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Building a studio. Advice selecting light.

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#1 George Mills

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 12:13 PM

Hello Every One!

Thanks in advance for checking out my post. So as the title says, my work is building a video studio. I work at a toy company as their in house video guy (1 man department). This is a brand new position and its quickly evolving. When I started, I was making simple product demo videos for retail sites and social media,  now we are building a studio with the goal of producing some of our TV commercials in house. That being said, lighting equipment is not my strongest area of expertise. 

 

Basically my question Is, If you were investing in lights to build a professional studio. Which lights would you buy? I know its a very open ended question, but in doing research, I'm finding that there is plethora of choices and its making me more confused than anything. I know that there isn't a magical configuration of light that will cover you for every need but what would be a good all around set? 

 

Im thinking I want at least one ARRI SkyPanel S60-C (maybe two) What other lights would pair well with it? 

 

Here are some examples of past TVC's we've had produced. 

 

Example 1 

Example 2 

Example 3 

 

 

The studio space itself is 30x30. We are most likely going to install a Ceiling rail system if that makes a difference in selection. 

 

Please feel free to ask me any questions.

 

Thanks Again,

George Mills 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#2 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 01:41 PM

Probably want a few HMIs for mass flooding of light. Get some 6x6 butterfly frames for some super soft sources. A few Arri 650s and Mole 1-2ks couldn't hurt either for accent lighting.

 

Don't forget a whole rainbow of gels.


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#3 Guy Holt

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 03:00 PM

Basically my question Is, If you were investing in lights to build a professional studio. Which lights would you buy?... I know that there isn't a magical configuration of light that will cover you for every need but what would be a good all around set? ... Here are some examples of past TVC's we've had produced. ...Please feel free to ask me any questions.

 

 

I operated a 40 x 40 studio for a number of year and I wouldn't waste money on HMIs for a studio package.  After looking at your previous spots it looks like you will need to light a cyc wall.  For that I would recommend a couple of 6k space lights.  If you add a heavy diffusion (like 216) to the silk dot on the bottom they will give you a very even wash of the back wall, cyc, and floor, as well as a soft back light on your talent.  I would have at least 2 each 300, 650, 1k, 2k Fresnels to light set elements.  A 5k Fresnel will come in handy if you need a large hard directional source to re-create sunlight through a set window. The Arri S60s are good for talent keys but pricey for the application.  You might consider the classic Kino Image 85 instead.  

 

Don't overlook the grip gear you will need.  You will need probably 12 C-stands,  Flags & Nets of various sizes, 4x4 Floppies, open frames and silks.  A set of Apple Boxes and miscellaneous mounting hardware like baby offsets, side arms, baby wall plates, triple headers, and a couple of boom arms.  It would be worth having an 8x8 frame with assorted diffusion if you want to make a large soft source with the 5k.  For the 8x frame you will need a couple of high boy roller stands.  You will definitely need extension hangers with stirrups to hang your lights from the grid. Use this link to a basic small studio package. There is a reason this is the basic small studio package that you will find in every market - it is the most versatile.

 

Guy Holt, Gaffer, ScreenLight & Grip, Lighting Sales & Rental in Boston


Edited by Guy Holt, 18 May 2018 - 03:12 PM.

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#4 Michael LaVoie

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 11:47 AM

These are some items I might consider if I was putting a studio together; As a time saver, I'd include a subgrid that can be raised and lowered for when you're doing tabletop.   Some studios, install a large mirror into the grid so you can shoot overheads easily by shooting up into the mirror as opposed to rigging a camera up there..  As for the units, you would probably want all LED's with DMX controls so you can change color at will via an app on your Ipad.    This is all stuff that would live in the ceiling.

 

For ground units, I'd go with the lights and frames and whatnot suggested above.  Kinos, Celebflos or Skypanels or L10's  Mixing old and new is good for studios that may want to rent their space out to other productions.  Personally, I love when a studio has empty 4x4 frames and lots of rolls of diff I can choose to put on them.  Sadly not a given anymore in a lot of places.


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#5 Guy Holt

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 12:22 PM

These are some items I might consider if I was putting a studio together;...  Some studios, install a large mirror into the grid so you can shoot overheads easily by shooting up into the mirror as opposed to rigging a camera up there..  As for the units, you would probably want all LED's with DMX controls so you can change color at will via an app on your Ipad.    

 

I have never found mirrors in the grid very effective.  Usually the lights you are using to light the table top are in the mirror as well and seldom do you want a direct overhead unless you are doing a cooking show.  More often than not you want a 3/4 overhead shot.  A camera jib will eliminate all the rigging and is much more flexible.

 

The advantage of color changing LEDs with dmx is far outweighed by their disadvantages.  They are expensive, heavy, and the color rendering is poor.  Seldom do you need saturated colors in studio productions, and without the need to balance daylight, traditional quartz lights are, IMHO, still superior for studio production applications. They are cheaper, more reliable, offer a true fresnel quality of light, and better color rendering because of their continuous color spectrum.

 

Guy Holt, Gaffer, ScreenLight & Grip, Lighting Rental & Sales in Boston


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