Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Interview space as the background, part of Lighting a Video Interview.
Now the other thing to consider about using a location is also recognizing when it's time to say no to the location. What I mean by this is actually asking for another choice or looking for another choice. It could be very well that the person that chose this location may not have had any expertise in aesthetic, but was simply you know, fulfilling a logistical obligation or, or a request for a room. >> Yeah. >> This is the room that happened to be free at that point in time when I looked at the schedule.
And one of the things that I like to do is when I get on location, I try to sneak off or say to the client, okay just give me a quick tour, and I just want to get familiar with your office. And I'll be looking for better locations or better places and sometimes the room could look terrible except for that little sliver that you need for your backdrop. So maybe they gave you the best conference room that they had and its beautiful mahogany but its floor to ceiling glass windows that are going to be really hard to work with.
And right next door there's this older little room but the lighting is beautiful. And that little corner looks great even if the rest of it doesnt. >> A lot of times the quality of a location is not readily apparent. And a lot of times you want to consider a location based on a couple of different things I mean. A very bland location can have a lot of potential to be manufactured into a very aesthetic looking location say for example, if you have more space. More space allows you to create a deeper depth of feel, but it also may allow you to work more lighting in, work more sculpting.
And grip work with your lighting to create a, what might be a very bland palate into something that has mood and drama to it. Another example might be to pick a location that is so well art directed, is so interesting in the background that you don't need to spend a whole lot of time sculpting or building a background. That could be a smaller space that might not lend itself. To have a lot of room for lighting. So, picking the right space can do things like save you time or give you room to make something out of nothing.
>> And one of the things that I tend to like to do when I am doing this. I mean usually I try to do this before the day of the shoot, but it's so easy with things like DSLR's to just pop up. And take a shallow depth of field of shot. Or play with a zoom lens and, and look at some compositions that you could very quickly pre-visualize this. And so we had a lot more flexibility. Any other practical tips when it comes to just deciding where are you going to exactly put that backdrop? One of the ones that bugs me that when I look at beginners versus really established pros are unintended intersections where things are crossing through the subject that are distracting.
Maybe a beam, or an instrument, or a window that might be intercutting them with unpleasant composition. >> Well background is, is just as important as the portraiture. It can be distracting, or it can really contribute to the mood of, of what the story is. So. It, it becomes very, it can be very subjective. As to what's distracting and what's not. Throwing everything out of focus with a shallow depth of field has been a really nice tool to render a lot of that unnoticeable.
And it, it has the added value of really focusing your attention on the speaker and what they're talking about. But it's not always, you know, the the desired effect. I mean, not everything wants to be shallow depth of field. And you may not be able to achieve it with certain locations. So that's when you have to pay more attention to background elements, to distracting elements, whatever they may be. And it's not always so obvious until you frame it up, and sometimes it's not always that obvious until you've been shooting a little bit and you really start scrutinizing your frame.
Which is another reason to pay attention to those unintended interruptions so you can make an adjustment without stopping the flow of things. You know, on the surface of it, may not be terribly noticeable to everyone else except you. That is if, you know, the story is compelling and people are focused on, you know, what the person is saying. So, always room to make things better. Of course there is always a time when something is so distracting that maybe, maybe it needs an intervention. >> Okay. And, what you could do in those cases is, pretty simply.
Move the camera up or down a little bit, or left and right to alleviate that. It doesn't necessarily mean striking the interview. Sometimes just, while the interviewer's asking a question, I've seen you quickly tilt the camera a little bit or move a little bit, and, and sometimes it's just a couple of inches makes all the difference, right? >> Right, well, the art of corrections is something that probably all cameramen should also build into their level of, of expertise. It could be things, little things like frame, it could be little camera things like framing or focus checks or you know, changing the camera hype but it could also be lighting corrections.
You know you know if there's natural light working in the room variables could be changing as we speak. You might want to get a certain level of control over something but they're all the bigger picture thing hers is there are all kinds of microadjustments that can make things better but don't necessarily warrant an interruption in the telling of the story. >> Okay. Of course there is a certain point in time when you just have to give up and switch to a backdrop or cut your losses, and we're going to explore some of those reasons next.
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- 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