Lighting on a budget. Learn how to substitute expensive video lighting equipment with inexpensive alternatives.
So you want to make a big time movie but you're shooting on a budget, a low budget. Well, this time we're going to show you some simple tricks to be able to make your budget look a tad bit bigger by showing you how to light your set without having to spend an arm and a leg.
First up on the agenda tonight, the all important key light. The suitable replacement we've found comes in the form of a 1,000 watt work light used for car repairs. They generally run in an affordable price range and if you buy two, you now have 2,000 watts of power. For a standard studio interview, 500 watts would be plenty as long as you seat your subjects close to the camera.
While we're on the topic of the interview, the standard backlight can be replaced by a China lantern which can be purchased at most big box retail stores. For those of you who feel like you need a bit of a softer lit area, a standard shower curtain can be used to diffuse the light brought in. Just remember to keep the shower curtain at a distance because 1,000 watts burns hot.
For those of you who will be filming a majority of your projects outdoors, you will need the assistance of a reflector to help use the sun to your advantage. If you're feeling a bit gloomy on your pocketbooks, try grabbing a cheap fold up windshield cover and use the back side, which has a silver coating perfect for bouncing light off of. Aluminum foil can also be used as long as your mother doesn't mind you raiding her kitchen. Use a piece of cardboard and make sure to grab big pieces to cover the surface. The cleaner the sheet of foil the sharper the reflection. By rolling up the foil and adding some ripples, the light is reflected a bit smoother and can actually be used as a fill light.
Be sure to pay attention to what type of lights you are using because different light temperatures have different color tone which can take us away from our goal of looking like we have a professional lighting kit and adding discoloration to the area we are trying to light. Be sure to have a couple lighting gels on standby in case you run into this problem.
Another solution would be to make sure that you match all of your bulbs together. Whether it's halogen or work lights, stay consistent with each one of your selections.
So there you have it. If you happen to be working on a project and you find yourself on a shoestring budget, use some of these tips and every shot you film will look that much more professional. Thank you for joining us. If you need any more assistance, there's always Videomaker.com. Until next time.
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