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Lighting for "Charlie Rose" show


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#1 Jim Feldspar

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 06:35 AM

I bet some of you may watch the "Charlie Rose" show on PBS. He has a lot filmmakers
as guests and does pretty good interviews.

1. That black infinity look, is that primarily because of a big studio space and so the set
can be miles away from the (unlighted) periphery and lighted to a higher level so that
stopping down keeps the background from being seen? I'd imagine that they might also use
black muslin or something but sometimes, with multiple guests, I can see the cameras but
not anything behind, including operators, yet with multiple guests there seems to be a bit of
tracking (off-camera) to maneuver for shots so I think that maybe the cameras are not robotic.

2. Also, sometimes the angles are compromised with multiple guests (no possibility of a 180 degree
line) but I was watching this week and I noticed that with just two guest, the cameras were
rather to the side and somewhat profiling host and guest. You could see both eyes of either
person certainly, but there was opportunity for much more of a straight on, over (or closer to)
over the shoulder look which I think would have worked been far superior to what I saw.

What do you think?
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#2 Greg Gross

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 10:36 AM

I think the background light(if we can call it that) fades off into the void of darkness.
As you said due probably to large studio space. I do not watch the show regularly but
I do view it off and on. I believe the key light is a large soft source overhead as it def-
initely is not hard light. If its not overhead then its out in front from the ceiling. Its been
a while since I watched it last but I do not recall any shadows on the faces or the large
table. I think they are using just a large soft source and may be using fill up near the
camera. I'm not sure about robotic camera. It might be like the cameras used on the Don
Imus show and they are controlled in the control room and not on the set. I'll have to watch
next time and try to visualize camera moves. I do enjoy the show very much as its a breath
of fresh air.

Greg Gross
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#3 Tim J Durham

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 09:24 PM

I think the background light(if we can call it that) fades off into the void of darkness.
As you said due probably to large studio space. I do not watch the show regularly but
I do view it off and on. I believe the key light is a large soft source overhead as it def-
initely is not hard light. If its not overhead then its out in front from the ceiling. Its been
a while since I watched it last but I do not recall any shadows on the faces or the large
table. I think they are using just a large soft source and may be using fill up near the
camera. I'm not sure about robotic camera. It might be like the cameras used on the Don
Imus show and they are controlled in the control room and not on the set. I'll have to watch
next time and try to visualize camera moves. I do enjoy the show very much as its a breath
of fresh air.

Greg Gross

It's lit with fluorescents in front of a black cyc which is about 8 feet behind. There are 3 in-studio cameramen (no robo-cams) as WETA still has a pretty strong union (NABET 31) presence. I personally think it looks like @ss to put people in front of a black felt curtain but others seem to think it looks great. Go figure. It sure saves on set building.
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#4 Jim Feldspar

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 11:31 PM

It's lit with fluorescents in front of a black cyc which is about 8 feet behind. There are 3 in-studio cameramen (no robo-cams) as WETA still has a pretty strong union (NABET 31) presence. I personally think it looks like @ss to put people in front of a black felt curtain but others seem to think it looks great. Go figure. It sure saves on set building.


The inside dope...cool!
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#5 Greg Gross

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 03:49 PM

Thanks Tim,
I always enjoy trying to figure out lighting set-ups with out much info
to go on. Appreciate your post. I'm surprised that background is only
8ft. behind cast. I would put it back some more for better separation
and would still have a black void.

Greg Gross
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#6 Jim Feldspar

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 07:08 PM

Thanks Tim,
I always enjoy trying to figure out lighting set-ups with out much info
to go on. Appreciate your post. I'm surprised that background is only
8ft. behind cast. I would put it back some more for better separation
and would still have a black void.

Greg Gross


I'm surprised too. The light does look soft but it must somehow be controlled so that none
hits the cyc or else you wouldn't see a black void; you'd see a black something.

Otherwise, they'd have to have much higher light level on the talent so that the difference in exposure
would be so great that you'd get no detail in the cyc and I doubt that they want to heat up the talent more
than they have to for an hour talk show.

Could they be playing with the black levels at all?
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Visual Products

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Rig Wheels Passport

The Slider

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Tai Audio

CineLab

FJS International, LLC

Ritter Battery

Technodolly

Metropolis Post

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

rebotnix Technologies

CineTape

Willys Widgets

Abel Cine

Aerial Filmworks

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Paralinx LLC