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In this episode, Jameson will use high key lighting in a branding commercial for a local craft brewery in Texas. This type of job is common for freelance filmmakers of all skill levels. If you want to get into the commercial world, producing projects for local startup companies is the perfect way to add to the portfolio and really grow your own brand as a filmmaker.


Hello, and welcome to Godox Film Lighting 101. Today, we'll be filming a commercial using high key lighting. Let's check it out.

For this commercial, we're using high key lighting, and I like to refer to high key lighting as the perfect day look. It's a look where things are brighter and softer and very saturated and there's not a lot of shadows or contrast on your image. Today, we're creating a branding commercial for a local craft brewery here in Texas. We thought it'd be nice to dive into the behind the scenes of something like this because this type of job is common for freelance filmmakers of all skill levels. If you're wanting to get into the commercial world, producing projects for local startup companies is the perfect way to add to the portfolio and really grow your own brand as a filmmaker. So today's setup, we're filming on the Panasonic S1H with a LOMO 50 mm round front anamorphic lens. I love filming anamorphic, I do it every chance that I get. So, today was just a perfect way to really add some style and aesthetic to the overall image itself. 

The Props

Since we're filming a commercial, branding is the key focus of what we're shooting. You really want to use a nice setup. What we did here is we brought in some fruit, some plants and some other products, and just able to find a way that makes it work. I think production design is probably my favorite aspect of filmmaking in general, and it's just a lot of fun to do. And you can see what all the lights are doing in the environment once we add all the props and it just makes everything look like the sunlight is kicking onto it and just makes everything look even better than if we were just using the available light that was already in the environment.

The Bar Scene

This location is great for high key lighting because of the amount of windows along the side of the building. We'll be able to use the windows as our primary light source. The windows give us a direction for motivating the light throughout the environment.

From there, we'll add some GODOX lights to help give everything a boost, and exposure and detail. 

The Lighting Setup

The first light that we placed was a Godox S60 and this light's really cool because it's a sharp focusing light, and you can add an 85 mm lens projection attachment and what that's going to do is narrow the beam even more. 

What this light is doing is it's casting backlight on our subject, which in this case is the product. So really to highlight that even more and to make it look even more realistic, we wanted to make it look like the light was motivated from the actual windows in the environment.

So I can add a gobo the window frame, like what I'm holding right here and I can insert this into the lens projection attachment like so, and that is actually making it look even more believable in our scene, it's creating realism on our product. 

And on top of that to really make things look even more high key, we wanted to make it look like it was a magic hour. So we added a CTO onto the front of the lens projection attachment and what that's doing is casting warm and magic hour light onto the product itself, making it look like it is a perfect day or a really nice morning or evening. 

So the next light that we placed was a Godox VL300, and this light is extremely high output as well. And what this one's doing is it's highlighting the background back here, where all the taps are.

What we did with this one is to break up the beam of the light to kind of match the S60 that we have set up over here. We actually set two flags over here and what these are doing is they're breaking that light up and casting shadows for it, just to make it look even more realistic in the scene. And from there, we added a CTO gel to the VL300 to match the other warm gel that we placed on the Godox S60. That way everything's matching in the scene, and everything looks motivated from the same direction. 

Another way to add even more texture to the scene is to actually add some artificial plants. So what we have here, we've got some of these that we got at a local department store, and we just clamped into a light stand, and these are helping add even more texture to your scene and just to break up the light even more to make things look even more realistic.

The final light that we placed was the Godox LD150R which is placed right back here. And what that light is doing is, it's backlighting the product here, which creates a little more elimination, a little more sharpness in the detail of the product. And we also added a soft box, which is casting nice, soft light across the entire environment.

The Brewery

This shoot is a little bit different because normally we'd be filming on a closed set, but we thought that showing the brewery and its everyday operation would be the perfect way to capture its authenticity. That being said, we're going to take a documentary-like approach to capture the craft behind the making of the product. Whenever we moved out to the brewery, it was kind of hard to get our shots just because there was so much activity going on, things were changing on the fly and we needed to be able to set up things quickly to keep everything out of their way, but also grab our shots.

These Godox lights are battery powered that we took out there and there were a lifesaver because we were able to move them around and place the lighting wherever we needed to for whatever the setup would be. Because this is high key lighting, we use the windows inside the brewery as our main source of light and we used the Godox lights. They were adding an extra bit of exposure to the already sunlit ambient light coming in through the windows.

They're able to increase the lighting inside, which really allowed for more reflections and more illumination of the subjects and of the product throughout the brewery. 

One way to really get some cool shots is to focus more on back lighting. When you're backlighting something, we did it with more of a Godox S60 for the most part, and the backlight gives more of a highlight around whatever it is that we're shooting. So rather it's a can, or a person, or even a forklift, we're able to get a really cool highlight and it really made the image more sharp and really made it stand out.

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