Jan 22

Cheap lighting Set-Up For a Low Budget Film

Posted on Thursday, January 22, 2009 in Video

A much needed and easy way to make your films look much more professional is to add lighting. If you don’t have the bucks to dish out for a $1000+ lighting kit, I’ll show you how to make a kit that will definitely do the trick for about only $35!

What lights to use?

  • Go to your local Home Depot or hardware store and pick up three 500watt work lights (about $10) like these ones. Try to get ones that have a low and high setting. Usually one push to the button on the back will give you 250watts (low) another push will give you 500wattts (high) and a third push turns off your lights.

Get your work lights looking better!

  • Make sure to take the cover (black bars) off the light.
  • To kick you lighting up a notch put wax paper over your light to diffuse it and give it a softer /warmer look.
  • You can also go to the 99cent store (or any store that sells folders) and buy see-thru colored school binders/folders, cut them up and place them over the light to set the mood in blue, red or any color you can find. This acts as a filter.

How do I use this kit?

  • This kit works great for Three point lighting [web info on 3 point lighting] [youtube tutorial]. Simple terms: in three point lighting you aim one light on the actors left side (Key light, 500watts) another light on the actors right side (Fill light, 250watt) and another light on the back of their head (Back light, 500wats).
  • Set the lights on a chair, table, anything that will get the light off the ground and to the height you need.

Other Tips.

  • Pick up two more work lights and use them to light your backgrounds. This works great with the colored filters (see-thru folders). CSI is notorious for this (notice the blue lighting in the background on the image below).

CSI Lighting

Play around with your set-up and see what works best for you. Hope this simple tip helps you out in your quest to express and entertain!

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