FilmRiot Shows You How to Light Moving Subjects in Multiple Spaces While Filming

FilmRiot has been quietly working on a series of educational behind the scenes videos over the last few months, and I think this one is definitely worth a mention (avoid the random skydiving tangent at 6:00). Aimed at beginner and intermediate videographers, this short video will walk us through some techniques for lighting people as they move through multiple rooms.

A lot gets touched on here: where to place your lights, where and how to bounce your lights effectively, and how to keep light on your subject as they move around a scene. While it may be a re-hash for the experts out there, it's definitely worth watching if you're interested in taking your videos from looking like they were shot on your parent's handicam for a school project to a more professional and watchable product.

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Mr Blah's picture

sometime you have to let go of the rules and go with your guts...

Lee Christiansen's picture

 Sometimes...  But with a tutorial covering the subject in such a basic way I'd have thought the rules at this stage would be a very important introduction. 

Contextual lighting in dramatic style videos is all important but here we have indications of lighting from improbable sources and directions (lighting bounced from the floor...???!!!) and a flat final "look." 

Yes, I too would have liked to have seen something with substance (or at least a little bit...) 

For quality lighting on subjects that move, watch any episode of "West Wing" and see how it's done beautifully.  Granted, there's a budget on these, but also see how lighting can be localised (for those of us without 100's of lights).

As a Director of Photography with 20 years experience it does sadden me that the "rules" are so often put to one side when the results are less than stellar.  To break the rules, one needs to know what the rules are first...


Ronald Gesualdo's picture

lighting bounced from the floor???? yup!!!! 
and Art Adams uses this approach a lot, there is no right or wrong in lighting provided you accomplish what you want

Chris Vink's picture

What I believe Film Riot means by this 'basic' tutorial is showing you what ways you can use to get light in places you might not think possible. You can come up with your own look, he's just showing you where you can place the lights.

Anyway, that's what I think. Not all of his followers are professional or even amateur 'filmmakers' (cinematographers, directors, etc. etc.) so that's why he keeps it basic while still giving enough information to be able to make a 10 minute video about it.

Dude, it's videography, I think there is a difference between photography and cinematography. Plus, you don't always rely on light meter but just goes immediately.

Guy McLoughlin's picture

Wow. They went from bad under lighting to horrible direction-less over lighting.

As bad as the original under lighting was, I would believe that lighting set-up more than the almost flat over lighting they created. ( Bad Lighting ---> Crap Lighting ) Yuk!

It's for motion pictures, they can still use curve, right?

Mars Oliva's picture

The only thing lighting MUST have is meaning.

Flat, undirected and uncontrolled light can all be acceptable, as long as there is a reason for it. 
While the end product of their tutorial leaves much to be desired, It does assist in showing different ways to light any given scene. In fact, I could see many comedies being set in this lighting.

Tulaga Whitcombe's picture

It's funny how nowadays everyone checks the comments first to determine if it's a waste of time to watch or not

Jeff Gelzinis's picture

That's exactly what I just did! One minute of reading just saved me 12 minutes of watching (minus the time it took to comment). 

NightFox981's picture

Block. Light. Rehearse. Tweak. Shoot. Repeat.

The first comment on every Fstoppers post is almost always someone being dismissively pedantic.