Low Key Lighting

For a Cabaret Setting


 Low key lighting is appropriate for a cabaret or nightclub setting.

Here, the minimum number of lights has been selected to give adequate front illumination to the stage, solo spot and host positions for several camera angles.

The single Fresnels aimed at each of the seven tables gives a rim light (silhouette) effect on the faces of audience members from most camera angles.

These single lights also maintain an illusion that the tables are lit by stage illumination (or the candle that is on each table).

Each of the 16 Fresnels is barned off as much as possible to reduce ambient, spill light, which would weaken the low-key effect.

With ambient light at a minimum in the background areas, cameras can roam a full 360-degrees around the setting without being seen.

Experience in using this setting has shown that these areas can be kept dark enough to hide one camera when another camera is shooting directly at it from the other side of the set. The only thing that might give you away is the tally light on the opposing camera during the lap dissolves. If you want, you can even shut that off or put black tape around it. (Plus, to keep them from staring into cameras, it's often better not to let audience members know which camera is on.)

The two back lights on the stage become kicker lights on the performers for some camera angles. The two large key lights on the stage (#13 and #14) are low in height and at a relatively great distance to maximize a star filter effect on reverse angle shots from behind the stage.

The lights for the solo spot and host position are faded up when needed. Five lights cover these positions. Lights #9, #6 and #7 are used for the solo spot. (Two back lights provide separation for a number of angles.)

Only two lights are used for the host spot: #12 and #16. Two nose positions are shown for the host (the small red triangles) indicating that the host is acceptably lit for two different camera angles.

Fresnels #3, 4, 8, 5, 10, and 11 are for the seven tables.

Return to Module 34

TV Production Index

© 2013, All Rights Reserved

Bottom Bar