Hey. Welcome to another filmmaking tutorial.
My name is Tom Antos and today we’re going to talk about the use of ring lights in
music videos and commercials. More specifically, we’re going to be working
on a performance shot from a music video. We’re going to go from what you see here… To this. This is a close-up for a performance shot
that I planned to edit and cut to, obviously, to other shots.
But, before I start talking about this actual set-up – because it is pretty simple.
Literally, I’m using only three lights. I want to talk to you about the actual
ring lights. What is a ring light? Well, a ring light is any type of a light
that you can wrap-around in a circle around your camera’s lens.
So that, this way it almost looks you have a very uniform light coming straight from
the camera’s point of view. And what that creates is, it creates very
even shadows everywhere on the face. It almost creates this kind of washed-out
look. And another thing that it does, it adds these very unique, specific reflections in
the eyes, lips or any reflective surfaces. It adds this kind of a glamor look.
Ring lights are actually used a lot in fashion photography and they’re used in music
videos and commercials. Here is an example of a ring light.
Basically, this one is actually a set of twelve light bulbs that are arranged
in a perfect circle. And then, we basically put the camera right
in the middle of it and point it at our subject. Now, when it actually comes to purchasing
or renting a ring light, it can be problematic at times, simply because they’re not that popular.
So, they’re not that easy to find out there. There is a lot more ring lights designed for still flash photography than there are for
music videos. So, what a lot of times ends up happening
is, cinematographers who work on music videos, they will basically build their own ring lights.
The one that I’m using in this example, I think it cost me around $50-60.
It can be built out of basic things that you can buy at WalMart or any hardware store.
And I’m actually going to show you at the end of this tutorial, I’ll show you
how I built my ring light so that, in case you wanted to do it, you can build it
and start getting the same kind of results. When it comes to the actual set-up for this shot it is very basic. I point the camera
straight-forward at the subject. And I also put the ring light around the lens. I put it a little bit in front of the camera,
but it is exactly from the same point of view as the camera.
And I’m actually shooting through the hole in the ring light.
And then I turn on the ring light up here. I adjust the exposure.
I darken it a little bit. And it already looks pretty pleasing, but
then I have one of the assistants there turn on a back light, there on the left side.
And then, I have him go and turn on another back light there on the right side.
The two back lights have been gelled with this slight blue gel, just to give it a different
temperature… a very distinctive kind of look. And the ring light itself is tungsten, so it’s a very warm light, which looks good
on these kinds of skin tones. And that’s pretty much it for the set-up.
This is how it looks. And then… then you can do a little of color correction,
just to adjust the colors to exactly how you want them to be.
Even though, I think, it already looks pretty good. So, what exactly do you need to build a ring light? Well, I built my ring light out of these items: First I got a 4 by 2 feet piece of wood.
It was about half an inch thick. That cost around $8.
Then I got twelve light bulbs. Each one of them was 40W, which, altogether,
the ring light gives you the output of 480W. And that will cost you around $20,
for those kind of light bulbs. Then, I bought twelve light bulb sockets,
just white, plastic, simple light bulb sockets. Those are about a $1.50 each.
Then, I bought a dimmer switch. The one that I got is rated at 600W.
And, knowing that I’m going to be using twelve 40W light bulbs, altogether it’s
going to be 480W, I know that it’s going to be… the dimmer switch is going to be good enough. But if you, for example, using stronger light
bulbs, let’s say 100W light bulbs, and then, altogether, you’re going to end up with
over 1,200W, then, obviously, you have to keep in mind that when you get the dimmer
switch, you need to get something that is stronger. That is at least 1,200W.
The dimmer switch will cost you around $8. Then, a switch tray. You know, the metal container
that you can mount it (the dimmer) into. And then get some screws.
Like a pack of screws: $3. And what else?
Yeah, you should get around… maybe ten, fifteen feet of 12 gauge wire.
And that will be used to connect all the light bulbs together.
Yeah. Total, I think, my light cost around $50-60, so it’s nothing that crazy.
And then, what kind of tools will you need? A jigsaw, or any kind of saw, actually.
And a screwdriver. A pencil. And that’s probably it.
And your hands. Now, I will give you guys a little bit of
a disclaimer / warning. If you are one of these people who has two
left hands and sometimes accidentally nails his feet to the floor… while building a deck,
for example, then you might want to think about not building your own ring light. But if you have any kind of basic knowledge
of electricity, I think it’s pretty simple. It seems pretty simple to me.
But then, again, as I said, there is a chance that you could, you know, have some sparks flying
and you could start an electrical fire and burn your whole house down.
So, just keep that in mind. OK.
So, basically we start with a piece of wood and you want to cut out a circle.
Make it as big as you can fit on the piece of wood.
Then, you want to cut out another circle inside that circle.
Just make sure that’s big enough for your camera lens to go through.
If you want, you can make it slightly bigger, so that, you know, in case you put the camera
farther away, you have more options. Then, another… you drill holes for
all the light bulb sockets, so that we can feed the cable through.
Then you pull the cable through all the holes and attach it to each of the light bulb sockets.
And it’s pretty basic. You know, plus to plus. Minus to minus.
And then you attach the ground wire together and feed it through all the lights.
Then, at the end of the cable that connects to the… to the dimmer switch,
again, just plug it in. That’s kind of basic.
Most dimmer switches come with instructions. And then you want to connect it to
an outlet plug… that you can also get for around $2 at any hardware store.
And that’s pretty much it. And then, once you plug it in,
you can then adjust the switch and adjust the brightness of the lights.
That’s a cool thing if you do get a dimmer switch. And then, you just pretty much point it at your subject and put the camera and
the lens and aim it through the light. And that’s pretty much it.
You have yourself a ring light. And you can start using it in your next video, music video
or commercial or maybe even a film production. I hope you guys enjoyed this tutorial and
if you have any questions, suggestions, comments, feel free to leave them here on this video
or you can send me an email and I’ll try to respond to as many of you guys as I can.
Thank you and bye.