“Light is not so much something that reveals, as it is itself the revelation.”
– James Turrell
Lighting is essential for creating an effective corporate video. Good lighting helps form a connection between the interview subject and the audience. When the face is poorly lit the eyes will be shadowed breaking that connection. With careful lighting the subjects appearance will be flattered and ensure that they look their best. A properly lit subject will also stand out from the background, rather than blend in.
Below you can learn more about how to effectively light a video.
3 Point Lighting Setup
3 point lighting is one of the standard method for lighting a video. The primary goal of 3 point lighting is to give a nice even spread of light across the subject, while ensuring that they stand out from their background. As the name suggests this is achieved by using three different lights: the key light, fill light and back light. This setup gives the director control over the shading and shadowing that would be produced by direct light.
The key light is the main source of illumination for the scene. The best place to set up your key light is 45 degrees from the camera. For our corporate interviews we prefer to use a relatively soft light so that the lighting is as flattering as possible. However, the key light by itself will create some dark shadows. This is why you need the fill light. The only exception to this rule is when you want to use shadow in order to add drama to the video. This is generally not the case for a standard corporate interview setup.
The placement of the fill light is 45 degrees from the camera. However it is placed on the opposite side to the key light. The idea when lighting the face is not necessarily to remove all of the shadows altogether. Rather it is to reduce them so that the face is given a much softer and more natural appearance. As most people do not have a symmetrical face, you want to light them so that you take their unique features into consideration. For example, most people have a nose which bends slightly one way or the other. You want the fill light to offset this rather than accentuate it.
The back light is placed behind the subject, lighting them from the rear. The purpose of the backlight is to make the subject stand out from the background. The idea of the backlight is to create a rim of light around the shoulders and the head of the subject. This makes the subject distinct from the background and give them a three dimensional look.
Diffused and Direct Light
With direct light the light will hit the subject without any filter. This creates a hard light which can be useful if you are trying to achieve a particular dramatic quality. In contrast diffused light will use some form of interference between the subject and the light. This can be achieved by using a filter, gels or a reflector. This will create a softer, and warmer light. This is usually the best option when shooting a corporate interview as it tends to be more flattering for the subject. While the light is being diffused the end result actually appears more natural than direct light.
Types Of Lights
One of the most common light used in filming is the redhead. The redhead is a broad term which covers tungsten lights with a power rating of between 650 and 1000 watts and a color degree temperature of 3200K. Redhead lights are relatively small and portable and are mains powered. Redheads take their name from the original coloration of the casing in the 1950’s.
Another very common type of light used in filming are Blonde Lights. Blonde Lights are tungsten lights with a power rating of between 1000 and 2000 watts. These lights have a color degree temperature of 3200K. The blonde light is derived from the yellow casings of the light.
Both the blonde and redhead is primarily used as key lights. However they can also be used for fill and back lights. Most lights also come with barn doors for focusing light. They can also be used to hanging gels and diffusion paper. One of the disadvantages of these lights is that they tend to run very hot. You need to be cognizant of this when shooting corporate interview subjects to make sure that they remain comfortable.
Fluorescent lights generally produce a softer light than tungsten lights. Fluorescent lights come in a wide range of power ratings and color temperatures. Usually they will come in the 3200 degrees and 5200 degrees temperature range. Fluorescent lights are particularly useful as a fill light as they generally produce a softer light than a tungsten light. Fluorescent lights also run very cool which can make them suitable for a corporate shoot. They also tend to last up to ten times longer than tungsten lights.
Dedolights take their name from their inventor the German director Dedo Weigert. The Dedolight is highly versatile light system. Their compact and rugged design means that they are very useful for travel. The Dedolight uses tungsten lights with a power rating usually between 100 – 150watts. It works with a 3200 kelvin. It can run off both the mains and 12 volt battery. They also come equipped with flexible barn doors which make it much easier to direct the light. Generally a dedolight will be used to spot light the subject and for backlighting. One of the disadvantages of a dedolight is that they can run extremely hot. This means that you need to be careful about not having the subject become uncomfortable while using dedolights.
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