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Lighting a Conference Room


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#1 Steve McBride

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 11:25 PM

I recently shot a scene for a short film in a conference room using just two soft lights (can't remember the wattage) with umbrellas at different heights and distances to get rid of shadows on faces and the basics, but I had to continuously change around the lighting because this would not fill the entire room. If I were to guess the room was about 15ft. wide, 45ft. deep, 10ft high.

Being a student and all, this worked out alright but there are some inconsistencies that are clearly visible and I am just wondering for future reference how I would go about lighting a set like this (given I had more equipment and an actual budget) and get even lighting for all characters for faster shooting.

Thanks in advance for all responses!
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#2 David Regan

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 06:18 PM

Are there windows in this room? That would be one key place to start, assuming the necessary budget you could bring in large sources through the windows to bring up the daylight.

Assuming not, swapping bulbs with balanced Kino Tubes would be one way to go. That would get you even, matching lighting for the whole room.

Then you can start to refine it, perhaps skirting the overheads to keep them off the walls, then in closeups, bring in some additional units as it sounds like you did, to help create some contrast and separation. Obviously drastic changes will result in inconsistant footage as you observed, but there are subtle changes you can make i.e. backlight, eyelight, adjust the ratio on the face slightly, that will help with the picture.

Good Luck
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#3 Steve McBride

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 11:51 AM

Thanks for the response. The room didn't have any windows, and the only lights were a few very small sources on the ceiling which were spot-esque but were very weak and did not illuminate the room at all so I just left them off and used the two lights that I had.

Instead of Kino Tubes, would Lowel fluro's work, or are they more or less the same thing?

If I was to use the Kino Tubes or Loowel fluro's on the ceiling and set up lighting for closeups would that make a difference given the lighting from overhead to illuminate the room and then just setting up the lighting for each of the closeups.
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#4 David Regan

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 03:37 PM

I've never worked with Lowell flourescent fixtures so I'm sure someone else with more experience could answer that better, but I can imagine you'd get similar results. My concern would be the integrity of the color output of the tubes compared to Kino.

Actually spotty fixtures on the ceiling might motivate more interesting results, you can create different pools of light from above, which allows for some more motivated control over the lighting setup.

Depending on what type of fixtures are in the ceiling, you could swap for some higher output bulbs for your wide then when you punch in on closeups, use smaller tungsen film lights.
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Aerial Filmworks

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Broadcast Solutions Inc

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rebotnix Technologies

Ritter Battery

CineTape

Tai Audio

Paralinx LLC

Glidecam

CineLab

Metropolis Post

Wooden Camera