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Lighting a Storyteller


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#1 Dave Hammond

Dave Hammond

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Posted 30 November 2006 - 09:45 AM

I'm a documentary producer by trade, but have been asked to produce a short piece (6 minutes) featuring a local storyteller talking about Shetland Trowies (Trolls or Faery Folk). I want to introduce a sense of magic and unreality into what is, in reality, a guy telling a story in front of an open fire in a cottage.

The piece is for a DVD which will be shown locally, mostly on home TV's laptops etc, although there will be one large screen showing. The location will be in a 15 foot by 15 foot, barish, white-walled room with a real open fire. Ther's not too much power available, probably 6KW max. I will be shooting in Sony DVCAM 16:9, but the reason I'm posting this is to garner any ideas on how to create this type of atmosphere with very few resources.

One idea I had was to have a matte black background drap, very subtly lit with coloured uplights/spots and have a few pictures slight hung askew, again spotlighted. I would like to have the refelction of the open fire flickering subtly in the story teller's face. Can I use a gold reflector off a redhead and have one of the crew "Jiggle" it about to create the effect? Any other ideas? It's a lovely little job far removed from my usual work and I'd like to do a decent job for the client.
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