Basic Single Person Interview Setup (2)
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The Job - An Interview with a Singer / Songwriter in a Recording Studio

The interview will be part of an electronic press kit and offered to broadcast TV.

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The Location - Studio Performance Room

Dimensions 29' x 12' with 12' laminated wood ceilings. Windows on one wall with pull-down diffusers. Overhead fluorescent lights.

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The Requested Style - Light, High Key Look

They wanted a soft-lit, comfortable looking setting.

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The Kit - Lowel DV Creator 44 Kit.

4 lights with accessories & stands, 1750 Watts total.

the setting the DV Creator 44 Kit

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The Approach...
Pre Lit wide shot

Being a recording studio, power wasnt an issue. Although when lighting in locations with a lot of electronics, its best to speak with the house electrician to be sure that the circuits you plug into can handle your needs. So if you blow a circuit, you're not taking out the office computers along with it.

We chose a shot composition with the drum kit in the background. This allowed us to set up the subject in the larger center of the room and keep a sense of depth in the shot.

This is the shot, without any added lighting. Besides the overhead fluorescent lights in the ceiling which have a slight green tint to them, the ambient lighting in this recording studio is mostly coming from a couple of large windows. It is often easiest to draw the blinds and get rid of the daylight, but these windows have only a pull down shear diffusion shade. It reduces the amount of daylight coming in, but doesn't eliminate it altogether.

(Top) Rifa 44 (250W Softlight), Pro-light (250W focusable), (Bottom) Omni-light (500W focusable), Tota-light (750W broad throw)

 Lit wide shot
(Clockwise from top) Omni-light (500W focusable), Pro-light (250W focusable), Tota-light (750W broad throw) with umbrella, Rifa-44 (250W softlight)

To work with them we will place the Rifa 44 between the window and subject, color balance to the tungsten light source and allow the walls of the studio to be a bit cooler. The viewers of the interview won't know what the real color of the wall should be but will know about what shade our subject's skin should be.The light is positioned to make our subject a bit brighter than the rest of the image. The light is set a bit lower on the stand than a traditional Key light, to mix with the light from the windows.

We put the Tota-light, fitted with the umbrella from the kit, just to the right of our camera to open up, or lighten, the shadows on her face. We adjusted the distance of the light to her so the shadows are pretty light but were careful to not make the intensity levels of the two lights the same. This would remove any contrast ratio, and cause the lighting to look flat. While we wanted a brighter look, we still wanted some modeling on her face.

The Pro-light was placed behind the subject and used to add some shine to her hair since there was very little ambient light coming from that direction. It also added some contrast between her and the black panel we positioned behind her to hide some studio clutter.

The Omni-light was originally used to highlight another guitar in the background but eventually used to add a splash of brightness and bring out color on the drums in the background.

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The Final Shot...

In the final shot, you can see the contrast ratio that was created by the mix of the Rifa-44 Key & soft window light, against the Tota with umbrella Fill light. The Pro-light gives a warm yet subtle highlight on her blonde hair and shoulder from behind. The Omni-light on the drums in the background gives some saturation to the deep red color, as well as some bringing out highlights on the chrome pieces.

A nice cool highlight runs along the far edge of the face, while the Fill side is a little warmer, and darker. If we had gelled all of the lights with day blue gels, and re-white balanced our camera, we could have gotten more consistency in color temperature, but also a possible less interesting shot. Subtle differences in color and tonality of the light can bring a further sparkle of magic to an already attractive face, while still maintaining a visual connection to the real world. A combination of daylight and tungsten is exactly what you would expect to find in a location like this, so the effect is one of enhanced, yet controlled, reality.

Final Shot
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