The lighting setups of a Hollywood production can be pretty intimidating to a fledgling filmmaker. The hundreds of crew members running around and dozens of expensive professional lighting units have convinced multitudes of hopeful creatives that making a film or a music video requires lots of people, equipment, and money—but it totally doesn't have to. In this video, music video director/DP/editor/colorist Kyle White shows you how to achieve cinematic lighting with little more than yourself, a couple of lights, and a few creative techniques. Check it out below:

Pick a look for your music video

First and foremost, you have to know what look you're going for with your project. This will not only allow you to figure out what you're going to need but also take inventory of what you've already got. If you want to film a scene in which your subject, be it a band or an individual musician, performs on a stage to a huge crowd, then you'll have to make sure you've got the budget, the equipment, and the manpower to acquire that. If you're only working with a skeleton crew—maybe you and one other person— with only one, two, or three lights, then you'll have a better idea of what you'll be able to create. Luckily, White shows us that you can create a lot more than you might think.

Compliment your music video by using complementary colors

Don't skimp on the color. Music videos often give you a unique chance to try new things as a filmmaker, especially when it comes to lighting and using color. Throw some gels over your lights. Make them dynamic. Make them extreme. Use some simple color theory to make your images pop, like using complementary colors; White demonstrates this in his second example by using a blue gel on his background to contrast the warm tungsten light in the foreground.


Get creative when lighting your music video

When you're working with less, you have to get creative with everything from the style to the use of your equipment. If you only have a couple of lights, you can create a lot of interesting, professional looks by using diffusion material, color gels, or cookies (which are basically cardboard cutouts that allow you to make cool shapes out of lights).

Also, don't forget about the world's key light: the sun. If you literally have zero lights to work with, shoot outdoors during an overcast day for a low contrast look or during Magic Hour for all of those delicious warm tones.

Lastly, make your equipment work for you. As you saw in White's last example, having one key light doesn't mean you have to keep your camera stationary. If your camera needs to move, you can try moving your lighting too to create cool effects.

What are some other helpful lighting tips for music videos? Let us know down in the comments.

Source: Kyle White TV