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One.org commercial - Portrait Lighting


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#1 Daniel Kocsis

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 08:18 AM

Dear fellow Filmmakers!

I'm working on a charity organization's public announcement in France. The genre is testimonials. The director's reference is the black and white commercials from One.org. Soft lights and simple grey or white background.
Do you have any suggestions what would be useful for reaching a look like One.org testimonials?
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#2 Daniel Kocsis

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 12:33 PM

[attachment=6678:Picture 4.png]
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#3 Darius Shah

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 04:59 PM

Hi Daniel,

I currently also assiting a DP on a Public Service announcement which is using this type of testimonial style lighting. I've seen this series of ads/PSA by One.org. It seems that in terms of lighting it is quite minimal and would probably include just one light source (almost frontal above the camera) through a softbox or a diffusion frame. But I am guessing its something you already could tell.

Eitherways, but perhaps someone else who have more experience with lighting for testimonials would give u a better insight at trying to achieve the look you are going for.


Regards
Darius Shah
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#4 Lupus Lux Pro

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 07:14 PM

I just watched a one.org ad on youtube.
ONE.ORG Ad on Youtube
I agree with Daniel Kocsis when he says that the talents where lit with one light source that was above the camera. It seems that they used butterfly lightning, a common term in photography. Google will find lots of resources and explainations concerning this topic.

It is really simple! Raise your main light directly above the camera. Then reduce the distance to your talent until the shadow directly under his or her nose looks appropriate to you. The height of the light and the distance to the talent depends on some factors, so you will have to play around a bit. Experiment with diffusion and always look at the shadows.
In 0:19 you see that Justin Timberlakes forehead is overexposed and almost white while his chin seems to be exposed much more natural. So the distance from the light source to the forehead must be smaller than the distance from the light source to the chin.

Apart from the shadow under the nose, the shadow directly under the chin that covers the throat is particularly noticeable. Look at 0:26 and 0:39! On the one hand this shadow can be disturbing, on the other hand it can be very useful especially for elder people like in 0:45, who have wrinkles on their throat or for people with a double chin.
If those shadows seem to be too dark you could use a reflector in the opposite direction to your main light to lighten up the shadows under the chin and nose.
A grey background with a background light completes the setup.

By the way, pay attention to the woman in 0:25. Her hair look like a black solid, there is no detail in it. Maybe a hair light or a backlight could help to render some detail especially in dark hair. Maybe his hair (0:53) had a little detail in the original footage but in post, when they crushed the blacks to enhance contrast (and I bet they did) Tom Hanks' hair turned into a black mass.

Also notice that they all wear white clothes that cause overexposure in combination with the main light. In combination with the background light which reminds me of a gloriole the talents look like angels which would somehow correspond to the topic of the ad.
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