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Lighting Black People


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#1 Drew Maw

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 07:06 PM

I've been hired to shoot an R&B music video this weekend and most of the people (if not all of them) are black. I have DP'd a short film a while back that had black people in it (my first experience with filming dark skinned people), and I wasn't entirely pleased by what I could perceive as being a need to utilize a different technique that was designed for dark skin.

So, I was curious if you guys had any tips/tricks on how to approach lighting black models and actors. I've heard of one technique, which is to add CTbrown gels to the lights, which hide the prevalent pores, but there again, I haven't tested this approach. This is my second time filming black people, and I want to make sure that I'm covering all my bases.

Any help is much appreciated :)

Drew.
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#2 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 11:21 PM

I like to use somewhat hard bounced light to (at least) one side of the face to make it pop, in addition to whatever else the scene calls for light wise.
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#3 Rob Vogt

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 11:36 PM

Just got to create separation, I'm shooting an RnB music video which is mostly night exteriors and to create separation I am going to use a cool fill and my background will be warmer-- although I've had much success doing the opposite before as well. Also another way to create separation would be to have the background be brighter than the talent.You can use this as a point of reference for that.... That was shot by David Claessen.
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#4 Edgar Dubrovskiy

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 09:27 AM

'Be Kind, Rewind' is a good reference to check out and research. Ellen Kuras did a very good job with two skin colours present in one scene/shot throughout the film.
I think, they cover it in detail in one of The ASC mags.
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#5 Sean Lambrecht

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 09:00 AM

http://www.videograp...m/article/78072

"...infused most of the sets with dark, warm colors. The result: the color in the sets and on the lights is often very similar to the skin tones of the African-American cast. "This makes for something of a monochromatic look," says Doering-Powell. "We approach it almost like lighting for black and white in that the contrast comes from the lighting itself rather than from using different colors.

[Gaffer/chief lighting technician] Erik Messerschmidt and I try to use light to add separation as much as we can. I don't want the 'studio lit' back/cross/key effect, but we will use more back light and more lighting contrast to make the actors stand out.
"
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#6 JD Hartman

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 11:44 AM

An experienced HMU person is also key to success.
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Wooden Camera

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Paralinx LLC

Glidecam

Broadcast Solutions Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Rig Wheels Passport

Willys Widgets