How to Make a Music Video: Lighting Set Up, Light Streaks - Filmmaking Tutorial 2

Uploaded by polcan99 on 28.08.2009

Hi. Welcome to Tutorial #2. My name is Tom Antos. I have a cold today or some allergies,
I am not even sure.
So you might hear me sneeze or cough
or something.

In this tutorial we’re going to do
a setup for a music video performance shot.
It is a very stylized lighting set up that kind of works for music videos.
I’ll be doing other tutorials where I’ll talk about
different lighting set ups, but I will go over it briefly right now.
The way I see it, there is three styles of cinematography out there.
First, there is this very stylized look that we're doing in this tutorial.
It’s used in a lot of music videos and some films like “Armageddon” or
“Pearl Harbor” for example. Both films directed By Michael Bay
A guy who actually comes from a music video background. It’s probably the reason why his films look like that.
The second lighting style is
naturalistic but it still uses lighting,
a lot of intricate lighting set ups.
It tries to simulate what happens naturally in the real world.
One cinematographer who comes to my mind is Janusz Kaminski.
He works with Spielberg a lot so he did "Saving Private Ryan". He also did a really cool film
that didn't get a lot exposure called "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly".
Really nice cinematography. Check it out.
And then, the third lighting is this bare-bones, minimalistic approach
where you just use the available light. A good example of that is a film called
"The New World" starring Colin Farrell
The director there and the cinematographer only used the natural light.
And it's actually a great-looking film
- this is the style I kind of used in this music video with Christopher Charles -
but a lot of people mistakenly think it's easy to do because
you have no lights to worry about,
when in fact you have to do a lot of homework beforehand.
You have to scout locations, writing down what time of the day or year
does the sun set, rise or illuminate a certain part of the set.
But I'll talk about this in another tutorial.
So, anyways, let's begin working on this shot. It is a simple music video performance shot.
Really, all we care about is seeing Chris sing the song and play the guitar.
And since I don't really like how this room looks, I decided
I'm going to keep it
pretty much low-key,
keep the background almost dark, especially after I do the color correction.
I know I'm going to crash the blacks and make it darker.
But I don't want it to look flat, obviously.
You know, the big thing in making images look nice is giving them contrast.
And you can do it through different things. You can do it through
different colors that contrast each other or through lights.
And in this example I'm going to use mainly the lights.
So, here is just the normal lighting in the room,
and here you can see me turn on one of the lights
- a 1000W Red Head.
Just a simple tungsten light.
And right away you can see that
when I point at Chris
it makes him a lot brighter than the background,
which allows me to bring down the exposure of the shot,
and throw the background right away into darkness.

Here, you see me moving the light around, trying to find
the best angle for it.
And once I like the position of the light, which is just to the left
of the camera
and slightly above Chris's eyeline - which gives you a nice shadow
under the nose and that kind of a a thing,
but I also make sure that we can see his eyes.
And right away, you can see that it looks a lot more interesting.
But I don't like that painting or picture that's in the background.
So I had that removed.
And another thing that I noticed right away, of course, is that
Chris blends in with the background, because the right side of his face
is completely dark.
Especially when I color correct it, I know it's going to be pretty much black there.
And since the background there is black, he blends in - you don't see the shoulder,
you don't see
the right side of his face.
So, the best thing you can do - and this is just standard lighting -
I'm going to do more tutorials where I will do more complex lighting set ups -
but this one is basic. I'm going to be using pretty much only two lights.
And so the one light you see - we're going to call it the key light - that's lighting his face.
And now I'm gonna throw another light behind him, to the right side of the camera,
And right away you'll notice that it helps separate Chris from the background,
adds a little bit of a rim light
on his shoulder, his ear, his hair.

And he kind of stands out. These are kinds of things you gotta pay attention to
so that you make the shots have more depth.
As I was saying in tutorial #1, you do it through the use of depth of field
and your framing, as you decide what
you want to put in the shot. So, here you see that
the background is thrown out of focus a little bit.
I put that rim light around him
which helps to separate him from the dark background,

but still keeps this dark tone. Still, half of his face is dark.

You see me here turn on and off the light and you see the difference that it makes
It's pretty big.
Now, the next thing that I do is to put little lights behind him.
They don't really light him. They don't really affect him at all.
All that these lights do is help give you
extra contrast to this shot.
And another thing is that I know I will use a streak filter
to add those streaks that you see in a lot of music videos
and this way these lights will help me
create those extra streaks that you see.
I keep adjusting the lights behind him, changing the intensity of these lights.
I actually - originally I had 60W light bulbs - now I put in, I think
200W light bulbs
so that there is more of a punch, more of a noticeable light.

I put some black tin foil around those lights
to make those lights more pointy, more cone shaped.
The next thing I do is bring Chris closer to the camera because I want to
throw the background even more out of focus.
And I readjust the key light
and the rim light that's behind him. I fine-tuned the angle of it.

And, right away, when you look at it
it's more interesting than it was before.
It might not be the world's more beautiful looking shot, but it's more interesting,
for sure, than what we started with.
Another thing that I do is that I put the camera on a dolly and just move the camera left and right
to add some movement, to have the streaks coming in and out of the frame,

And it adds a bit more life to the shot. But I right away see that even though
the camera moves you don't notice the movement as much
and that's because there's nothing in the foreground to give you a sense of
the fact that the camera is actually moving.

But, as I said,
since this is a music video shot,
things don't really need to make sense.
I basically just put some random object in the foreground
and it's totally in the shadows. So, you don't even see what it is. It's out of focus.
But it just makes you aware of the fact that the camera is actually moving
and it's a nice way to reveal Chris's face as the camera goes
in from behind the object and in front of him.
And the next thing I do is color correction
- straightforward, simple correction.

I think with the color correction now it's a nice, interesting shoot.
Take a look for yourself.
So, it is pretty cool
but still to me, I was looking at it, and I thought maybe I can play around
and do something more.
Not all of you will like this and it's just a matter of opinion.
There is a million ways that you can do a shot like this for a musis video.

So, it's really up to your preference, but I decided to put these little decorations.
I'm not even sure what they were. I just found them lying around.

And they had little lights on it. Anyways, I put them in close to the camera.
I turned on these little blue lights that I had
and I just threw it out of focus and in this way
it adds more of this romantic kind of a feeling to this shot.
But another big thing is that it adds a lot of depth to this shot.
There's something in the foreground that's out of focus.
And it also helps you notice the camera dollying back and forth a lot more.
And here's the final product.
This is how it looks.
So, that's it. Thank you, guys. I hope you enjoyed it.
Feel free to email me here on YouTube or leave some comments.
Let me know what you would like me to talk about in the next tutorial.