I’ve been working on some projects recently where there is little to no time to light interviews. For example, to light the shot for the TV Pilot last week we took 90 minutes or more to examine the setting, pick the best angle, monitor the changing lighting condition to the point of being able to control it. Then there was framing the subject, painting the background and so forth. Good interview lighting doesn’t just happen. There are however, ways to be efficient and still get good results. Here are two examples.
The client wanted the interview shot near the work bench area of a small shop. They wanted the background to show “work.” I put of a key light up and diffused it by shooting through a poly bounce. This light would also illuminate part of the work bench behind the subject. I used the shelves behind her to hold a back light that would rim the subject as well as add fill to the items on the bench. The bench items emitted blue power and status lights that added mood lighting in the back. The red cables added character. I’ll take it!! By turning off the overhead fluorescent lights I was better able to control the color and spill. I warmed up the color temp in the camera, threw the background out of focus by using a prime lens and wide aperture and got a pretty nice result. Nice is not the right word, it almost looks chroma-keyed.
In short, yes good lighting can take a of of work, but some times it can be done bare bones with few instruments and little time. This example was done with 2 lights-both LEDs at 5600K and took roughly 15 minutes. (1 SOLA ENG and a 1×1 from Dracast were used). Sure the camera helped a lot as it was a S35 chip equivalent. But together these pieces are just ingredients in a recipe. How you cook it is up to you.