Working in office environments are always a challenge with the overhead lighting. If you don’t have the resources to swap every fixture in the ceiling (which is a big lift, even with a pre-light day) the next best thing to do is match your units to the existing overhead lighting and balance in camera.
You want those overhead lights on for that soft even room tone you see in an office, but you don’t want them to flatten out your subject. We’ll usually selectively black out or diffuse the ceiling lights in front of the subject and then use our own fixtures to create shape on their faces.
Pro tip: heavy duty black plastic sheeting from the hardware store is a lot cheaper than duvetyn and works great if it’s not going to be on camera. Just throw it straight into the Pacific Ocean when you’re done! 🌊 Or roll it up and reuse it for 1,000 years.
For this commercial video shoot in Denver, we keyed this shot with a 1200D through 1/2 CTO and a frame of 250 and 8x unbleached mus with a grid. The LiteMat 4 gave us a little extra wrap and ambient light in the foreground. Titan Tubes all around the ceiling to fill in shadows or highlight certain areas. LiteMat 2L was in the ceiling hitting the subjects behind the counter. Two 1200s through 20x unbleached mus over the window gave us a soft push in the background. 600x with Chimera OctaPlus6 lit up some bg talent. Vortex 8 down the hall to rake some hard light across the room and a couple Nanlite 60C’s for pops of light in the back offices. 😮💨
Dolly G @jpmontoulieu
Sound Cody Troyer
Tyler Kaschke is a freelance gaffer with G&E and grip truck rentals based in Boulder, Colorado and serving Denver, Golden, Fort Collins and Colorado Springs.
For more information about lighting tips and shooting commercials in Colorado, follow me on Instagram @colorado_gaffer