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Lighting kit for Sign Language


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#1 Brandon Bridges

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 06:56 PM

Hello all,

I'm new to the site and very thankful for the information I've read on this forum. I have a few questions that I didn't find in the list and hope you call can share your expertise!

I will be filming several deaf professors who will be lecturing on various topics. These presenters will be using sign language so I must make sure to find a lighting system that will reduce the shadows and highlight the hands. I will be using a green screen for their powerpoint presentations as well. The "studio" will be in my garage with no natural light.

I am looking for a reasonably priced lighting kit that will satisfy those requirements. I've seen the kits sell on Amazon and Ebay for $180-$250 but they all seem to be the same. I have a budget of $500 max for all the lights, stands, and green screen. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Also, I just bought a Sony HDR-CX580V for $700 because I was told that the 60fps would be best for shooting signing hands. Was that necessary? I know Sony products are known for higher visual quality but could I have found something better for a lower price?

Thank you for your help and I can't wait to read your reply!

Brandon Bridges
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#2 jeff woods

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 03:46 PM

Others may chime in with better opinions, but I'll tackle what I feel comfortable with:

...reduce the shadows and highlight the hands.

Reduce sure, but be sure to not eliminate the shadows. Some light as a backlight/high-side will create shape on the edges of the hands, and help separate them the signer's body. Also importand will be choice of clothing for the speaker; nothing distracting or bright (IMO).

I will be using a green screen for their powerpoint presentations as well. The "studio" will be in my garage with no natural light.

If the presenter is in front of the green screen, be sure to leave room in between so their shadow doesn't fall on it.

If it's in your garage, and this project is budget conscious, spend the money on getting the green screen flat and even. You can always use off-the-shelf lights like clip-lights or halogen worklights. You can use shower curtain as a diffusion, just keep it far away form the source so it doesn't melt.

Also, I just bought a Sony HDR-CX580V for $700 because I was told that the 60fps would be best for shooting signing hands. Was that necessary? I know Sony products are known for higher visual quality but could I have found something better for a lower price?

How will people see the final product? Webcast? Movie theatre? iPhone? My take is get the best quality you can afford, but understand you may not need it if people will be streaming it on You Tube.

Hope this helps,
-j
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#3 Justin W. King

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 02:57 PM

Can you rent equipment? If you rent, I would recommend getting 3 arri 650s, and a bunch of 4x4 kinos with green tubes in them. Also rent 2x3 and 4x4 diffusion, silk and opal frames, along with flags to shape the arri 650s.

Use 1 arri from each side, and maybe slightly behind the sign language person, and then they may want you to add a light from 45degrees off axes of the camera(make this as dim as possible, while still making the client happy.. The Green kino wash will do the jib for greenscreen. Make sure there is plenty of distance between talent and greenscreen.

Edited by Justin W. King, 18 September 2012 - 02:58 PM.

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