|Review - How to Setup, Light, & Shoot Great Looking Interviews
to Setup, Light, & Shoot Great Looking Interviews
(using a light kit that costs under $1500)
Produced by Vortex
Review by Steve
are many ways to learn about lighting. Unfortunately, many hobbyists
and amateur shooters get their new camcorders, briefly, if at
all, glance at the manual, and run out and shoot. "Lighting?
What's that? Hey, the sun is out, I'm cool." Or to paraphrase
the line in the film Sierra Madre, "Lighting? Lighting?
I don't need no stinkin' lighting." Those in the know, know
Now, there are several ways to
learn about lighting. One, you can take an expensive seminar
class where, it is more than likely, you will see a plethora
of great lighting equipment (frequently out of your wallet's
possibilities) demonstrated and used while you watch and take
notes. Usually, there is not too much, if any, hands on practice
in these classes. Two, you can buy books on lighting whose lighting
effects you hope you will be able to duplicate with the equipment
that you may have, but often don't. Three, you can read the articles
on lighting found in many of the current video magazines with
the same caveat found in #2. Four, you can gain the experience
on the job. This is a great way to learn as long as you don't
blow a shoot while moving up the learning curve. If you are apprenticing
to a lighting expert, you're in luck. This is, surely, the absolute
best way to master the craft.
Vortex Media has come out with
a fifth way to learn the art of lighting interviews with an excellent
and inexpensive 60 minute DVD which covers just about all you
need to be aware of and learn for lighting interviews. Within
this DVD literally everything is covered, from the specific equipment
you will need within a tight $1500.00 budget to how to set up
a room and the considerations you will have to be aware of to
utilizing the most advantageous Focal length. What surprised
me was that in the first disc chapter covering the light kit
itself, Doug Jensen, the amicable narrator and a man with over
25 years of lighting and shooting experience, suggests specific
brand names for various individual pieces. Think about it...
usually, if a company like Lowel Lighting sponsors a production,
than we could expect to see nothing but Lowel Lights used. While
they are an excellent company with excellent products, who is
to say that, every piece is the piece for us. However, in this
Vortex Media DVD, Doug Jensen suggests a variety of brand names
for specific pieces while creating a relatively inexpensive lighting
kit for those who haven't yet bought their own. This is tantamount
to finding an honest politician, one who hasn't been bought out,
and a very rare thing.
Doug Jensen leads
you expertly through what you need to know and use.
A great lighting
kit for under $1500 from a variety of manufacturers
None of these chapters move so quickly
that you have to repeat the listening. They are very well paced
and easy to follow. All lessons come from Mr. Jensen's practical
and pragmatic experience so you know you can trust what you hear.
The chapters on choosing the best location and angle, as well
as where to set up the cams, were both interesting and informative.
There is not a whole lot of unnecessary jargon to bog you down
here. Not everyone is a technical wizard and for those who simply
want to learn how to best light their subjects and what to use
and when, I think this is just what the doctor ordered.
This DVD really does
get you started with all the info
you will need to make you more competent when lighting.
I hate makeup but you just can't get
away from the need for it in many lighting situations. You will
find that the chapter on makeup really does give you the bottom
line without making it an all engrossing lecture on eyeliner
and blush which, girlfriends assure me, you can get at any makeup
counter at Saks 5th Ave. Excellent are the suggestions provided
for shooting those who wear eyeglasses thus producing unsightly
reflections for the cam to catch during a shoot. Extremely important
is the chapter on Focal Length; make sure you pay attention to
this one. Often the biggest obstacles when shooting interviews
are created by the dimensions and natural lighting of the room
itself. Within this disc you will see both graphic and live representations
of how to overcome the problems that may occur. Gladly, none
of the solutions were so esoteric that you'd have to be Houdini
with a fat wallet to solve them.
There is nothing better than to have concrete solutions to set up and lighting problems.
These suggestions work.
Want proof of the importance of manually white balancing? Listen
closely and you'll never auto balance again. When using the previously
reviewed Warm Cards you can make a massive difference in the
color and feel of your interviewee.
When using the previously
Cards you can make a massive difference
in the color and feel of your interviewee.
Bottom line, there is no better teacher
than practical field experience. Unless you have a knowledgeable
person on the set to teach you, it is too risky to sacrifice
what could have been a productive shoot to bumbling experimentation.
"How to Setup, Light & Shoot Great Looking Interviews"
using a light kit that costs under $1500 is the perfect way to
go. Great graphics, properly sequenced chapters and well paced
narration will leave you more confident in yourself when it is
time for you to assume the mantle of responsibility for lighting
the shoot. I learned from this disc and I am sure you will too.
Steve Douglas is
an underwater videographer and contributor to numerous film festivals
around the world. A winner of the 1999 Pacific Coast Underwater
Film Competition, 2003 IVIE competition, 2004 Los Angeles Underwater
Photographic competition, and the prestigious 2005 International
Beneath the Sea Film Competition, Steve has also worked on the
feature film "The Deep Blue Sea", contributed footage
to the Seaworld parks for their Atlantis production, and is one
of the principal organizers of the San Diego UnderSea Film Exhibition.
Steve leads both underwater filming expeditions and African safaris
with upcoming filming excursions to Kenya, Bali & Komodo,
the Philippines, and the Red Sea. Feel free to contact him if
you are interested in joining Steve on any of these trips. www.worldfilmsandtravel.com
copyright © Steve
This article first
appeared on www.kenstone.net and is reprinted here
All screen captures and
textual references are the property and trademark of their creators/owners/publishers.