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Lighting for a Play

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    Lighting for a Play

    Hello all,

    This is my first posting and I want to say that this forum is the greatest resource I have come accross in my budding film making career.

    One of my endeavors is the filming of a local Ballet companies productions, this is the kind of show that your kids would be in. It is at a local high school in the auditorium. THis is my second time filming there and I just want some advice on how to improve my picture quality.

    I produce DVD's for sale to the parent's and anyone interested for each of thier shows and I am striving to improve each time I produce a product for them. The basic scenario is (as I mentioned earlier) a school auditorium that is actually lit with a pretty modern lighting system that is computer controlled and they have a nice sound board. I film from the tech booth with is directly across from center stage. When I shoot, that booth is dark and the stage is the only thing lit (as you would expect). My question is simple; under those conditions, what is the best way to white balance the camera (dvx100a). I know how to white balance etc. but since the camera is in the dark and the subject is about 75 feet away and fully lit I just want to see what you all think is best.

    This is filmed for standard TV viewing.

    Thank you for your time and help (in advance).


    As part of your setup you could take your camera down on stage with a white card and balance it under the stage lighting. Or if they're using standard theater lights, I've found that going with the 3200K preset on the DVX works well. You might need to do a little adjustment in post.


      I tend to just use the 3200K preset for stage productions. Lighting directors often gel the lights with different colours, so white balancing to these could throw everything off. Using the preset helps ensure the colour recorded was the colour used on stage.

      There are some situations, though, where the colouring is quite garrish or oversaturated. It can also look warmer at lower dimming levels. You could adjust for this later in post if it's objectionable.
      Earl R. Thurston
      Director of Digital Media Services
      Stargate Connections Inc.