August 1, 2011 – Texcam Rental Warehouse – Houston, Texas  

Interview Lighting Demo – Florescent v. Tungsten

By the end of this training video and article, you will be confident to properly light the subject of an interview using any of the 3 different light kits and 2 different backgrounds illustrated here.

The main idea with interview lighting is to “sandwich” the subject that you are lighting. You want to have lights in front, to side, and behind the subject. There are various iterations of the placement, but this “sandwich” concept will help you to become confident in any environment as long as you are “sandwiching”! The ingredients for your “light sandwiching” are listing below.

1) Diva Florescent Panels
The Diva kit is the smallest and most portable. It also offers the best light. It is the latest technology.

2) Keno Large Florescent Panels
Keno lights are large and cumbersome to move around, but do provide nice quality light for interviews.

3) Lowell Tungsten Lights
These lights burn hot and not as powerful as the previous two. Lowell Tungsten Lights also add a warm/yellow tone to the subject. This can be a negative if shooting with sunlight, which adds a blue tone. These lights are great for indoor portraits or interviews where light sources can be controlled.

1) Bright mid-day sunlight
Interview must have lots of light in front of subject for this type of environment. All of the above lighting kits do work well with sunlight, but Keno or Diva work best. See video for the subtle differences.

2) White Screen
The trick to giving the look of “talking in the clouds” white screen background is to shine one light directly onto the screen and two lights on the subject.

Where to Position lights?
Like mentioned earlier, best concept to follow is to “sandwich” the subject. Specifically, for this demonstration, we placed 2 diva or 2 keno lights (depending on the demonstration) an arm’s length distance from the subject of the interview. The third light, was used to shine directly onto the white background. If the sunlight was the background, a third was not used because it is not needed to illuminate background.

Wattage Used?
1) Diva lights – 400 watts x 2 lights in front; 200 watts x 1 light against white backdrop
2) Keno lights – 400 watts x 2 lights in front; 200 watts x 1 light against white backdrop
3) Lowel Tungsten lights – 500 watts, 150 watts in front; 100 watts against white backdrop in back

Video Production Notes
In preparation for a shoot in Dallas this week, the Perry Video crew put together a lighting demo video shooting 1) against daylight and 2) against our white backdrop. They also used a couple different variations of sound. Some sound is only boom mic into 7D directly. Other sequences are a separate Marrantz digital audio recorder that were manually synced or used Plural Eyes to sync.

The Perry Video Crew tried to add a little humor with the only commercial that Jack Perry memorized as a teenager–Lee Press On Nails. Amazing after 30 yrs that he still remembers that commercial.

May you go forward confidently for your next lighting project. Enjoy the demo!


For more information on this or other lighting tips, contact Jack Perry.

Jack Perry
(713) 365-0468 studio