take a look at these later on when we actually light the interview. Just a nice modifier to really improve the quality of the light.

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