How To Light A Small Commercial

(Cinematic Lighting Lesson 23)

Summary: Ryan takes you behind the scenes of a small budget commercial shoot, where he breaks down one of the scenes, explaining his process and lighting set-ups.

Length: 11:48 minutes

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How To Cinematically Light A Corporate Video (Cinematic Lighting Lesson 20)
How To Light Quickly (Cinematic Lighting Lesson 19)
Lighting For Extreme Frame Rates (Cinematic Lighting Lesson 21)
12 Crucial Questions Before Lighting Your Set (Cinematic Lighting Lesson 15)
3 Strategies For Lighting Your Night Exteriors (Cinematic Lighting Lesson 14)
5 Essential Strategies To Lighting Day Exteriors (Cinematic Lighting Lesson 12)
10 Tips To Lighting Day Exteriors (Cinematic Lighting Lesson 13)
How To Light A Small Commercial (Cinematic Lighting Lesson 23)
Where To Begin Lighting Your Set (Cinematic Lighting Lesson 18)
7 replies
    • Tim
      Tim says:

      Unless the project requires something else, we shoot everything at 24fps. Flicker from tungsten practicals have never been an issue.

      In our lesson on lighting issues with high speed we bring up the issue of flicker from small tungsten bulbs. We noticed a slight flicker from 60W bulbs at 240 fps. But at standard frame rates (24 fps and 30 fps) you shouldn’t see any flicker.

  1. Ahmedsalem
    Ahmedsalem says:

    Very informative article, but I have a suggestion since this tutorial has a huge work in shaping the light, why you do not show in the future the BTS behind the scene for the tutorials , to allow us to understand how you fine tune your work

  2. christopherpike
    christopherpike says:

    I am shooting a model doing a standing movement, and I want legs and face evenly lit (ie. head to toe). The model might even hold her hand up higher than her head, and it also needs to be lit. I recently followed some advise on your site and bought an aputure light storm LED. However, it seems like I will actually need two of these to make my key light- one waist high and one shoulder high – to evenly light her from head to toe. (This is just the key light. I’m not even considering the fill and back lights.) Does two lights for a key light sound right?

    • Tim
      Tim says:

      Yes, that sounds about right. There are a lot of benefits of LEDs, but one downside is that they aren’t as bright. This means that many times multiple lights are needed.

      What you will want to do is put a large diffuser in front of all the lights you use as a key, such as a 4′ x 4′, a 6′ x 6′, 8′ x 8′, etc. The larger the diffusion, the more your subject can move and raise their arms, and still be evenly lit with soft light. This way you can pound that diffusion with multiple lights and still make it feel like one light source. Just be sure to back the lights away from the diffusion so that the diffusion is also evenly lit. To see this in action, members can watch Lesson 4 in our Cinematic Lighting module, “Six Ways To Create Soft Light“. Large diffusion is around 3 minutes in, and an even softer method called a book light is around 6:30 minutes into the video.

    • Tim
      Tim says:

      Yeah, back when we created this series, we filmed the lessons out of order. Then we started rearranging some of the content which resulted in the material for lessons #22 and #24 being added to other lessons. As a result, there aren’t any #22 and #24. Great job in noticing that!

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