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Working with the Room

Often times we aren’t given the resources to control every variable on location. After a scout you may think things need to be set up in a particular way, but then on the day of production you realize that there’s a better way to approach a scene. G&E is all about being adaptable to different challenges and sometimes it’s better to work with what the space is giving you, rather than being stubborn and trying to control everything. If you have the time and people-power to do so, then by all means make the space work for you! All I’m saying is that isn’t always the case and being a little flexible can save you a lot of headache on set.

In this instance we were shooting in a theater and used a lot of the house-lights as our motivated sources. Those string lights, colored practicals, and spot light in the background were already in place when we arrived. And rather than starting from scratch, we used them as a base to build our scene on.

The key light was an Aputure Nova 300c with a soft box and control grid. (I almost always use a control grid if I can afford the light loss.) A couple Astera Titan Tubes provided a nice wash of color motivated by our practicals. I love how that blue back stage plays on the red curtain! The Aputure 300x through some diffusion gave a warm edge for separation. The soft side of a 4x4 piece of bead board provided a slight lift to the shadows on camera side. And a super dim 6” Quasar bounced off a pizza box (pizza box is a fancy name for 2x2 bead board) gave just a little bit of an eye light.

Pro tip: you can use a quacker clamp to hold your lil Quasar and pizza box on a stand. I call it the Chicago style hot dog. 😂

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


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