Lighting a meeting

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    • #71636
      Avatarabmedina
      Participant

      Hello everyone, I like to get some suggestions. I will be filming a company meeting and need to know about lighting. It's going to be at night in an office space. My concern is im not to sure about the lighting aspect. How can i light the set without the office lights interfering.Or can i just use the office lights to light the set. It doesn't have to be perfect but I want it to be clear quality. Please assist and thanks in advance. P S i will be using Canon t3i.

       

    • #209470
      Avatarrs170a
      Participant

      I've shot in mumerous offices and board rooms and can tell you that it all depends on what it's going to be used for. If it's just to make a recording of the meeting, then normal office lights "might" be enough. I say "might" because it all depends on how much light the office lights kick out. I can't stress strongly enough the importance of doing a camera test beforehand to confirm this. You may need to bring along supplementary lighting (basic work lights might do the trick here) and bouce them off of the ceiling. Needless to say, this will only work if the ceiling is white.

      On the other hand, if this is for some kind of mood, only you know what this mood is and what kind of lighting willl be required to pull it off. Once again, a camera test is critical.

      BTW, you've only asked about video. Are you recording any audio? Is the audio a critical part of the recording? How many and what kind of mics are going to be needed to do it efffectively?

       

      Mike

    • #209472
      Avatarabmedina
      Participant

      Thank you for your response. I will be taking your advice on the lighting. The taping is just to record the meeting. As far as the work lights you've mentioned how many you suggest I use?

    • #209473
      Avatarrs170a
      Participant

      It all depends on how big the office is and how good (i.e. sensitive) your DSLR is. When I go into an office, I bring along two 500W. Lowel Totas (tungsten lights) and bounce them off of a white ceiling. This gives me acceptable light for my JVC HM-750 camera (3 X 1/3" chips). The bigger the office, the more light you're going to need. I've never used any DSLRs so I have no idea how much light they may need. Once again, do your best to get to the location before the shoot and try things out to see what you will need.

      Make sure that your lights are secure (i.e. not going to fall over easily) and that you tape down all cables to avoid a trip hazard. A good friend once told me a line that I always follow when I'm on location. "Gaff tape is cheap, lawyers are expensive" so protect everyone, you included πŸ™‚

       

      Mike

    • #209475
      Avatarabmedina
      Participant

      yes i was thinking of getting lights.I'm not sure which will be the best to match the lighting the room will already have. Unfortunately i will not have access to the office before hand. I am looking to get into videography seriously not just a hobby. My original plan for this shoot was to use an on camera video light and a fluid head tripod. Do you think that will work?

    • #209476
      Avatarabmedina
      Participant

      If work lights are better than i will go with that. i'm no pro but i have been studying video production via youtube.

    • #209490
      AvatarJackWolcott
      Participant

      You're best off if you don't think in terms of "lighting the set," but rather just think about boosting the ambient light level. In other words, make the whole room brighter rather than trying to direct light specifically onto the conference table or desk.

       

      Mike's advice is excellent. If the ceiling isn't white, bounce the light off white or light gray foam core panels at the rear of the room. You can get these at any art supply store and they are reusable indefinitely.

       

      Using an on-camera light is not a very good idea since your subject(s) will be squinting into a bright light throughout the meeting. However, using the light to bounce off a wall or ceiling works well.

       

      Generally speaking, it's a good idea to use as little supplemental light as possible. Every time you introduce a new light you introduce new shadows and new problems making things look good. Take along a monitor if possible — even a small television set will work — and see what your setup looks like. It doesn't matter what the lighting looks like to your eye, it's what it looks like in the camera that matters.

       

    • #209491
      AvatarBrian
      Participant

      Bouncing off the ceiling is a great technique but your wideshots are going to be limited since the ceiling will be very, very bright compared to the rest of the room.  Depending on the room, you may be able to bounce from behind the camera.  A larger lamp like a Joker 800 or a 2k into a white silk positioned above and behind the camera can add a nice wash to most rooms but you're talking larger and more expensive lights.  Really, the setup depends widely on the environment.  If the participants are around a conference table in a small room, you can cross key using some Kinos to help fill in eyeballs and separation from the wall.  If there is a rostrum up front with a speaker at a podium, I'd use fresnel fixtures like a 650 or 1k which have more throw and position the stands behind the 3rd or 4th row.  Mixing color temperatures can be tricky.  My advice is to not try and overpower the house light, only augment it.  White balance the camera if possible with a card at the speakers' position.  If that isn't an option, grab a balance from the ceiling or any area that's got a good mix of your light and house light.

       

       

    • #209493
      Avatarrs170a
      Participant

      Brian, I mean the following with the utmost respect. Your ideas are great (I would love to have some Jokers and Kinos but I'm stuck with a 4 light Lowel kit) but the OP admitted that he/she is just a hobbist and has been studying video production on youtube so I'm going to guess that a lot of your terminology will be over his/her head. This is a case where you do the best you can with very limited resources, hope for the best and look on it as a learning experience.

       

      Mike

    • #209494
      AvatarBrian
      Participant

      Mike –  Good points, well taken.  

       

      Starting out, I'd suggest anyone rely on seasoned pros to augment their skill set.  Bring in a gaffer for the day with a lighting kit.  It's is a good investment in the final product, safety of everyone involved and making yourself look good with your client or boss.   If you don't have the budget to bring in a gaffer to light the event, go natural light and save yourself the risk and hassle until you get more.

      Re: Lowel's.  If we're talking an auditorium or large conference room, I don't think they have the punch for significant bounce.  The big reservation is in their heat output.  Take them too near the ceiling and you'll set off sprinklers or fire alarms… not that I've ever done that before. πŸ˜‰  

       

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