FREELessons: 14Length: 1.4 hours

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3.1 Pre-Light

In this lesson, you will see the stage plot put to use as I start setting up the lights on set before anyone arrives. So we're looking at the setup here, and you can see I've pulled some lights out and gotten things ready to get started here. You can see I have one of my fluorescent panels out, and it's already got some gels on it there. You see I have a light stand with some vellum already attached to a 40 inch grip rod. So what I'm gonna do is start to build this lighting set up out according to my stage plot. So I'm getting the vellum here kind of positioned where I want. And I'm going to try it first with just one fluorescent light just to see what this looks like. Now you are seeing everything at 200% speed just so we can get through the prelight, and you can see everything that's going on. So I'm gonna raise up my vellum all the way to the ceiling here. And then I'm gonna reposition my light. And then jump over here and take a meter reading. Now, it looks pretty low, so I am going to grab that second light there. You can see that also has a minus green gel on it to neutralize some of the green color spike that that flourescent light has. I believe those are either one-quarter or one-eighth minus green. It's not a full minus green because that would be way overkill and basically make everything look magenta. So one-eighth or one-quarter minus green usually gets it right where it needs to be. So I strike that second light, and you can see the light level comes up a pretty good amount here. And with the vellum, it's really doing a great job of making those two lights one large lighting source. You can see the difference that's making there with the window light. I'm getting a much higher meter reading here, so I'm gonna turn down my aperture. The window light is still pretty strong on the side of my face. So what I'm going to try and do is scooch that vellum and scooch those lights forward so that I can get a little bit more punch from that main key light source there, the vellum and the two fluorescent lights. And you wouldn't think that moving it forward a little bit would make a difference. But because of the distance, it is going to bring the light level up quite a bit right up in the front there. So, looks like I can still get it forward just a little bit because I'm not quite getting a reading that I'm looking for. I can't remember exactly what it was. But I think I'm shooting for around F5 around F5.6. And so, I'm trying to scooch it forward as much as I can. It will be in the camera shot now, but when I get the camera zoomed in the way that I want, it should not be a problem. And that's looking pretty good. So, now I'm gonna move on to the hair light here, which you can see I have positioned on the top of my cabinets there. That's a 900 LED light. And it's actually being powered by a battery. So I'm gonna take a quick meter reading here. And if I remember right, it was actually giving me the same reading as my main key light here, which is not ideal. I usually like to have the hair light a little bit brighter, but at those distances and with that light, I couldn't really get more from it. So, it would have to do, and it does look pretty decent. So now I'm checking to see how much light is actually coming in from this door window here. And I didn't think it would be too much of a problem, but it is something that I want to deal with. So I grabbed some black fabric. I also grabbed a moving blanket because I wasn't sure that the black fabric would do it, but it is a pretty big, black tablecloth. It's I believe 12 feet by 6 feet, so it's actually four pieces of fabric when it's folded up like that. And that seems to do a pretty good job of blocking out the light completely. All right, next, I'm going to move on to the background light. And you can see here I'm just showing you my ETC Source Four light. It already has a color temperature blue gel installed on it. Here, you can see what it looks like without the CTB gel on there. And the cool thing about this light is that it has a dichroic glass reflector on there which absorbs 95% of the infrared energy. Which means that when you put gels on the front, the infrared energy that's being transmitted from the lamp is not coming out the front of the light fixture. It basically goes out the back. So you don't burn through gels as quickly. Now you can see I am installing the gobo here and just focusing the lens tube so that I get a nice kind of soft leaf breakup effect. You can make it razor sharp. But that doesn't look quite right to my eye. So I like it looking just a little bit softer, as if the sun were shining through some big, giant window. And it doesn't look quite right with this focal length. But you'll see when we get tighter, it does look pretty nice. So now I just grabbed a Lowel Uni TO stand. It's very similar to what other manufacturers call a nano stand. It has these legs that fold flat. And on top I'm going to install a little 160 LED light which already has some minus green and some CTB. I believe it's one-eighth CTB, to just boost the color temperature up a little bit to help match the other lights. And I'm just gonna get this positioned as a side light here. I've modified the light to accept a DC power supply, so I don't have to run it on batteries, because sometimes, these little LED lights can flicker when the batteries start to die. And so I'm just checking to see what the light looks like on the side here, and taking another meter reading to make sure it's not affecting the exposure too much. It does look pretty good. I'm gonna bump down the exposure here by one-third of a stop. And everything looks pretty good. I have my key light, I have my hair light set up. I have my side light and my background light, and things are looking pretty good. You can see, everything is balanced pretty nicely with that very bright window. It's not nearly as bright looking as it looked before we got the lights set up. In the next lesson, you will learn how to approach miking your talent with a lav and a shotgun mic.

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