Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Technique › Production Gear › Help with lighting in room with off-white walls? › Mike, Yeah, those are Halo
Yeah, those are Halogen work lights. They aren’t rated for video/film work so you’ll have to make some in-camera manual picture adjustments (if you’re able) and do an accurate whitebalance to get a good balance of color and tone in your scene. They are workhorses for the indie (i.e. don’t have the cash for real lights) filmmakers however, so they can be used.
First off, Diffusion Material and wooden clothespins. Go to your local crafts store and get white, cream and gold vellum paper (like they use in wedding invites.) Halogen lamps get really hot and the vellum unlike other paper won’t burst into flame. Use wooden clothespins to secure the vellum over the front of the lamp (for God’s sake, leave the protective screen on!) The vellum will cut down on the harshness of the light and spare your talent the glare and much of the heat. The more sheets you use, the softer the light will be.
Second, get a 36×24″ white foamcore board. Paint one side flat black. When you use your lamp covered with the diffusion material, you can use your foamcore board as a bounce card (white side) to fill in the shadows on the talents face or use the black side to block unwanted reflected light.
Third, move your talent far from the walls as you can. So even if you don’t have a backdrop, you won’t throw hard shadows of your talent or get unwanted reflections and hotspots on those white walls. Also You may want to forgo a mediu-wide shot to establish your scene and start with a medium shot then stick with MCU’s or close-ups when your talent is speaking. That will help take emphasis off those walls. Having your talent farther way from the walls will also give you opportunities to purposely use shadows to add depth to the background.