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How to Shoot Better Video on Your Phone Part 2

Today we showcase the power of Lighting!

We will show to how to go from this:

Bad room lighting

To this:

Lovely YouTube ready lighting

We’re continuing our ‘How to shoot pro-level phone series’, this is a video and blog series aimed at anyone wanting to improve the way they film on their phone. This time we’re discussing how to light your videos on a budget, the episode on our YouTube is linked here

As with the first part in our series the whole episode was shot on a phone. This is the second topic in the series so if you missed the first one you might want to check this link.

When creating this episode we gave ourselves a challenge of finding a budget light set for £50 online and we did it! Here are the lights on Amazon they’re actually over £50 pounds now but if you go on eBay you can find them for 50. 

eBay lights

These lights are not going to hold up on a film set but if you’re going to film in an office or your home then it’s something that’s going to get your channel started.

SETUP

Today we will show you a basic technique known as three-point lighting. This is one of the most commonly used setups in film and tv, it’s very simple but super effective and it’ll get you through most situations.

Here’s what it looks like with none of our lighting on, just using the lights in the room it looks very unprofessional there’s weird shadows everywhere and lots of different types of colours of light so it’s not very attractive on Wes’s face as he’s got weird shadows all over.

Awful lighting

This is what it looks like with no lights in the scene. Just so you can see what we’re starting with.

No lights at all

As you probably guessed for this set-up we’re going to need three lights.

The first is a Key light and it’s the main source of light for the talent while also lighting the background. It’s also placed at 45° to one side of them. 

Key light only

The second light is a Fill light so this is to fill some of the shadows you get on the face that is opposite to the key light but still allows contrast to create a dynamic image. It does this by being a lower power than the Key Light, it’s only at 20% power compared to the key lights 100% power. This light also is adding a little more light to the background.

Fill light only

The third light is the Backlight and this separates your talent from the background of your video. It’s hitting his hat inside of his face and his shoulder. It’s also adding a bit of yellow to the scene which is adding a nice bit of colour contrast.

Backlight only

In our case we use just a household lamp and we also bought a little nifty bulb from Aldi which was £2.99 and as you can see it looks really good. 

Aldi special buy

As you can see below this setup is going to be light years ahead of the normal lights you can get in your office or home.

The full light set-up in action
Lighting Diagram of the set-up

Now we’re going to chat through some of the Pros and Cons of the light set. 

Pros

Price is very very cheap really affordable the delivery we got ours from amazon so it was about two days delivery something like we had him in a snap

Setup is very very easy – and the usability for the lights is excellent they’re really simple to use we’ve got one remote all it does is make the lights on/off, warm/cold and bright/dim 

Compactability – The whole kit packs down into a small little bag for storage, if you’re at home you can store them in a cupboard, if you were in your office you could store them…. in a cupboard. 

Kit Bag

Cons

The Remote – is pretty painful as when you click it i’m not going to do it right now it turns both lights off at the same time. So what you kind of got to do is shield the infrared signal put it under a jumper or something like that it’s a bit faffy but you’re also paying £50 for a pair of lights so you know go figure

Wes struggles with the lights

Cheap build – as its so cheap this means the parts are gonna be cheap, so these lights are definitely not something you’re gonna take on a pro film set or a tv set or something like that it’s very much use at home using the office, 

The Light Stands – that come with the lights are also very very lightweight and obviously a little bit cheap. The best thing to do for these is to grab a rucksack or a handbag or something like that pop them on the base and then you’ve not got lots of wobble from your light.

Weighting a stand

Time for Bricks Hot Tips

  1. The first tip literally is hot, even though the bulbs are L.E.D they’re gonna get hot because you’re gonna keep these on for a while so make sure that you turn them off you let them cool and you’re not touching the bulbs burn your hands. 
  1. Secondly, the cables that come with the lights are very very short so just make sure that anyone around the cameras or your camera person knows that these leads are on the floor because we don’t want to become a tripping hazard for anyone in the office or the home. 

Hopefully from this video you’ve understood the basics of three-point lighting, our next episode in the series is going to be on AUDIO which is Wes’s favourite thing to talk about.

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