Branded Doc Interviews: Part IV
Updated: Apr 17, 2019
Slight improvement over the shot I went over in Part 3.
4th and FINAL part of this series of branded doc interviews I shot in Florida in early March for Moore agency. This is for the same piece that I wrote about in Part III. I feel much better about how I lit this one than the last one. This interview was with a doctor, in a school classroom where the doctor was giving a talk to students. In the final piece, we see b-roll of this same classroom that we shot with the overheads on, so we needed to maintain the room ambiance so the interview didn't look too obviously lit, just heightened a little bit.
* I'd say 95% of the look was done in-camera, I moved a couple wheels around briefly in Lumetri
*Camera Settings: 5K HD on Red Scarlet-W, 5700k WB, 1/4 Black Pro-Mist, 50mm lense at T2.0 , 800 ISO
*I had 1 grip helping with lighting & our sound guy helped swing. Set up time was ~45 min
Finding the Frame
This part was pretty easy. The bookshelves in the back had a little bit of texture/color that contrasted the blue of the carpet and chairs. The grey desks provided more color contrast, and the rows of desk provided an interesting structure to the frame in my opinion. Would've been nice if both bookshelves had a matching color of wood, but hey, you walk into a location and you get what you get. The windows were pretty much unavoidable but they didn't clip out too badly on camera, and they helped provide separation for talent from the background.
Lighting, Lighting, Lighting
Pretty simple set-up I think. We turned off the shitty overhead lights. Once again, the key light was a 300D with a lightdome MK II thru a 4x silk. Really nice soft light that spread out nicely. The softbox comes with 2 versions of diffusion to go on it: magic cloth and silk cloth. I usually like magic cloth on it because it's softer, but it ate up too much stop in this scenario so I went for the silk cloth to get skin tones exposed better. I'll do skin tones around 60-70 IRE. I love me a waveform monitor but sometimes I'll check my false color. I also double check myself with the histogram on the RED touch monitor.
So at this point, we have the key light looking nice. But the background is dark as shit. We have some level coming in from the windows in the back. But we needed to fill the room in a bit more. So I strategically added a quasar kino thru a 4x silk on the right side of frame shining into the desks to give a soft wash of daylight. I say strategically because... there was spill coming from the lamp left side that was giving a nice edge light on the frame-right side of talent's face. Look at the screengrab again. That little highlight on the key side of her cheek gives a bit more definition to it and just looks good. Subtle, but good.
So this light kind of knocks out 2 birds with 1 stone. Sometimes light spill can be good!
After setting this up, room ambiance was still a bit too low. So we punched a Dracast 2K-equivalent LED fresnel into the ceiling. We were running out of stands so we had to be a little sketchy with it. It did the trick though. Both these lights are daylight 5600k.
A few final things we added: a 4x floppy on the fill side since there was a massive white board there returning all the light. But then it made our setup a bit too moody for this piece. So we brought in a low 2x4 white bead board to bring back up the shadow side. Generally speaking, when filming older ladies, dropping in a low fill card usually looks very good, as long as you make sure you still have some contrast on the face. I like this frame but I wouldn't have minded bringing the fill card more frontal so we wouldn't fill in the left-side cheek as much as we did. But it works for this shot. Once again I added an aputure m9 in a book shelf which was providing a very subtle glow to one of the shelves in the back right. If I could, I would've had one for each shelf. Final addition was a Dracast panel as a backlight. I don't like using that small of a source as a backlight but I had it dimmed down enough to where it didn't look too unnatural. I just needed to bring up the shadows in her hair because they were getting a bit low on the IRE scale and I wanted more shadow detail there.
Bingo. That's how I lit it. I'm pretty happy with how it looks. Would've liked a topper on the key light and I would've liked a bit more contrast on the face, but it's not the end of the world. Let me know if you like it, hate it, or think it can be done better.