The 4 Things to Keep in Mind When Lighting for an Interview
If you’re a working filmmaker nowadays, chances are you are hired to direct, shoot and edit videos for a friendly price. If today’s technology allows us to easily sell ourselves as one-wo/man band, it demands a lot of work on our part to handle all part of the process with grace and ease.
We all come with our strength and weaknesses, and it’s always good to go back to the basics and remind ourselves of key tips to ensure we get the best out of every situation. I, for one, feel very comfortable with directing and editing, but lighting… not so much.
Assuming I can’t be the only one in this situation, I’ve decided to share this helpful tutorial from the Stillmotion team, that always comes up with efficient wording to make ideas stick. If you are not familiar with their work, check their masterclass on storytelling, which is still one of my favorite post on the matter; it will make your life as a working filmmaker so much easier.
The Four Things to Keep in Mind When Lighting for an Interview
Think of Light as a DISC
DISC is Stillmotion’s word to help ideas stick. DISC stands for:
#1 – Direction
– Begin to set-up your interviewee in relate to your lights. This may be setting up studio lights or positioning your subject next to a window.
– Adjust your light to 30 to 45 degrees to the right or left of your subject.
– Think about the height and place your light 30 to 45 degrees above your interviewee.
#2 – Intensity
– Balance the light levels of your subject in the background so that neither is too dark nor too bright and overexposed.
– Start with your interviewee and either use another light opposite your first light or use something white like a reflector or a foam card to bounce the light back in. If you have two of the same lights for an interview, try putting the second light further away to reduce the intensity.
– Intensity for the background: you may need to add another light to the background to brighten it up. Sometimes you can open a window to add light to the background.
– If you lower the intensity of your main light, your background will be relatively brighter. On the other hand, if you increase the intensity of your Key light, your background will be darker. The goal is to have your background balanced and feel good about your interviewee not being too dark or too bright.
#3 – Softness
– As a rule, the bigger the light source, the softer the light will be.
– Start by using a large light source as your main key light. As a rough guide, a soft key usually needs to be at least a couple of feet wide.
– Soft boxes or umbrellas also make the light source bigger.
– Generally the closer you bring the light to the subject, the bigger the light seems, which impacts the softness of the light. The closer you bring in the light, the softer it will be.
– Try to keep your main light fairly close to your interviewee so that stays nice and soft.
#4 – Color
– Try to have just one color, or one temperature in your interview. To achieve this, shot off lights or block off those lights that don’t match the color temperature of your main light.
Watch the full video from Stillmotion, and check under it for articles to take it one step further when making videos for clients:
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Take It Further: