Lighting a 2 person interview (and a cyclorama)

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    • #69905

      Hello all.  It has been quite some time since I have been around here – but I am still around!


      I am currently in the process of building a green room cyclorama for use in a new music recording studio.  


      While I am waiting for it to be finished, I am starting to look and think more about lighting.  While there will be many music video sections shot on this stage, there will also frequently be one on one interviews between an interviewer and an artist.  The main concept that comes to my mind would be to have a setup similar to a day time talk show with just a couple of chairs loosly angled toward each other.  My MAIN question would be how to correctly light this scene.  Would 2 softboxes be enough to do the trick for the subject lighting?  If so how would I best position them?  I have tried to look up 2 person interview lighting via google, and every page I come to seems to be so out of date it no longer exists, or I get a face to face style interview which I do not really want.  


      Secondary questions would be how to efficiently light the green screen background without breaking the bank.  I was thinking a couple 4'x4 flourescent shoplights from the hardware store might do it?  Especially if the softboxes would work and I could get similar color temperatures.  


      And lastly, which I am sure I will eventually make a separate post for if I reallly have issues is creating a virtual set for this environment.  If anyone has some great ideas on what to use on the virtual stage, and how I might be able to create it I would love to hear them.  Or if there is something pre made out there (which would surely be 100x better than I could do on my own)  I would take that into consideration as well.  


      Any help would be appreciated here, but especially the lighting of the 2 person interview.  I was thinking of ordering this: but before I pull the trigger on it I want to make sure it would suit my needs.  I would probably also pick up the 4 CF adapter for them for more light output.  


      Thanks everyone in advance!


    • #208506

      You'll probably need lot more lights than those single bulb soft boxes you referred to above. To light two talent you'll probably need at least 3 light sources…you can throw in a relector as a source if you want. I recently bought this set they are not as durable but they're cheap and can do the job…you probably want to get two sets of those lights. Each have 4 bulbs that can be lit separately….so you can control the amount of light in creating light effects. Another cheaper light you can consider is the Flashpoint Cool Light 4, found here

    • #208509

      I've lit a simple green setup with two Divas and it worked but it wasn't sexy.  The tough thing is getting your green relatively flat and evenly illuminated and then getting flattering light on your talent. If you plan on shooting any dark skinned folks, it gets even tougher.  You really need to light your green and talent with separate instruments.  Plan on at least 4-5 feet between talent and green background for ANY separation.  Ideally, 6+ feet which can be really tough depending on your space.  Two diffused sources on green, 2-3 sources on talent.  If you have a really small space, consider building backlight green panels rather than building a cyc and front lighting it.  



    • #208510

      Awesome.  Thanks for passing along that set!  For the single bulb set I was listing, there are 4 bulb adapters for $10 each that I was planning on, I guess I wasnt as clear as I could have been.  In any case, since the amazon set comes with 3 setups and a nice hair light for about the same price, I guess that is a no brainer.  


      Now how exactly would I set up the lighting for that though?  


      Also I tried attaching a pic of my room here for reference , but I was having no luck as it was still coming up extremely large, and even the image size settings didnt seem to affect it?


      The "stage" area will be about 15ft wide by about 10 ft deep.  What would you recommend for lighting that (green) correctly?

    • #208514

      Firstly +1 everything that Brian Collins said, secondly how far back can you get the camera?
      in a room that small a 2 shot will require a wide lens, and how many cameras will you be using, and will the shots me "locked off" or moving? A moving camera is going to take a lot more work to get a reliable greenscreen key.


      As a thought do you need a virtual stage?, it means a whole next level of dificulty, could you just make & light a basic set.  I'm not being negitive it's just that to will be almost imposable to get – Wall |> Green cyc |> Hair Light |> Talent |> Camera into that space and get any seperation.


      If I was to make a suggestion place the green on the 10ft wall and shoot down the room, at least then you have more distance to work with,

      PS it will require a few more lights and A LOT of testing time



    • #208516

      Years ago, I shot a virtual set spot with walking and talking talent in an agency's conference room so it can be done in really small spaces but you have to be really creative.  It turned out great and aired in dozens of markets.  The room was about 12 x 18 with 12 foot ceilings.  The high ceilings were the godsend.  It was a crazy setup but it worked.  We shot lengthwise with the green all the way on one wall and the camera slammed up against the other.  The talent had about a 5 x 3 area to walk in.

      I had 2 divas lighting the green, a small fresnel for back, a few LEDs panels attached to the wall for fill.  The key light really provide 75% of the light for everything.  I had a joker 800, which you might know is a crazy bright HMI we would normally used for daylight exteriors.  I bounced it off the back wall and ceiling (both were white) and basically used it as a giant soft light.  It was unconventional but it worked.  All that blabbering asside, you may be able to make your setup work.  It's okay to work outside the box if the end product works.  



    • #208520

      Thanks, I just read these last couple comments and I am too tired to comprehend much at the moment so I will read again in the morning.


      Let me simply and clarify one thing quick:  The dimensions I gave were strictly for the cyclorama.  The room itself is 15ft by at least 30 ft.  So I have about 20 feet of space behind the stage for cameras.  

    • #208521

      Then you're golden.  You have more than enough room.  

    • #208680

      I agree that you would need at least three lights to lit the interviewer and the interviewee. But then you would need to worry about the green screen on the top of that.


      You can check the look of the 2 interviews I shot with 3 lights.


      1 – two soft boxes on boom stands were pushed into the far corners of the room, as far as the booms afforded to stretch, one large soft box was set at the center line way back to fill the shadows:


      2 – two diffused Lowel lights on upright stands were placed between each camera and the person. The 3rd light was hitting the ceiling to bounce down with the fill:


      These are the most basic set ups, but you can go further from this point on. The sky (and budget) is the limit.

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