One of the cooler ways to create a clean looking video is to shoot it against a white background (if you don’t believe me check out our steel wool light painting tutorial).
It only took about $100 and an afternoon to build the studio
We got a ton of mails asking how we built this setup, so here is the breakdown:
The General Idea
I am using 3 banks of light – 2 “strips” on either side about 1 meter from the backdrop – those are used to burn the background – and 1 square bank as a key light. Usually you would also want a fill light, but I am shooting in a small white room and there is enough of a bounce so no fill. Also, I am not currently flagging the strips because I like the rims, that may change…
I am shooting against a seamless white backdrop, but only because there is an ugly window behind me, and it’s kinda low. This setup will work with any big enough white wall. The strips are clamped onto 2 stick-in-a-cans. The key light is mounted on a “Real” light stand and goes through an umbrella for a bit of softening.
For the strip banks
- 8 X CFL 23+ Watts bulbs
- 4 X 40 by 10 centimeter ply wood pieces
- 8 X bulb Sockets
For the Key
- 1 X 35 by 15 centimeter ply wood piece
- 6 X CFL 23+ Watts bulbs
- 3 X Y splitter
- Small L-bracket
- 1/4 20 bolt & nuts
- Some Electric Wire
- 2 X Electric plug with a switch
- Silicon paste
This is a fairly easy build if you know what you are doing. We are wiring “live bulbs” so if you haven’t done anything like this before, seek help with your neighborhood electrician. If you have done this kind of thing before, it should take no more than an afternoon.
For each of the 4 ply wood boards mark two spots 30cm apart for the sockets. Drill a pilot hole with a small drill.
Then use a cup drill to make place for the sockets.
Place the sockets in the holes and tighten with screws
Wire the bulbs together and connect the switch
Use silicon paste to fix the sockets into position.
The key light build is very similar – only drill three holes (and 3 bulbs and so on).
Place the small l-bracket in the middle of the wood and fix it with some silicon and screws. Then use the nuts to create a mounting point.
There you have it, a full setup in one afternoon.
If you like building stuff like this you may wanna take a peek at our Studio @ Home eBook – it has lots of projects for building a studio at home, and while originally aimed at the stills shooter, lots of the projects can be adopted to video.