Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Technique › Miscellaneous Techniques › Have lights, subject complains they’re too bright! › Our job is to make talent
Our job is to make talent look good and feel comfortable. It's easy to go a little crazy with new toys and make things too complicated and forget that less is often better. If you want a high-end, dramatic look, it's generally easier to get that by being far more selective with lighting. Paint the scene with light. I've done very high end celebrity interviews where the lit scene was actually darker that the hotel suite was with normal room lights. Modern cameras are very sensitive and often you don't need too many foot candles. Especially in such a small space, you've got to keep the iris wide open to reduce depth of field so the background goes out of focus.
Not it knowing the exact setup, I'd be tempted to put one soft box with one or two lights about 3 feet from the talent at eye level and a reflector on the opposite side for fill. I'd then use my other light to create a slight wash on the background. Break up the bkg light with anything you've got to dapple the light in an organic matter. It's all a matter of style. No one approach is right or wrong, we all look at the same problems differently.
Another factor that can cause the light is too bright comment is contrast. You know, bright on talent, black behind the camera… Sometimes a lamp, hall light, really anything behind the camera can help the talent feel more comfy.