8 Easy Rules To Enhance Your Interview Lighting

By Tim Fok

Want some tips on how to make your interview lighting look better? Here are some rules on lighting and exposure that will help you out, as well as translate into many other aspects of filmmaking.

There is more than one way to skin a cat, but there are a few rules you should know so you don’t fail and make a complete mess. The same can be said with filmmaking. When it comes to interview lighting, setting up can be fairly easy – anyone and everyone does it nowadays, right? Making them look nice can be easy also; it just takes knowledge and practice.

Here are a few rules that will help you through that practice.

Work From The Broad Side

When considering framing for an interview, your image can be broken into two areas – the broad side and the short side. The broad side is where the negative space is. The short side is… the other, shorter side.

The rule of thumb is you should have your talent looking into the space across the broad side, with your key light also coming from this side. In a two-way conversation interview, placing the broad side for each subject on the opposite side from the other and looking into the space makes for a more natural flow of a scene, as it’s the most natural way in which a normal conversation would play out.

Lighting from the short side can lead to awkward and distracting nose shadows, and coming from the same angle as the camera can often look flat. Conversely, interview lighting from the broad side means you are primarily viewing the fill side of the subjects face – more interesting (more on that later) and more flattering .