Overhead Fluorescents; No light kit

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    • #89833

      I haven’t posted much on this site, so apologies if there is another thread elsewhere, but I have shoot coming up and the location is set inside a bland room with no windows, white, reflective walls and overhead fluorescent lights and I’m looking for advice on how to make it look as a good as possible with the following parameters:

      1. This is an in-house shoot for my company and I have little to no budget to work with and have no access to a light kit.

      2. I am using the Canon XA10.

      3. The content is a demo lesson for an educational course that my company is looking to promote and will deal with three participants, sometimes standing, sometimes sitting around a desk.

      I understand my parameters are very limiting, but I was just wondering if anyone has any advice for camera settings, DIY solutions, post-production solutions, etc. I’m planning on doing some test shooting before the day, so at least I can try out various options.

      Also, if there is an appropriate thread out there that already exists for this type of situation or if you know of any other resources that I can check, I would be grateful.

    • #213848

      Since you have no budget buy a light kit, your best option (in my opinion) is to make your set look as good as possible.
      There’s nothing worse than shooting in a bland boardroom with nothing around to break up the monotony πŸ™
      Spend some time, preferably when no one is around so that you won’t bother anyone, and start experimenting with everything in the room. Sometimes it’s as simple as moving a piece of furniture to a new location. Other times you have to re-arrange everything to make it look good. Shoot every different setup and then review them until you find something that looks good to you.
      I had to do a 2 person interview in a very bland basement room once and spent 3 hours experimenting with what was in the background to make it look interesting. The client was happy with the result and that’s all that matters πŸ™‚


    • #213849

      A potted plant or two makes an effective background. Use floor or desk lamps to provide lighting accents. A cheap Venetian blind with a light shining through it makes an effective gobo — i.e., light pattern on the wall. Make a gobo out of foam core and shine light through it. Dress the set if it has shelving: books, small three dimensional items, a framed picture or two, etc., anything to relieve the bare walls. Try using a backdrop hung from a couple of C-stands behind the desk.

      Change the height of your shots, the angles and the distance from camera to subjects too. Once you’ve established the relationship of the three people with a wide shot you can move in for close-ups on each speaker.

      Finally, use a teleprompter, or cue cards it you must, and shoot in relatively short segments. This will permit camera repositioning and permit a smooth and fairly stress free shoot.

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