In this month’s Inner Circle podcast, I answer your questions about:
- How I create flame flicker and the color quality of fire
- Lighting talent near a fire effect
- Differences in wood burning fires vs propane fires
- How to light for small objects, shiny objects and other product shots
- Lighting to bring out a product’s texture and color
- How I create a catch light without changing levels or ratios
- My batten lights and how I use them
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Thank you to everyone who submitted questions for this month’s Inner Circle podcast. Just a reminder that you can submit more questions here-
Shane hello. Excellent inner circle, congrats to you and your crew. Would there be any chance that you could do an article with video material to support it on the subject of exposure, creating mood and using the most out of flanders monitors? In you’re recent july podcast you talk about setting your skin tones at different ire values depending on the mood of the scene. How do you exactly dial in the correct ire skin tone value – that would be great to see the whole process and workflow revealed. It would be nice to see different lighting situation such as: high key, low key and average mid-contrast grey – how they affect your approach at setting flanders monitor for success. It would be great to see and hear how you set your skin tones depending on the atmosphere of the scene. I am sure that the subject would be a great interest to many of us inner circle members. What do you think? best regards Drazen
What is your opinion on the color meter use vs. fixing in post? Color meters alone cost a pretty penny, and matching the lighting temperature is an added cost on top as well. Since Resolve can correct color temp issues in post, and color grading is usually done anyways, is it worth the time and money to use a color meter with corresponding lighting to get the color temperature right in the first place during the shoot, or concentrate more on post? Is the quality difference worth it? Thanks in advance, Mark
Hi, Shane, first of all many thanks for you sharing all this knowledge. Which is helping me a lot now, and could’ve saved me of a lot of mistakes a few years back. My question come to this: I’ve been filming some product videos for a tile company for a few years now. The first came out badly. The last, this year, are much better, but I still haven’t got them to a point of making me proud of them, if you know what I mean. They are high end tiles and mosaic’s of different shapes, sizes, colors, etc. And we do this shooting on 2 or 3 wall set’s that the company and art department builds. I’ve been using several tungsten lights to bounce off the white ceiling they build on top. And several other small tungsten arri’s bounced or through diffusers from the sides, against plants, etc. to create shapes, shadows, etc. Sometimes we have talents on the set, as if it was their home, bathroom, kitchen, etc. Some other times just the set showing the product. Both cases we dress the room as if it was a persons high end home, a bit towards minimalistic to show more the product that the props. I’m using slider, tripod and crane. Now, after watching most of your lighting videos, my question is, how would you approach set ups like this were the protagonist is the floor or walls ( tiles, mosaics, etc). To try to get as much as you can of the product, its texture, color (color needs to be on the spot, like make up ads, etc). Would you light the whole set and shoot, or light a part of it and shoot that, then another and so on. Which camera filters would you recommend? Which diffusers and light set ups? How would you approach this overall? Many thanks and all the best, Alex
Hi, Shane, Another question if I may, is the following: I have a project coming up in which I need to light a few talents (fireman and others) in front of a house which is burning down. The house is either going to come down CGI or scale model. How would you recommend to light the talents to simulate a big house burning in front of them without actually setting up a huge fire, would you have some crew move bounces to simulate the natural movement of flames? What would you recommend and how would you approach this? The scenes would be night/exterior. Many thanks, again!
Hey Shane, First of thank you for the wealth of knowledge your passing on to filmmakers like me! Your giving me confidence in my career…I keep surprising myself with the confidence I have in decisions I make on set since becoming an inner circle member. Let just say I am backlighting and bouncing light like crazy! I am really enjoying the images I am getting! now for the question…I am doing some DP work on a short film coming up and wanted to get your thoughts on lighting a camp fire scene. I am going to emulate the moon with an M18 and 1200 HMI through the woods (Biggest lights we can afford) and then bounce some 1ks to bring up ambience around the fire among other practicals (lamps etc..) How would you light a campfire scene? What do you think about using flicker devices on the 1ks to emulate the fire? Note we are shooting on RED Scarlet cameras…Thanks Shane, Adam Gregory
Hi Shane, you guys ROCK!! I’m so very grateful for all you do… Huge favor, would you be able to talk about batten lights? When do you use them? How do you build them? Can you give any examples of scenes where batten lights made the look of the scene more compelling? I would pay for that info. Thank you!
Hi Shane my name is Sam I am aspiring to become a cinematographer. I am currently 15 about to turn 16, and I am wanting to do some low budget kickstarter commercials to get me going. I have taken Alex Buono’s Visual Storytelling 2 course and your Advanced Cinematography Kit. Both courses are mainly about lighting people and sets, however there is little mention of how to light products. I have done some practice shoots with random objects and I’m finding it difficult lighting shiny objects. I am also finding it hard to light small objects without making it look flat and unprofessional. So if you have any tips on beauty lighting for products and how I should advertise myself as a freelance filmmaker that would be great! Thanks! Sincerely Sam Gannuch
Is it possible to add an eyelight without bringing up the levels? Often times when I’m gaffing the light is perfect on the talent but they don’t get a catchlight and the DP wants one. How can I get that sparkle in the eye without changing the levels or ratios? Thanks
Hi Shane, Not related to my question, but It really encourages me to see someone engaged in the industry for so long with a marriage that has lasted just as long, and longer. I listened to a podcast your wife did with The Solo Creative (Ron Dawson) and it’s just a blessing to see that you guys have weathered all the storms that must come with this line of work to still be together after 26 years. I really appreciate that candidness that you choose family time over your job when those conflict, it’s a great example for me (us) as a young gun(s) getting into this creative pursuit. Thank you for that. Alright, I’ve never been a giant gear head. From doing my music and knowing what the latest and greatest effects pedal is or understanding what mic will get me the warmest sound, to live production and knowing what console is best outfitted with comps and pre’s and such. My mind has never really worked that way. To a certain extent I’m better at getting a piece of equipment and making it do what I want, or as close to what I want as I can, rather than planning ahead and really seeking or knowing exactly what I should use to get the job done. A lot plays into it like available budgets or just hands on experience with the different pieces equipment, but what would you recommend to those who don’t live in entertainment meccas with lots of equipment opportunities, or who don’t have the giant budgets to test lens and camera packages for our own shoots, to gain a familiarity with how different cameras interact with different lenses, or what types of lights will be best suited for this and that, etc.? Is there a base recipe for determining these factors, or is it really just getting the exposure to lots of equipment over a bunch of time? Thanks! Sean