video production

Video Production: 3 Simple Location Lighting Tricks

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I had the pleasure to produce a recent video shoot for a client working in the memory care sector of the healthcare industry. Her model employs customized playlists tailored to the tastes of memory care clients. Our role was to use high-quality video production and audio engineering techniques to capture moments with these clients and interviews with their families. These clips demonstrate how the use of this service enhances and enables the lives of a) the memory care clients, b) their families and c) the memory care caregivers. Our lead shooter was well-versed in the world of lighting and framing and offered a few suggestions on how to keep a small footprint for lighting an indoor shoot. If you have you been wondering how to light a video in an as-is space, read on:

Replace light bulbs

Our shoot took place entirely indoors, so we dealt with space issues to provide the necessary lighting. We had some sunlight, however, much of the other light came from the light fixtures in the home. This presents two problems: a) inconsistent brightness due to intermittent cloud cover, and b) inconsistent color temperature. The color temperature of sunlight is between 4000K and 5000K. Standard tungsten (filament-based) light bulbs come with a color temperature range between 2400K-3000K. We chose to replace the existing tungsten bulbs w/ 100W 5000K LED light bulbs. These replacement bulbs would now match the color temperature provided by the sunlight, making the color of the light used on-screen much more consistent for video production.

Use sunlight for fill / backlight

As I mentioned, we were making use of the sunlight pouring into the home for this video production. Sunlight (when available) can be an excellent key light (or backlight, depending on the subject’s position) at its brightest. Sunlight can also be an excellent “diffused” fill light when overcast. We were able to position many of our subjects to benefit from the sunlight, and augment any necessary light with the replacement light bulbs in the fixtures. This saved on space immediately by eliminating the need for an extra lighting unit.

Use diffuser as reflector for fill

We had initially planned to use a large, white “diffuser sheet” to place between a light source and the subject. This approach was too effective, and it offered no contrast in the video image. We wanted to offer some fill light. What worked best was to simply use the sheer white material of the diffuser as a stand-in reflector. When positioned opposite our light unit, the reflection off the diffuser material offered a more subtle fill light option. This offered enough contrast to maintain a bit of the dramatic effect we were seeking.


These are quick and easy tricks to put to use for any residential or other indoor video production. What useful tricks have you found while working on-site? Please share with the community below!


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