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Building a Studio on Location

Building a studio on location lighting diagram by Tyler Kaschke, Colorado Gaffer

We’ll call this one “The many joys of working on location”

The event space we were shooting in had a studio with a cyc wall, but no grid to hang our lights overhead 🥲 Fortunately we had a G&E team with some sweet moves to make the space work for our needs.

We knew we wanted the walls to match a brand-specific hue, but we weren’t allowed to use paint. Novas were the solution to splash some color. Speed-c’s to the wood beams gave us solid mounting points.

Quick tip: Take care to prevent spill from unwanted sources when coloring a cyc wall with lights. White light will wash out the saturation of the desired color. That means in addition to blocking light from windows, you also need to create separation between the subject and background.

The @litegear LiteTile was chosen as the key light because of its weight and slim profile. Suspended it by some existing steel cables. Pushed it through an 8x frame of 1/4 grid cloth and had plenty of output for some high speed @truemotionstudiosdenver robot moves 🦾🤖

Since the camera would be moving from eye level, down to shoes, and then under a big plexiglass walking platform, we needed a couple more units on the ground to hit each additional mark.

The 600D was directed at the subject’s face and upper body, and the Titan Tubes were used to fill shadows on the shoes under the platform.

Of course then you also need to supply 480V power for the robot on location :)

Did I mention this was just one of four vignettes that needed to be lit simultaneously? It was a fun challenge to line up so many moving pieces and turn this event space into a studio for a couple of days. Couldn’t have done it without a stellar crew 💪

Watch the full spot on the last slide and let me know what you think!


Producer: @brennahro

Director: @swiney

Lil boy grip: @jpmontoulieu

Tyler Kaschke is a freelance gaffer with a grip truck based in Lafayette, Colorado serving Boulder, Denver, Golden, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs and the Rocky Mountain region at large.

For more about building a studio on location and other lighting tips, follow me on Instagram @colorado_gaffer


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