One of the best soft skills you can learn as a filmmaker is pattern recognition.
Every day on location is different, but similar in a lot of ways. Over time you begin to notice that a particular tool or technique has been the right solution to solve a problem more than once. I’m acutely aware of this as I watch my bts videos and make diagrams each week.
One of the most common challenges when shooting on location is getting a light source to come from the appropriate direction even if there are no solid rigging points, the ceiling is low, and the director want to shoot on a 24mm lens across the room for some reason 😉
I have a couple solutions that generally work pretty well. Sometimes you can get a low profile light fixture such as a tube up there, but that may not always work if you don’t have a place to rig it. The other option is to bounce the light with a spotlight attachment (aka leko) into a show card. Something semi-rigid like a show card or foam core is ideal because you can still direct the bounced source but it’s also light enough to be held in position on the wall with paper tape. And I like covering it in bleached mus because it creates a nice soft quality.
For this setup our key light was a bounced 600D into the corner (make sure to squeeze down the light so it doesn’t spill onto the foreground). Astera Titan Tubes were a special for the backpack. Used Snapgrids to keep the light focused with just enough value to bring out a little more detail. They were rigged to the top of a cabinet with a speed-c clamp. Man, I need to do a post about speed-c’s. Last, we pushed a Litepanels Gemini through the window for a mellow version of a Baja Blast™️ Like, imagine that your ice has melted in the cup but it still has that blue flavor… Ok you get the idea.
What are some of your favorite ways to get light source in a tight spot on location?
Key Grip @trevortietjen
And many more :)
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.