Hello everyone, I have two (somewhat overlapping) questions. I'd be grateful for any help.
1) Advice on choice of lighting kits
So far nearly everything I've shot in video (apart from computerised animation) has been in natural light. But I'm starting to get interested in doing more indoor shoots, including with green screens, which I light with two inexpensive 500-watt halogen work lamps (one for each side) which I got from a do-it-yourself store. They do a good job, if the subject is lit by a window; but lately I've done some shooting in a space without a suitable window.
I figured I could also get away with a low-budget solution for subject lighting -- I got six small gooseneck desk lamps, which I fitted with flourescent 100-watt equivalent bulbs. Unfortunately I found that even with the lamps very close to the the subject, the two 500-watt halogens lighting the green screen behind him put him in virtual silhouette. Then it hit me -- good indoor video can sometimes need LOADS of light -- which is why studios have all these monster lamps.
As a dedicated but not especially affluent filmmaker, I want to get an affordable, basic lighting kit which will help me with subject lighting both with this problem, and with general purpose indoor shooting. I looked on ebay and found two kits, which are both within my price range. (Links are below).
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Video-Lighting-Ki ... 286.c0.m14
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Continuous-Studio ... .m14.l1262
The first uses two 500-watt equivalent (but 100 Watt actual) bulbs, which I like as I worry about blowing a fuse, with the two 500-watt halogens already running. It uses soft-boxes.
The second uses normal bulbs and is switchable between 250 and 500 watt (both types of bulbs -- actual wattage--included). It uses umbrellas, with a choice of 2 shoot-through umbrellas, 2 reflective umbrellas, or one of each.
Any thoughts on the respective merits of these? Also, what's the difference between
-- softboxes and shoot-through umbrellas?
-- softboxes and reflective umbrellas?
-- reflective umbrellas and shoot-through umbrellas?
2) Green screen lighting
So far I've done only waist-up green screen lighting, with -- as mentioned -- the screen lit by 2x 500 watt halogen lamps, and the subject, suitably spaced from the screen, lit by the window. It has worked well. But soon I need to shoot a full-body green screen shot in a room with no windows. I figure I'll need two more 500-watt halogens, which I'd elevate, so that in total I'd have 4 of them -- on each side, one halogen on the floor lighting the bottom half of the screen and the other, elevated halogen lighting the top half.
Should one of the two lighting kits mentioned above then suffice to light the full-length subject?
Also -- what about the feet? I've always read that the screen and the subject need different kinds of lighting. Well, the feet will rest on the green cloth (I am using a 3 meter x 5 meter chroma green cloth and a cross bar stand), so how to handle that?
Finally -- how to best extend the cloth for standing upon? Should I let it fall straight down from the stand, and then run it horizontally on the floor for a meter or two, to the point where the subject stands on it; or rather, should I try to drape the cloth so that it slopes to where the subject stands on it? I worry that the latter appraoch will make the lighting on the green screen uneven.
By the way, I am using Adobe Premiere Elements 1, which seems to do a good job with keying.
Sorry for all these detailed questions (if you've made it this far). It's just that I'm a relative novice, and green screen shooting is pretty unforgiving -- either it convinces by being perfect, or it fails.
Again, I'd be most grateful for any advice.