Lighting an Interview with $26 Worth of Equipment: a Free SMAPP Tutorial from Stillmotion
The team over at stillmotion has come all the way from wedding films to producing Emmy Award-Winning television content, and along the way, they’ve done their part to try to teach as much as they can about their techniques and how to achieve professional-looking results. They eventually created the SMAPP App, which began its life as a low-cost app with quite a few in-app purchasable tutorials — now they’ve made it completely free, and in celebration, they are releasing a great low-budget tutorial we all can appreciate: how to light an interview with just $26 worth of equipment.
We’re making all of our premium tutorials on SMAPP (our iPhone app) completely free – starting right now. That’s right, all the tools, all the tutorials, have been made 100% free! If you have the app installed, simply make sure you update it on your device. Or if you’ve yet to download it, well – there is no excuse now (getsmapp.com).
Here is stillmotion about the tutorial:
To celebrate to new updates to SMAPP, we’ve created a tutorial we’ve been wanting to shoot for a long time now (scroll up and click play). Seriously, you should have seen Patrick when we gave him $26 and sent him to Home Depot – he was like a kid on Christmas morning! ;) We wanted to show you that great interview lighting can be achieved on almost nothing (you can judge for yourself in our example). This can really happen to you, too. We’ve been on sets with our luggage delayed, inadequate resources (we weren’t given all the information correctly), or random wrenches thrown in our best pre-production plans (let’s say the location changes suddenly). We work our butts off to make sure we minimize these major issues – but they still happen – all the time!
This is really ingenius — and using the metal laundry basket is a great idea for the softbox. Keep in mind that these work lights can get very, very hot, and they aren’t necessarily as protected as say a 650 or 1K from Arri. If you’re trying to do something like this on a budget, though, you really can’t get cheaper than this. Ironically, it looks like the actual tape used on the project is gaffer’s tape (though I could be wrong), which would cost about as much as all of the equipment put together. You could certainly use different kinds of tape for this setup, but gaffer’s tape is definitely the most versatile. That gives you an idea of how expensive film equipment really is and how impressive it is to come up with something that looks this great on a budget.
If you want to check out the SMAPP App, head on over using the link below. You can read more about their tutorials on the stillmotion blog.
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