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Lighting a round pianist - ideas? (1 reply and 3 comments)

The Byre
2 months ago
The Byre 2 months ago

I shall be doing a three-camera shoot for TV of a pianist playing a grand piano and I have filmed him before.  He is rather round and not the most photogenic of pianists and does tend to sweat a lot.  The piano is a concert grand.  We have all the usual lights and filters and the studio can be blacked out. 

Previous attempts have failed to give him much profile and his round face looks, well - round and very pale.

Any suggestions are most welcome!

reidmpetro
2 months ago
reidmpetro 2 months ago

Hello,

I am sure you are looking for advice from Roger, however, I just did a setup like this myself, and can offer my 2 cents. We didn't do 3 cams, but we had a steadi going almost 180 around the piano. We used a litemat 2l plus with an egg crate on a menace arm about 15-20 feet out. I bet a hudson spider would do the trick as well. You can find our music video here».

As far as your subject goes, I would go more top light to add contrast and then maybe a subtle eye light to bring out the eyes.

The Byre
2 months ago

Thanks - all suggestions from anybody very welcome! We can rig from a height and hang stuff in all directions so positioning is not a problem. We do have some LED strips, floods and oodles of PAR cans and some fresnels.
But I do like the idea of a large soft top and I may add a cold key light or something. Anything to give the face structure.
Now, if I could only persuade him to put his hankie in the pocket away from the cameras and not to start grunting with the music as he did the last time!

cujo
2 months ago

Grunting didn't ruin Glen Gould's career, so it might not be something to worry about...

Re. his face, can you budget for a makeup artist?

The Byre
2 months ago

Makeup is a no-go. He has refused to accept that (already suggested ages ago). All I can say is that this is for Russian television and maybe they may accept Mr Potato Head.

Gould was waaay better looking!

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