Back Light In 180 Degree Dolly


Hey guys...I'm about to shoot a music video, 16mm (7217), one of the main playback of the band is a white scenario with a red tree in the middle and the 4 members of the band also wearing white clothes with some red details...the camera would be in a 180 half circle dolly.

What do I do with the back light (which I would like to have in the front angle) when the camera is on one side and it has been changed to be a key light overexposed?

Any suggestion to this kind of multi-angle set...

Do I have to resign to a nice backlight? What is the most desirable key light to this sort of camera movement? Is the dimming of the back lit on shoot a solution?

Well any ideas about this are received...also about different kinds of lighting in this white on white situation


Manu Bullrich
DP Argentina

Manuel Bullrich wrote :

>also about different kinds of lighting in this white on white situation

First off, its a music video so anything goes and all bets are off!!!.

Color, moving backlights, backlights that become edges, dimming, etc. any could work. I don't think there is any best way here, just that you'll need the separation. Since its a music video and not 4 execs in white lab coats in a white room, let freedom ring...

In terms of key/back, keep in mind that your stars may be playing to the camera in which case they may be turned looking at camera as it dollies, not still looking "forward" to mid point of your curved track. Who knows where they will be or which way they will be looking when you ane any given point in the move. It also makes a big difference if your covering w/ more than one camera or if you need to do beauty lighting for a female vs male talent.

I've seen these done w/ moving key lights and/or moving edges/backs (by moving I mean physically moving the light, not moving effects lights).

Typically there is a close up (med shot etc.) of the whole song on the lead singer and you may wish to consider the lighting approach on this and then let this drive the look for the wide coverage. To me it really depends on looking at the total coverage you are planning for the whole video.

My 2 somewhat obvious cents.

John Roche, Gaffer NYC

The dimming concept is a good one. Set up multiple back lights for your 180 degree move. Then as the camera does the move keep the non-backlight lights off. and feather them in as they come into play. I did this on a 360 degree shot and it was pretty cool.

Bob Hayes

Manuel :

I know it's rather late in the discussion as you have already shot the clip...(I was in a second honeymoon trip), but there are a few things I'd like to point out anyway.

1) If you have a white background the backlighting wouldn't separate the performers from the background but rather stick them to it by diffusing their perimeter in a white(rim light)-to-white(background) set-up.

2) If you have a dark background or decide to do a backlight for a 180 degree dolly in a white background anyway, here is one solution I once did for a more-than-360 degree dolly; I had the perimeter of the studio covered with white poly boards just above frame height, a stand with a triple header (for 5 lights) was placed in the centre with 5 VNR (Very Narrow Spot) 1KW Par 64 on it, four of them were concentrated in one point on the circle of poly's and the fifth the opposite way (180 degree); the stand was panned so that the strong (4 lights) bounce was a kick 140 degree to the camera's optical axis and the weak (1 light) bounce served as a slightly off-centre general fill; then the whole rig was panned together with the camera as the dolly turned. To this day 4) years later) some people have difficulty believing it was done with so little equipment.

3) If you send me your e-mail we could continue this in Spanish thus making this correspondence easier for us both.

Best of luck with the results of the shoot.

Victor Lefelman.

Thanks Bob and John for your advice...

I had the shoot yesterday and when I get the transfer ill tell you how it ends...I finally set up the dolly in order to go against the back light y the key was really soft with a lot of Kinos...

Thanks again

Manu Bullrich
DP Argentina

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