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Network quality 2 camera interview lighting Package

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#1 David Ross

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 10:27 AM

I am continuing to put together my lighting package and only purchase high quality professional lights as I can afford to. Sometimes while I watch a high end Brodcast 2 camera interviews on TV they will cut away to a wide shot and show the lights. Usally when they do this quick cutaway I can lock in to identify a few fixtures. I generally see a few Chimeras, Kinos, ( diva, 200, or 400 or 4 x 2) sometimes one or two 1 x 1 leds and a mix of arri fresnels and such.

Generally these lights are boomed out with some sort of combo stand as the base support. I also notice a nice array of flags, scrims, and various grip equipment. My question is this: Is there a standard lighting equipment package or list that is required to work at the high end brodcast level to light a 2 person interview. One show that comes to mind is CBS Sunday Morning, SO If there is this sort of lighting equipment list it would be great if you could share it. Also i fully understand the every interview lighting scenero is different but is there a common design or starting point with the way these interviews are lit today.

Thank you in advance for your comments.

Best Regards

David Ross
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 09:15 PM

I very much doubt anybody has a list of things you must have to work for them. The problem with this line of thinking is that it is an unscratchable itch: no matter how much gear you have, someone will always ask you if you have something you don't.

The sort of situations you describe were traditionally lit with redheads, although a better-equipped outfit might have a set of small tungsten or even HMI fresnels in the sub-kilowatt range. That sort of role is increasingly being overtaken by LED, although most LED devices, such as the 1x1 panels, don't have such nice colour rendering (which may be less important for current affairs) or the sheer power of HMI (which may). Kinos are easy to use and represent a better deal in terms of bulk and power consumption than any other way of achieving soft light.

Items such as scrims, filters, diffusion etc. are assumed. Ideally, you want a stand per light plus at least one more per light for control devices (flags, diffusion, bounces), plus a few more for contingencies. A few other items such as wall spreaders and extension arms may be useful in the unpredictable environments you'll be working in; there are an almost infinite number of ways to complete the sentence "Dammit, I wish I had a...", which is part of the reason this stuff gets invented in the first place. Then as much by way of flags (small, medium, large), different tubes for the kinos, bounce (white, silver, gold, poly boards), collapsible grids and the like, sandbags, and mains distribution as you like.

And yes, I've just described a small truck's worth of gear, but I have seen this sort of package carried by people considering themselves to be high end documentarians. Sucks, don't it?
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#3 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 10:11 PM

When i was still shooting documentaries, my basic interview kit was 2 Arri 300w fresnels, 2 Arri 650w fresnels and an Ianiro 2kw 'Blonde'. i had softboxes for the 650/300s, and a couple of 2'x3' flags with arms and knuckles. I could have done the same job with Redheads, but i happened to get a great deal on the Arri kit.
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#4 Rick Cook

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 01:18 AM

I find myself shooting a lot of interviews lately, and I will usually go with the following gear:
2 Arri 650's with Chimera Soft Boxes
3 Arri 300's
2 Lowell Rifa's

If I need too, I will rent HMI fixtures.
I use standard 3 point lighting for most of my interviews. Two 300's I use as Backlights, Rifa's on the opposite side of the talent as the key. The 650's are used for fill If I need it. The other 300 I generally use to throw something interesting in the background.

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#5 Guillaume Cottin

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 06:18 AM

+1 for Lowell, because they have a good choice of integrated lighting package options (including cases), and the Rifas are good chimera lights, not too expensive yet powerful.
Take also a look at their DP light (which basically replaces a redhead), and their small L-Light, fast setup, perfect for lighting a background detail or to give a kicker or a small backlight in an interview situation.
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#6 David Ross

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 10:56 PM

Wow, so much solid information. Thank you

David
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#7 Paul Brenno

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 04:01 PM

I DP'd a weekly show in Houston several yrs back, this was before digital....to me, there is no standard lighting kit for shoots, but most DP's like to have their own kits or be supplied thru their Producers with good kits for all purposed. In Houston, I used a standard Arri kit (large kit, which included 1K Fresnel or Open face, (2) 650's and (1) 300). This kit worked really well for me, as I keyed with 1K w/softbox and used background/fill with 650's, hair light w/300. Later in my career, I used 2 Lowell kits, with Rifa's, Omni's/Totas and Pro Lights to shoot an education web-series, which included interviews....worked really well for our purposes...Lite Panels seem to be the way to go now, as I worked with Flolights recently, loved them....I would invest in several lights types, from a Lite Panel or cheaper version, depending on budget, plus a good Arri/Lowell field kit.....Kino's are good too, but I mostly used for them for lighting green/blue screens, as they were not good for portability, as lite panels are now...
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