video studio lighting, what to buy


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my dad is a public relations officer for the army, and he preposed to his boss to turn a meeting room into a video studio. basically, the purpose of this room is to shoot video that will be edited and sent out to approx 3800 employees and soldiers. my dad's boss is a general and these videos will be highly circulated so it has to look good, but it also has to be low budget. My dad wanted to buy a simple set of track lights from home depot, but that didnt seem to me to be a wise choice. As a sound guy, i didnt have any information for him on what to buy, but i thought i would ask around to see if any light people had any ideas. Thank you for what im sure will be extremely helpful information
In general movie cameras--all cameras like a lot of white light on the subject. If you could find some scoops, or maybe even some old par's they would work. You really want to be looking for something that will give you a large, white, soft beam.

When lighting it, do not try to do anything 'artsy' or fantsy'. If you want to gel the lights, don't make it anything to dark, really don't go much darker then an R02.
thanks zac, i really dont know much about lights, so getting fancy isnt a problem. but it reminded me of another criteria i left out, they must also be easy to operate, because there are no techs in my dads office, and they need to be able to turn this on.
If there isn't drywall already installed, if possible setup a corner with dry wall and paint it solid green. It's helpful for editing and is nice for lighting. If not you can always by a solid green fabric. Also install metal bars from the cealing to hang lights, similarly to the pipes and bars you hang fixtures from in theaters. Try to get a bunch of power outlets wired on the ceiling, and if you have the cash install a cheap DJ dimmer system or just by a pack and clamp it to the bars. Run a the DMX or whatever interface up to there and get a simple manual board no larger than like 12 channels. Make sure it's all edison just to keep everything simple. As far as fixtures, just find cheap, used, and dj pars. Some of those cheap dj fixtures found on Musicians Friend what work good. Don't spend too much on anything because cameras need really basic lighting, just keep it all simple. Don't spend too much on a lighting system because what he really has to worry about is all the mics, cameras, editing, and all the other video equipment. That's where all the money is needed most. Good Luck.
Are you able to purchase what we refer to as 4 pak dimmers in the US? Probably the most famous is the Jands 4 pak (of which I think all others are based upon). Essentially it is a 4 channel dimmer that has the dimming and control circuitry built in. You plug your generic lights directly into the back (using extension leads etc) - Nice and simple to use.

I would try to get one of these and several QI’s Pars or Fresnels. See if you can borrow for an initial set up. I have only used video on a handful of occasions and found that even lighting is better than directional lighting.

Also, seeing a lot of professional videographers at various gigs, I have noticed that most point a flood up at the ceiling to give an even coverage of light over the field.

Hope that this is somewhat helpful.
thanks alot, this information will be very helpful, im sure my dad and his coworkers will be very appreciative so KEEP POSTING!
Shooting a video in a room can be complex but also dependant upon the cameras. The Blue screen/or green screen for instance cited would be a background used to isolate the person in front of it for adding a differing and changing background into it by way of editing such as your weatherman’s blue screen he does his forecast in front of. Were it just someone at a desk or podium in reading messages, such a background could be more if used at all instead of the company/division banner behind, more like used by the normal news people with the picture sized blue screen behind them with the logo or photo of what they were talking about. This if not instead with current technology, no need for a blue screen, the image is placed either on video monitors behind or even in front of the news person. Blue screens other than for weather forecasts are for the most part 1970s technology.

In any case, I’m sure your dad should probably be contacting someone at AFVN if I remember right as the military TV network for some expert advice much less perhaps gear for equipping him or the proper sources to shop at. Depending upon the cameras used and the need for light, it can be just some track lighting as a possibility, to some specialized KenoFlo flurorscent banks on C-Stands with incandescent type sources just added for toning.

We use some Juno track wash lights with 250w bulbs for instance in close proximity along with the Altman 650Q fixtures and Q-Lites for video shoots. MTV, Wanna be a DJ for instance was lit with these hung off a truss in a normal sized room. This in additon to Lekos and PARs with the high output lamps to add highlight and shadow over the general wash. A four Fresnel Arri Flex lighting kit having two three inch three hundred watt and two four and a half inch six fifty watt Fresnels plus various screens and filters is used otherwise with some wash lights during the NBA Playoff games for player interviews. Cinegel by Rosco would also be a useful part of the Rosco website to check into for technotes on using gel on film.

A question of color temperature and output most likely as to what fixtures you can use. A standard stage Fresnel has a fairly in-effective and dark lamp to be using. A high output lamp is not only at the cost of wattage have a high output but frequently also have a high color temperature that will read well on film. Remember also that shadows and what your eyes blend won’t be blended by the camera. For this reason illumination and washing out is frequently more a cover it all and add effect over this than lighting angles etc. in usefulness. Also you need more wash lighting so there is no drop off’s in intensity across the set as you move around it.

Dimming and control probably won’t be wise either. Remember that as you dim the lamps your color temperature and intensity drop with a spike towards the cooler amber shift. This amber shift on camera is much more drastic than with the eye. Instead of doing a lot of dimming with more than just the key lights as it were at most, but not the wash ones and in starting simple, I would think it would be much better to lamp the fixtures with the desired lamps to achieve intensity at their full output than to get something larger than need to dim them. Most studio lights have switches on them and it’s not only to turn off the draw before un-plugging them.

Here is some sources amongst many that might have more to read up on for what you need or want to do:
Bardwell & McAllister Inc. (Motion Picture Fixture & Rig Equipment Manufacturer/Dist.)
Kino Flo (Fixture Mfr./Distributer)
Lowell Lighting (Omni Movie Lights)
MSE Studio Equipment, Inc/Matthews Studio Equipment (Movie Rigging Supplier)
FAZETRON STTV Lighting TV/AV/Video Sales & Service (Production Co/Dist.)
Studio Depot /Mole-Richardson (Theatrical Supply & Fixture Mfr..)
For our school morning broadcast they use 6 or 8 pars that just plug into a surge protector and that plugs into the wall so all they do before filming is flip a few switchs and roll camera. The pars are on a pipe suspened across two trees. Looks good too except one dark spot but its not on anyones face so they dont worry about it. For a set we just bult them a 3 person news desk with a flat behind them that has the schools logo on it. every thing was father dusted to give it a look.
wow ship, that is extremely helpful, i dont even think it occured to him to contact the military TV network. thanks alot evereone and keep posting these helpful suggestions!
I used to watch a lot of AFVN or what ever it was called for a network. Back than it was the Liberal news media against the military thus the AFVN gave me balance in information given out. Now it's kind of the reverse more frequently. Dennis Miller gone Republican, what's the world coming to?

Been about 10 years now since it was available on my cable network since I moved. Decent network for information after the propaganda.

In any case, I hope they will be helpful. There is also lots of books out there on video and TV lighting that could be helpful.
Matt-s_dad said:
2 Bogen swivel umbrella adapter .......$26.95 @ $53.90
I used to work in the photography biz and I really, really like Bogen as a brand. Their equipment is often tougher than they advertise. It's well made and sturdy as anything. Good choice!
my dad forgot to mention that we have bogen tripods and some lowell lights at home, thanks for all your advice and im sure it will be helpful in his purchase, now that he started checking this himself, i will let him discuss it more if he needs additional advice

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