Tutorial on how to light and set up a multi-cam interview with easy to follow step-by-step instruction
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You guys asked for it and we’re gonna give it to you – a step by step basic training on interview lighting. First, we’re gonna take a look at how to set up the lights in front of the subject; then, we’re gonna take a look at how to set up the lights behind the subject; and lastly, we’re gonna look at getting your crew in place so you’re ready to film the interview. I’m Tom Skowronski and this is interview lighting.
Now, what we’ve already learned from three point lighting is that we need a key light, a fill light, and a back light. This time, we’re gonna change it up and use two key lights. What happens is when one spills over, it works as a fill light for the secondary subject on our interview. So, let’s go ahead and move our lights into position that are gonna be in front of the subjects.
If you guys notice, we’re about 45 degrees from our camera here. This is gonna be our wide cam. This is camera one. We’re gonna have two more cameras and we’re also gonna set up one more light to work as another key.
The basic goal behind setting up the lights in a 45 degree scenario from the camera is to create one key light on this subject and one key light from here hitting this subject. When this happens, the lights tend to spill over and hit the other subjects that are in their direct line of vision and work as a fill light. Now that we’ve set up the lights that are gonna be in front of our subjects, we need to set up the backlights that are gonna be behind our subject. What this does is creates even more illumination onto the set, making sure that everything is lit perfectly. Something we have to be very careful with is the fact that our backlight may spill over into our camera’s lens. We do not want this to happen. We want any extra light that’s spilling over to end up on our subjects or on our set. Now, what we’re going to do with these backlights is raise them about a foot or so higher than the actual subjects and what this does is create that even rim of light that we want and lets these lights spill over exactly where we need them to go.
There’s light number one. We can adjust them with the barn doors. And let’s go ahead and set up light number two.
What we’re trying to do here is replicate this graphic that you can see. Clearly, two lights in front, both key lights, two lights in back, both back lights, and this will illuminate our scene to the best of our abilities.
Now, that we’ve taken care of our first two steps, it’s time to bring in our talent and go ahead and shoot the interview. So, as we can see from the graph, we know how to light our subjects. Let’s introduce Joseph and Julie. They’re gonna interview each other while we set up our cameras.
So, first we’re gonna set up a camera under the light and the reason we do this is so it doesn’t spill over and the light continues to stay and shine on our subject.
The idea here is to capture Julie in this camera, just underneath the light, while camera one will be able to get everybody so they can set the stage for the whole interview. Now, the reason this works is because none of our lights are hitting the camera’s point of view. They’re only hitting the subjects. The same scenario is gonna work for camera number three, which is gonna shoot Joseph head on. This works so we can get our cutaways and, once, again, the light’s directly above about two feet or so, so the light never spills over into the camera lens.
Utilizing these three simple steps, we cannot only use key lights and backlights, but we can also create a multi-cam environment. This is the best scenario we could possibly utilize for interview lighting.
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