Lighting is Everything

July 18, 2016 | Mark Holzman

More often than not, the thing that makes a video production stand out from the crowd is lighting. At National Video-Documentors, we spend a lot more time on lighting than most production companies, but the end result is always worth it. We are fortunate that most of our clients recognize this fact and give us enough time to light a scene properly.

I, myself, am a firm believer that “lighting is everything”. Each scene presents a different lighting challenge, and part of the fun (for me, at least) is to figure out what lights to use and where to place them in order to achieve a desired look.

To that end, NVD carries a wide variety of professional lighting instruments, modifiers and grip equipment. Names like LitePanels, Kino Flo, Kinotehnik, Arri, Dedolight and others give us the tools we need to meet just about any lighting challenge. It is not unusual for us to bring cartloads of gear to a simple shoot, giving us access to the lighting we need, when we need it.

Our latest acquisition is a pair of Kinotehnik Practilite 602 fresnels. The output is equivalent to that of an Arri 300 (which we also have) and they are fresnels (so they cast a beautiful, modifiable pool of light), but that’s where the similarities end. First of all, the Pracitilies use LEDs, so they run cool, use very little energy, and last a long, long time. They’re bi-color, so they can easily match the ambient light of indoor scenes, outdoor scenes, and anywhere in between. Practilites are AC/DC operated, so you can plug them in or run them on batteries. They’re fully dimmable, and, best of all, you can control all functions remotely with a smartphone. Talk about versatility!

Good cameras and audio gear are essential to producing a quality video. But with the right lighting, you’ll elevate your production value to a whole new level. Spend some time on the lighting. You’ll be glad you did.