Guest post by Eric Beltran
When just starting out in the world of film and video production, you’ll probably often find yourself without the equipment that you would like to use.
In a perfect world, you’d have everything you could possibly need, and more, to bring your vision to life. But this is not a perfect world.
More often than not, the lighting will be the first thing to be sacrificed to the budget gods. However, don’t let that bring you down. There are still things that can be done to help.
Just because your budget’s light, that doesn’t mean your lighting has to totally suffer.
Location, location, location.
One of the most important things to consider when shooting any film or video production is the location. This issue becomes doubly important when you consider the fact that lighting is a factor, or maybe not a factor at all, to be more accurate.
It is always important to look for a setting that best fits the tone of your story, of course, but now you must add on top of that, the lighting situation. So make sure that when you go out scouting for a location, it meets your needs.
If you are planning to shoot indoors, then be sure to check out the bulbs that are being used. It may benefit you to buy a couple bulbs that are all the same color temperature too.
If you are planning to shoot outdoors, then you must be mindful of the time of day, or night, that you are shooting. Realize that you will only have a certain window of time available if you want to have consistent lighting throughout your entire film or video production.
Now, while this is crucial, it’s important to not let any of this detour you from doing what’s best for the material. Just be sure to find a good location and learn to work with the sun.
Some cheap tools and tips.
A great way to conserve money on your next film or video production is to use the sun as a backlight, and then utilize a bounce board to get some additional fill light on your subject. You’d be surprised how effective this can be at the right time of day.
You could also use some flags to help you shape the light. If you don’t have any flags, well that’s okay too. Just pick up a couple of pieces of cardboard and use that for the same purpose.
However, if you go that extra conservative route, be sure to paint the cardboard, or whatever makeshift flag you make, black. If you don’t, you run the risk of having to deal with a reflection bouncing off of them.
Be mindful of movement and lens choice.
Another thing to consider when shooting is to try and keep the movement of the camera down to a minimum. If your film or video production material doesn’t beg for movement or wouldn’t benefit much from it, then don’t do it.
This will help you focus on controlling the light that is within the frame, and keep you from trying to make adjustments while moving the camera.
You should also be mindful of the kinds of lenses that you are using when filming. There are higher quality lenses that will be able to capture more light and handle darker situations. Of course, though, those lenses tend to become quite expensive.
Rent, experiment, and do what fits.
On top of these options, there are also places where you can go to rent out lenses and additional lighting equipment, which can be very convenient. At the same time, it can also be burden, depending on your time constraints.
That’s one of those decisions where you’d need to consider the specifics of your film or video production and where a good weighing of your options would probably be in order.
The most important thing to remember is to experiment. Go out there and see what works best for you, and what doesn’t, before you start your film or video production. There is no substitute for experience, and lighting is definitely no exception.
Check out KVibe Productions’ Music Video reel below to see the kind of stylized lighting we’ve done in the past:
KVibe Productions is a full-service video production company. Whether it’s a product video production, a corporate video, or a commercial production, KVibe offers the total package of multimedia services from development through distribution.