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Lighting, Art & Sound Design - for better video

Updated: Aug 1, 2022

This month I wanted to take some time to explain what makes a good video better, and what you can accomplish when to take the time to focus on lighting, art & sound design.

I decided to setup a short morning coffee series of shots and really see how far I could push my cinematography with one lens and being handheld.

The first thing I did was look for some inspirational images that would help me decide on how to set the scene as well as lighting and camera placement.

Inspirational images of morning coffee or for educational purposes only.
Inspirational morning coffee images

Then I evaluated the space I had available so that I could figure out how to make it look more like the images I had found.

The space didn't look very much like a breakfast nook, but there was some nice available daylight and I decided I could use the desk and artwork on the wall.

So with a little of camera angles and set design things were starting to come together.

Unfortunately, scheduling and weather on the day of the shoot did not allow for the use of natural light, so I ended up having to do more lighting design that I originally planned.

The original lighting setup called for an Arri 650 watt light through the window and sheer curtains and a daylight balanced Kino Diva 200 as the key light.

We ended up having to add an Arri 300 watt light as an beam of lighting across the table.

We also ended up shooting what's called "day for night" as it took us far longer to setup and rehearse the shots so it was already dark and raining outside when we were ready to start shooting.

This is the final setup with lighting and art design.

I also spent some time thinking about and researching the types of shots I could pull off with this small setup, and came across and interesting idea for putting the camera inside the bag from a video by Matti Haapoja - you can check out the video here.

I think with all of this effort this short little sequence turned out pretty nice.

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