October 20, 2016 at 6:11PM, Edited October 20, 6:19PM

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Cheap but effective lighting

I'm a beginner filmmaker- and when I say that I mean that I'm gathering equipment in hopes of shooting something soon. All I've shot so far is test footage with my DSLR. Since then, I've purchased audio equipment, a camera rig, and some other odds and ends. My next focus is lighting. I'm looking at several 3-point lighting setups on Amazon, but with no way to try them, I don't quite know what I'm getting. The highest I'm willing to pay right now for equipment is around $350(remember, just beginning, also a student on a budget). Are there any recommendations for kits or DIY solutions?

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Get some cheap soft boxes and some daylight bulbs. 3 lamps with 3 bulbs are about $100.

October 21, 2016 at 5:57AM

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Eric Halbherr
Director, DP, Editor, Creative Storyteller
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You can't go wrong with a basic open-faced kit. I got an old 5-piece tungsten kit for $80 many years ago and it still serves me today. You can get some decent LED kits in your price range as well. They are use a lot less power but don't render color as well as tungsten. If you go the LED route, suggest getting a kit that's fixed at a single color temp, not variable, because white LEDs have better color than than multiple colored LEDs.
People are throwing away very high quality Fresnels in favor of LED lighting. You can snatch up some of these for free (or the cost of a few replacement lamps). The expensive part is lamp stands.
Don't be afraid of buying some torcheires and throwing away the diffusers. You can put tungsten or LED bulbs in them and bounce light with white poster-board. I once lit a 13-minute film short (yes, film) entirely with 4x 150-Watt tungsten bulbs. Just because it's cheap, doesn't mean it's no good. At least you know how important lighting is, even more important than what camera you use.
Good luck!

October 24, 2016 at 10:23AM, Edited October 24, 10:23AM

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