How to Make a Music Video: Lighting Set Up, Light Streaks – Filmmaking Tutorial 2

How to Make a Music Video: Lighting Set Up, Light Streaks – Filmmaking Tutorial 2


Hi. Welcome to Tutorial #2. My name is Tom Antos.
I have a cold today or some allergies, I am not even sure. So you might hear me sneeze or cough or something. In this tutorial we’re going to do a setup for a music video
performance shot. It is a very stylized lighting set up
that kind of works for music videos. I’ll be doing other tutorials where
I’ll talk about different lighting set ups, but
I will go over it briefly right now. The way I see it, there is three
styles of cinematography out there. First, there is this very stylized look
that we’re doing in this tutorial. It’s used in a lot of music videos and
some films like “Armageddon” or “Pearl Harbor” for example. Both films directed
By Michael Bay A guy who actually comes from a music video background.
It’s probably the reason why his films look like that. The second lighting style is naturalistic but it still uses lighting, a lot of intricate lighting set ups. It tries to simulate what happens
naturally in the real world. One cinematographer who comes to my mind
is Janusz Kaminski. He works with Spielberg a lot so he did
“Saving Private Ryan”. He also did a really cool film that didn’t get a lot exposure called
“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”. Really nice cinematography.
Check it out. And then, the third lighting is this
bare-bones, minimalistic approach where you just use the available light.
A good example of that is a film called “The New World” starring Colin Farrell The director there and the cinematographer
only used the natural light. And it’s actually a
great-looking film – this is the style I kind of used
in this music video with Christopher Charles – but a lot of people mistakenly think
it’s easy to do because you have no lights to worry about, when in fact you have to do a lot of
homework beforehand. You have to scout locations,
writing down what time of the day or year
does the sun set, rise or illuminate
a certain part of the set. But I’ll talk about this in another tutorial. So, anyways, let’s begin working on this shot.
It is a simple music video performance shot. Really, all we care about is seeing Chris
sing the song and play the guitar. And since I don’t really like how
this room looks, I decided I’m going to keep it pretty much low-key, keep the background almost dark,
especially after I do the color correction. I know I’m going to crash the blacks
and make it darker. But I don’t want it to look flat,
obviously. You know, the big thing in making images look nice
is giving them contrast. And you can do it through different things.
You can do it through different colors that contrast each other
or through lights.
And in this example I’m going to use
mainly the lights. So, here is just the normal
lighting in the room, and here you can see me
turn on one of the lights – a 1000W Red Head. Just a simple tungsten light. And right away you can see that when I point at Chris it makes him a lot brighter
than the background, which allows me to bring down
the exposure of the shot, and throw the background
right away into darkness. Here, you see me moving the light around,
trying to find the best angle for it. And once I like the position of the light,
which is just to the left of the camera and slightly above Chris’s eyeline
– which gives you a nice shadow under the nose and that
kind of a a thing, but I also make sure that
we can see his eyes. And right away, you can see that
it looks a lot more interesting. But I don’t like that painting or picture
that’s in the background. So I had that removed. And another thing that I noticed right away,
of course, is that Chris blends in with the background,
because the right side of his face is completely dark. Especially when I color correct it,
I know it’s going to be pretty much black there. And since the background there is black,
he blends in – you don’t see the shoulder, you don’t see the right side of his face. So, the best thing you can do –
and this is just standard lighting – I’m going to do more tutorials
where I will do more complex lighting set ups – but this one is basic. I’m going to
be using pretty much only two lights. And so the one light you see – we’re going to call it
the key light – that’s lighting his face. And now I’m gonna throw another light behind him,
to the right side of the camera, And right away you’ll notice that it helps
separate Chris from the background, adds a little bit of a rim light on his shoulder, his ear, his hair. And he kind of stands out. These are kinds of things
you gotta pay attention to so that you make the shots
have more depth. As I was saying in tutorial #1,
you do it through the use of depth of field and your framing, as you decide what you want to put in the shot.
So, here you see that the background is thrown
out of focus a little bit. I put that rim light around him which helps to separate him
from the dark background, but still keeps this dark tone.
Still, half of his face is dark. You see me here turn on and off the light
and you see the difference that it makes It’s pretty big. Now, the next thing that I do
is to put little lights behind him. They don’t really light him.
They don’t really affect him at all. All that these lights do is help give you extra contrast to this shot. And another thing is that I know
I will use a streak filter to add those streaks that you see
in a lot of music videos and this way these lights will help me create those extra streaks that you see. I keep adjusting the lights behind him,
changing the intensity of these lights. I actually – originally I had 60W light bulbs –
now I put in, I think 200W light bulbs so that there is more of a punch,
more of a noticeable light. I put some black tin foil around
those lights to make those lights more pointy,
more cone shaped. The next thing I do is bring Chris closer
to the camera because I want to throw the background
even more out of focus. And I readjust the key light and the rim light that’s behind him.
I fine-tuned the angle of it. And, right away, when you look at it it’s more interesting than it was before. It might not be the world’s more beautiful
looking shot, but it’s more interesting, for sure, than what we started with. Another thing that I do is that I put the camera
on a dolly and just move the camera left and right to add some movement, to have the streaks
coming in and out of the frame, And it adds a bit more life to the shot.
But I right away see that even though the camera moves
you don’t notice the movement as much and that’s because there’s nothing
in the foreground to give you a sense of the fact that the camera is actually moving. But, as I said, since this is a music video shot, things don’t really need to make sense. I basically just put some random object in the foreground and it’s totally in the shadows.
So, you don’t even see what it is. It’s out of focus. But it just makes you aware of the fact that
the camera is actually moving and it’s a nice way
to reveal Chris’s face as the camera goes in from behind the object and in front of him. And the next thing I do is color correction – straightforward, simple correction. I think with the color correction now
it’s a nice, interesting shoot. Take a look for yourself. So, it is pretty cool but still to me, I was looking at it,
and I thought maybe I can play around and do something more. Not all of you will like this
and it’s just a matter of opinion. There is a million ways that you can do
a shot like this for a musis video. So, it’s really up to your preference,
but I decided to put these little decorations. I’m not even sure what they were.
I just found them lying around. And they had little lights on it.
Anyways, I put them in close to the camera. I turned on these little blue lights
that I had and I just threw it out of focus
and in this way it adds more of this romantic
kind of a feeling to this shot. But another big thing is that
it adds a lot of depth to this shot. There’s something in the foreground
that’s out of focus. And it also helps you notice the camera
dollying back and forth a lot more. And here’s the final product. This is how it looks. So, that’s it. Thank you, guys.
I hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to email me here on YouTube
or leave some comments. Let me know what you would like me
to talk about in the next tutorial.


100 thoughts on “How to Make a Music Video: Lighting Set Up, Light Streaks – Filmmaking Tutorial 2

  1. Amazing, Can you please tell me camera setting that you use, like frame rate and shutter speed?? I guess you are using 1080p 24p.. am i right???

  2. i don't like the final result, maybe just because of the composition, but the tips you gave in this tutorial about the lighting… they're just great!

  3. I am an expert in music production. After losing my time with inadequate programs I finally found the best program for music creation ever. I posted a link for this software on my channel. visit my channel and click on that link.

  4. Great tutorial…thanks Tom….I dont understand why these singers sound the same…you can swich one with the other and don't notice any difference at all

  5. i didn't mind the out-of-focus coloured lights in the front to add depth. sometimes the editing seemed a bit off, but thought was good overall. what i didn't personally like however was the streaks! instead, maybe just one streaked light, or two at the most, and toned way down??

  6. how could it be thumbs down, arts is not about alphabetical order. It is the creation of one person's own taste. go read history if you have something to complain about. lol 

  7. Wonderful video! Here is a piece of advice for all young PC musicians: I am a DJ. After extensive research I finally found the most user friendly beat creation program of 2014. You can find a link to this beat making program on my channel. check it out.

  8. WOW, loved it , loved it loved it , i just shoot my first videoclip , and after edited , i had to throw away many shots , as they are very poor , and simply won't work for my taste , and watching this , i just got  very cool ideias, and simple also , thanks so much man .  

  9. Thanks Tom !
    Always pick up a tip – love the string lights ! Going to use them –
    Another amazing thing I use was a hand help bubble machine

    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=736647516374872&id=260514823988146

  10. Love your tutorial, I'm pretty new at this but I was trying to set up a shot similar to your shot with the guitar player in the room. I am using a Panasonic dmc gf3 Lumix 14-42 lens, (Maybe that's my problem) When I press the video button the overall brightness of the room gets dark and I seem to have no ability to adjust the lighting from the camera, not sure if that's normal, tried to put some small pin lights close in front of the camera out of focus with subject approximately 5 feet ahead of me. Just didnt get anything close to what you showed. Any suggestions, is it the camera?

  11. Tom thanks for this tutorial. I plan on using a similar lighting set up for an upcoming project. Love the depth. I have a question. Did you apply the blue light decorations in post as an overlay or in front of the camera as you filmed?

  12. Awesome work! I have a question; what is the name to the effect you are using over the lights called? distortion flare? or what would be the right name for it, I want to learn 🙂 

  13. this was definitely a very informative video. I have been using iMovie for a while now, I think iMovie is great for beginners than as u begin to advance, Final Cut is way better, the transitions look better and everything. This was the first video I did on iMovie here, clips were recorded on my iPhone . I Like it . Stiff Lauren – The Garden State

  14. Hi Tom, can't thank you enough for these amazing tutorial videos. I am a complete newbie and I may sound stupid here for asking you this. You have been always advising to make the scene to look as much as the final product as possible during the shoot itself. Now, modifying a shooting spot is a much costly affair than changing the video in post production. Is it possible to take a shot with maximum details as possible while shooting and then turn in into our desired shot in post production?
    For example, if we need a shot just before the sunset, can we shoot it during the daytime covering all the details of the shot and then turning it into a evening shot by removing the extra light from the scene in post production? Please advice. I am not sure if I am being clear enough for you to understand the question.

  15. this is amazing! how did you do that streak filter you mentioned? (option in final cut X? motion?) thank you!

  16. I've been doing wedding videos and photos for over 30years. I would love to do music videos, i have an eye for that how do i get started ??  carey @ essence

  17. Nice tutorial. I love your elaboration on the streak filters. I saw that in so many music videos. I did not know the terminology or right word to use when i saw the lights across the screen. Streak filters are beautiful. i also saw them in the form of round shapes like bubbles in a music video.

  18. Fun video, great lighting info.  IMHO those blue lights at the end completely ruined the whole thing.  It went from looking like a nice Hollywood indie vid to a Christmas/holiday video.

  19. Question Tom, I have had my GH4 now only for a few days and it seems the trick for clear crisp shots really have to do with apt and iso control, which for me in all the different lighting scenarios seems to be the lower the ISO and or the lower the shutter is closed seems to bring the fullest richest shots, do u have a video for iso and shutter /aperture setups 4 beginners?

  20. Thanks Tom I became a big fan of you, because your main focus is on music videos (my main motivation) and how you make things possible with low budget gear, big fan here I check Ya tutorials every day on my lunch, keep up with your awesome work

  21. Is there a camera that you can recommend that would look great shooting music videos in the $1,000 range?

  22. hi tom, been following your tuts for sometime now and i have learned a lot from you, thank you. i started music video directing and editing last year and for a new guy like me , it great having pros like you helping out, i have a question man, is the editing software you use important? like must i use a specific software to get a specific video output? cause i an using sony vegas pro 13 and i enjoy it.

  23. Am just seeing the tutorial now, but I have learnt a lot from it. one thing am facing problem with, is light in most shooting I do. I am is Sierra Leone and some of this equipment are had to get so it's really difficult. so what can I do to improve on my light.

  24. sir could you please sponsor us in doing a short film.we are not demanding high cost production.we are in the need of a person who could sponser us one day camara rent.that is 3000 indian rupees.
    since we are beginers as well as students we are in short of money.one of our sapportive teacher had sponsered as one day camara rent.sir we wish you will sponsor us .
    we could swear that if you sponser us it wont be worthless and we will do our best

  25. I watched this video when you put it out a long time ago… It helped me a TON!!! Thank you. I'm dead serious, this and the color correction video made a huge difference – from my xl1 and xl2 to all the dslr cameras now. I've shot TV commercials, music videos and shorts and YOU have helped a ton.

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