Here Are a Few Easy, Great Looking Ways to Light an Interview with Inexpensive Gear
Interview lighting doesn't have to be bland, nor does it need to cost a lot of money.
Our friends over at the Slanted Lens recently put together a quick tutorial that walks us through five different lighting setups for one or two person interviews. And the best part is that the gear used for their shoot is all insanely affordable.
Now, I'm personally not a huge fan of the flat-ish lighting in a few of those setups, and the white background doesn't help much either, but inexpensive lights like those from Photoflex, Westcott, Lowel, and even super cheap Asian knockoffs can all produce fantastic results with a little bit of wrangling and ingenuity. The key thing to remember is that it's how you shape the light that matters, not necessarily the light itself. For that reason, things like mirrors, reflective umbrellas (which produce an even spread of slightly soft light), softboxes, reflectors, bounce boards, and even simple sheets of diffusion are all going to help you achieve the light that you want regardless of what kind of light fixture you are using.
With that in mind, here's Ryan and the Film Riot crew with another simple, great looking interview setup that is way more dramatic and stylized than the examples above. Plus they share a tutorial on how to build a DIY bounce board.
The key takeaway from this lighting setup is that it can be both aesthetically-pleasing and cost effective to create multiple sources out of one light as opposed to investing in multiple cheap lights that are harder to modify. This way, you can invest in a nice, powerful light fixture or two, then change up your bounces and modifiers depending on the mood you need to create with your lighting. Obviously you can't always get away with using one or two lights for every situation, especially when you're working in larger spaces, but it's a great place to start for beginners and intermediates because it forces you to be creative and thrifty with the way that you modify the light.
What are some of your favorite inexpensive tools and methods for lighting a great looking interview? Share them down in the comments!