Importance of Production Lighting
The importance of lighting (among other things)
A split second, that’s all it takes. A split second for you to decide whether you care to watch something or not. Everything is a time investment these days and we are beset daily by more content than we could possibly watch and devour. The reason you might want to click on a video or continue watching could depend on a multitude of factors, but one thing that people respond to quickly in a professionally produced production is bad lighting. Bad lighting can feel like the equivalent of reading a bunch of typos. You may know and understand what the writer was trying to convey, but you probably also have less respect for the message than you would have if there were no typos. That’s a bit how lighting and to a broader extent – production value – works. You might see a video wig a good message but be more skeptical about believing it simply because the people who produced it didn’t take the time or have the ability to make it polished. This is why lighting, composition, wardrobe, and production design are so important. They are subliminal cues that the message you are watching is worth your time. And this is not about things just being “bright enough.” That’s easy, it’s also not about the image being “interesting” per se. No, this is about something much more nuanced. This is about being flattering while telling a story and being unique while playing the part. Most importantly it’s about being invisible. When something just looks right, people don’t necessarily even notice it. You don’t listen to a hit pop song and think “wow! I could hear the vocals so clearly!” It’s because that’s what the engineers and mixers and producers do for a living, and they make a lot of money doing it. No one says, I really love the 2200hz boost and chorus effect that they put on Katy Perry’s voice, they just say “I like her voice.”
So, when it comes to lighting, what are the equivalents of 2200hz and a chorus effect? I’m so glad you asked! The world of lighting is not only highly technical but infinitely nuanced. There is simply no right and wrong way to do anything, instead there are a multitude of best practices and it’s up to the creative eye of the cinematographer or gaffer to determine the optimal placement, settings and approaches. In a similar way, there is no answer to the question, “what’s the best light?” which is akin to asking “which car is best?” Obviously there is no “best” car because “best” is only able to be defined when we discuss the requirements of the job. Every job is different and that’s why we have LED panels, tungsten fresnels, open face fixtures and focusable lens-based fixtures. Add to that Fresnel and PAR HMI’s, fluorescent panels and all the different flavors of light shaping, blocking and diffusing tools, and you have a small idea of the arsenal of gear that a crew needs to bring on set. These tools along with a strong creative approach are what we use to separate our productions from those of our competitors. The study of photography is most simply the study of light, and to make your production shine, you need to harness the power of great lighting.
So that’s what this is all about… when you’re investing your money and time into a production, you’re doing it because you have a story to tell, and more often than not, it’s an investment in your business or product. So obviously it makes sense to invest wisely in a video production team who can portray your message in such a way that helps people say “I like that message.” That is the invisible work that a good video brings to light. And that is what we do.
To see some of what we bring to the table check out out equipment page.