Tech Tip Videos

Simple Solutions

In this 16-part video series, Mark Irwin, ASC, CSC, illustrates how his quest for simple, inexpensive solutions on set led him to develop a variety of lighting and camera tools, many of which can be built with materials readily available at hardware stores.

  1. Introduction
  2. Fluorescent Light
  3. Diffusing Fluorescents
  4. Building the Frame
  5. Character Lighting
  6. Rain Gutter Light
  7. Par Cans
  8. Musco vs. Pars
  9. A Better Camera Cover
  10. Low-Budget Night Lighting
  11. A Better Tripod
  12. A Better Spreader
  13. The Spud to Grip Connector
  14. Three More Inventions
  15. Achieving a High Angle Fast
  16. A Brace for Handheld

Basic Lighting Techniques

Academy Award-winning cinematographer Russell Carpenter, ASC (Titanic) covers a range of topics, including beauty lighting; how to understand the actor’s face in relation to light; how to use specific lighting tools, including Kino Flos, Mole “Baby” 5Ks, Source Fours and Chimeras; applying hard and soft light; controlling toplight; using bounce light; lighting  on a low budget; and how to apply Carpenter’s “phases of the moon test.”

  1. Beauty Lighting Techniques 
  2. Using Kino Flos
  3. Mole Baby 5K with Diffusion
  4. Controlling Toplight 
  5. Using the Source 4 Ellipsoidal 
  6. Low/No Budget Tips and Tools 
  7. Using Bounce Light 
  8. DIY: The Covered Wagon
  9. Safety

Lighting a Beer Pour

In this series of instructional videos, ASC members Rexford Metz and Bill Bennett light and shoot a sequence of shots for a tabletop beer commercial. The cinematographers go step by step through their camera and lighting choices, explaining their rationale along the way and revealing a wealth of tips and tricks learned from years of experience behind the camera.

  1. How Long to Light and Shoot?
  2. Three-Point Lighting
  3. Shooting the Bottle
  4. Shooting the Pour
  5. Introduction 
  6. How Did You Get Started?
  7. Shooting Tests
  8. Tabletop Commercials vs. Narrative Films
  9. Shooting Film and Digital
  10. Basic Set-Up
  11. Using a Lot of Light
  12. Composing a Shot
  13. Setting up the Arri Alexa
  14. Lenses for Close-Up Work
  15. Tests, Composition and Touch-Ups 
  16. Lighting Reflective vs. Matte
  17. Hard vs. Soft Light
  18. Working with Prop Dept.
  19. LED Lights and Smoke
  20. Using LED Lights
  21. Setting Up a Jib Arm and Rehearsing 
  22. Moving the Camera
  23. Bounce Cards
  24. Toughest Tabletop Challenges

Lighting a Beer Spot Insert

Matthew Leonetti, ASC walks through his process for lighting a product shot in a beer commercial step-by-step

1. Lighting The Shot

Car Commercial Lighting

In this series of instructional videos, Bill Bennett, ASC draws on his wealth of experience shooting car commercials to take viewers step-by-step through his process of lighting a car onstage for a hero shot. Along the way, he also offers a number of tips, tricks and techniques to bear in mind when shooting cars on location.

  1. Intro to Car Commercials
  2. Onstage Demo
  3. Interview

Elements of Lighting

In this six-part Tech Tip video series, Michael Goi, ASC manipulates the color, intensity, angle and quality of light to support an array of dramatic and time-of-day effects. In working with these four essential elements of lighting, Goi offers an up-close look at exactly how he and his crew utilize specific pieces of lighting equipment.

  1. Creating a Sunrise 
  2. The Magic-Hour Feel
  3. Sunny Morning Atmosphere
  4. Moody Night Setup
  5. Typical Daytime Interior
  6. Basic Elements of Lighting

Lighting with Chris Chomyn, ASC

In this three-part video series, Chris Chomyn, ASC, demonstrates the differences between two common sources, the Baby Junior and the Par 64, and how diffusion affects each of them. He also discusses the many applications for Streaks ’N Tips on set.

  1. Streaks 'N Tips
  2. Diffusion
  3. Baby Junior vs. Par Can

Lighting with Karl Walter Lindenlaub, ASC

Karl Walter Lindenlaub, ASC (Independence Day, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian) talks about Portrait Lighting.

  1. Portrait Lighting
  2. Key Light

Successful Collaborations Between G&E and Camera

In this Tech Tip video series, Patrick Cady, ASC and some of his key collaborators offer a guided tour behind the scenes of the series Body of Proof. In addition to revealing how they light a day/night TransLite backing in order to quickly create an array of time-of-day effects, they offer insight into successful collaborations amongst the grip, electric and camera departments.

  1. Collaborating with the Crew
  2. Creating Time Effects On Stage
  3. Lighting a TransLite Backing

The Emotional Quotient

Cinematographer Jack Green, ASC demonstrates how lighting shapes the way an audience perceives a scene emotionally.  

Green lights one simple scenario four different ways:

  1. For heavy drama/horror 
  2. For drama/romance  
  3. For romantic comedy 
  4. For light and bright comedy 

To put together the lighting for the demonstration, Green works with his regular gaffer Mark Vuille and key grip Charles Saldana. Click here for his introduction to the series.  

The behind-the-scenes section gives an extraordinary glimpse into the way these long-time collaborators communicate and support one another.

Choosing Film or Digital

On Saturday, February 20, 2010 at the Annual ASC Open House a panel discussion with ASC Members Steven Fierberg, Shelly Johnson, Dean Semler and Rodney Taylor, moderated by Stephanie Argy was given. The topic of this discussion was about the aesthetic choice of format. How does a cinematographer go about choosing between film or digital? Is cost the only factor when choosing a format?

  1. The Aesthetics of Choosing a Format
  2. Choosing the Format Pt1
  3. Choosing the Format Pt2
  4. Digital's Impact on Performance
  5. Working with Different Formats
  6. Getting to Know the New Tools
  7. Question and Answer
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