Lighting Cinematic Introductions: 3 Creative Techniques

In today’s episode Ted is joined by commercial cinematographer, Josh Tree Park as they walk us through 3 cinematic character introductions. These type of intros could be useful for a variety of formats, from promos, commercials, documentaries and even narratives. So, let’s get started.

Setup #1: Risen From the Darkness

In this first setup Josh has the character emerging from darkness into a pool of lights with various colors gels. The key light is an Aputure 120d paired with the Aputure Light Dome with double diffusion for the softest light possible. Second was another 120d with Light Dome Mini skirted with duvetyne overhead to concentrate the light for a spotlight look. Third light, was camera right and another Aputure 120d with Light Dome Mini, with a green gel inside. The front diffusion of Light Dome Mini was removed for a more harsh light, adding a more contrasty kicker light on the subject. Josh shares a great tip for lighting design, using contrasting colors add more depth to you scene.

For the final light, there was an Aputure Mini 20 with CTO gel in the back and camera left, positioned to hit the subject on his final location mark so all the lights hit him at once for a cool payoff. And to add a little more dynamic to the shot, a fog machine to show the streaks of light better. Allowing the fog to settle for the best effect.

final image

lighting setup

[ Lights used in this scene: Aputure Mini 20, (3x) 120d and (3x) Light Dome ]

Setup #2: “Hell-A-Vision”

In this setup Josh is going for a more themed style where he’s placed a TV on a stand with constant static on the screen with a red lit wall behind it. For a subtle key light he used an Aputure M9, camera right and was able to provide complete coverage from a few feet away.

Next, he added two Aputure Mini 20s, Camera left with one attached to a fence and pointed to the wall behind the talent and TV and another shinning through the fence like a cucoloris on the back wall. Behind the TV he’s placed an Aputure 120d with black wrap and red gel concentrating the light upwards on the wall.

final image

lighting setup

[ Lights used in this scene: (2x) Aputure Mini 20, 120d and MX ]

Setup #3: “Hollywood Lights”

In the final setup, Josh goes for a scene with animated lighting to provide more visual interest without stealing focus from the subject. The first light is a static Aputure 120d as a key light with a double diffused Light Dome for soft coverage, placed camera left at an angle above the subject. The next two lights added to the scene were a pair of Aputure 120d’s both with Aputure fresnels one on either side and behind the subject.

The light to the left of the subject had a red gel and the light on right had a blue gel, both narrowly oscillated from left to right like a search light or moving lights typically found in a boxing film’s “fight night” scene. Lastly, a pair of Aputure Mini20’s on rigged to the ceiling behind the subject and in the shot. The Mini 20’s also serve as kicker and rim lights on the subject as well as potential lens flares as the camera moves in closer.

final image

light setup

[ Lights used in this scene: (2x) Aputure Mini 20, (3x) 120d and Light Dome ]

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