I've been in Louisiana this week to visit friends and shoot a short documentary. There were several interviews to record and I was excited to try out some budget lighting gear. This involved basic three point lighting using 2 incandescent bulbs (for key and fill lights) and a halogen spotlight (for the back light). The bulbs were mounted in clamp light fixtures attached to PVC light stands. All of the stills extracted below are from the original footage and have not been retouched, cropped or color corrected.
This interview with Carrie was done in the dance studio she works in. Since I had no way to match my lights with the room's florescent lighting, I went ahead and white balanced anyway (on Carrie's light) and it looked better than I originally thought. Notice the key light on the left and the weaker fill on the right. Both lights are 60 watt bulbs, with the fill being farther away than the key. The halogen spot (controlled by a dimmer) nicely illuminated Carrie's hair and shoulder on camera right.
Here was another location that was impossible for me to match color temperatures, but it worked well anyway. The room lights were again florescent, which turned the room blue when I white balanced on the subject using the 60w bulbs. It made everything look frigid, but when I only turned on the lights just in front of the stage, there was a nice buffer of dark between the subject and the stage (which DID have matching lighting). I like this distant blue opposed to the entire room looking like a meat locker. Very moody.
This shot was in front of the same stage seen in the previous example. We put show creator Janel in a cushy chair and lit her with the exact same setup as the others. I really like how the back light that nicely brings out her ponytail also helps show the arms of the chair. All stage lights were turned on (giving some blue lines to the lighter parts of the stage) so she wouldn't be in a black hole. Her glasses did reflect the two bulbs from time to time, but she didn't want to take them off, so we had to live with it.
Again, these examples are using two 60w soft white bulbs for key and fill lights (4 for under $1) and a halogen spotlight ($7) being controlled by a dimmer (made for around $7). All bulbs are in clamp light fixtures with scoops ($5-$7) attached to PVC light stands (under $5 each). I freely admit that I am no expert, but you can get some cool results without having to resort to a pricey light kit. I just showed you three of them.