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We had a very tight budget, and I had recently done a behind the scenes video on creating and lighting a unique scene with just Home Depot lights. So, I thought why not do the same thing for the ONE project.
So, in this tutorial, I am going to show you guys exactly how we setup the lighting for this scene to pull off the final shots shown below. The entire budget for the shoot was $1,500, and lighting (including wiring) only cost a total of $265.
Samples from the final video – Shot 1080p 30fps on 5D Mark II w/ 100mm @ F/4
Samples from the final set of stills – Shot sRAW on 5D Mark II w/ 50mm @ F/4
Step 1 – Flooring and Wall Tiles ($1065 Total cost)
The first step was setting up the flooring and the wall tiles. Interestingly enough, this was actually where the majority of our budget was spent. But, we figured that we would be using this set in future videos, so it wouldn’t be a one time cost.
The entire space is 10×10 feet. So we purchased 100 square feet of wood flooring tiles from Home Depot (which cost around $200) along with 200 square feet of Seesaw Wall Flat tiles to cover both walls. For some reason, these cardboard molded wall flats cost $86 per box and it took 10 boxes to cover both walls. So, yeah, that is where the majority of our budget went as it cost $860. To the attach them to the wall, we simply used 4 pieces of double sided tape per tile.
Step 2 – J.C. Our Lighting Dummy
Whenever I am doing scene setups, I place a lighting dummy where my subject is going to be in order to shape my light. It isn’t reasonable to have a person stand in for 60 minutes as I sit there and mold and shape our light. So, I pop in J.C., our lighting dummy, to give me a nice example of how the lighting is changing as I add and modify each light.
Step 3 – Wiring the Set ($50 in wires and strips at Home Depot)
Concealing cables on a set is always a challenge, especially when you are shooting wide. Luckily, in this video we didn’t shoot wide enough to see the flooring. But, for future videos I knew that we would. But, with the wood tile floors we had a simple solution, we simply ran the cables behind the tiles along the edge of the wall then pushed the wood flooring against the cables to pinch and conceal it against the wall.
Step 4 – Husky Daylight Work Lights ($50 each at Home Depot)
We used two Husky Florescent work lights as uplights to bring out the texture of the wall tiles. We used florescent daylight temperature lights because we wanted the background to be a nice shade of blue, while we white balanced to tungsten that would be used on the subject.
The image above shows the placement of the uplights on the floor. Each is evenly spaced from the corner of the set.
Step 5 – Workforce Tungsten Work Light Stand ($35 at Home Depot)
The next light in our setup is a twin head Workforce Work Light light which we use as a rim light on our subject off camera left.
While using work lights is cheap, there are downsides. Some of which include the heat, the lack of power control, as well as directional control. While we can’t change the first two, we can change the direction of the lighting. To prevent the tungsten light from hitting the uplit walls, I added on a little cardboard GOBO (Go In Between Object). Don’t worry, the light doesn’t get hot enough to burn the cardboard, though just to be safe, I wouldn’t leave the set turned on while I went to do my grocery shopping.
Step 6 – Workforce Tungsten Work Light ($15 at Home Depot)
To define the right side of the subject, I added an additional tungsten Workforce light to camera right.
Step 7 – Tungsten Modeling Light (Can use the $35 light used above)
Since we have modeling lights sitting around the studio, I didn’t need to spend more money on the work lights for our set. So, while we are using a modeling light as the main light, this would look and work exactly the same with the dual light stand used above. The benefit to using a modeling light is that I have a nice little barn door to easily control the direction of the light.
This light is placed directly to camera right and is used as the main light on our subject.
Step 8 – Softening the Main Light ($30 Scrim)
To soften our main light, we are using a standard scrim out of a simple silver reflector kit that can be purchased for $20 – $30 pretty much anywhere. The purpose of softening this light is to prevent hot spots and shine on the subjects face. This is particularly useful as our set is getting quite hot (literally) because of the amount of tungsten lights in close proximity. So, keeping that main light soft is going to help conceal any oil/shine on our subjects face.
The scrim is placed on a stand directly in front of the main modeling light as shown above.
With the ambient room lights off, you can see the final look of our set above. At this point, we are ready to bring in our real subject, and make a few fine tweaks with the light positioning in order to adjust the exposure and any stray bits of light.
Hope you guys enjoyed this little behind the scenes look. To check out this behind the scenes video as well as our other tutorials be sure to subscribe to the SLR Lounge YouTube Channel.