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Thread: Need help to mimic this shot on YouTube - can you help?

  1. #1

    Default Need help to mimic this shot on YouTube - can you help?

    Hi all,

    I知 new to the forum and I joined especially to ask this question.

    I値l be filming a simple music video shortly and I want to setup a shot that looks just like the Ice Cube music video

    At about 1:23 you see the black and white shot of Ice Cube with black background and a simple light behind his head in the distance. (this shot re-appears all throughout the clip)

    I know I壇 need a strong light (800W redhead) at the back but there are a few other things I need to know like:

    • Other than going into a completely black room or drawing black curtains behind the subject is there any way to have the background pitch black like in the video either in production or post production?
    • What type of key lighting (to light the front of the subject) would I need?


  2. #2


    IMHO, depending on what Software you use; it may be easier to add the 'strong light' as an effect in post production. Other than probably being more practical, it may give more control over the size and timings of the resulting flaring effect.

    Perhaps the example video was given alot of contract, making the background blacker.

    More adventurous folk may recommend using a "green screen" instead of black curtains.

    I look forward to seeing the PoetSlave's results

  3. #3


    I speak as someone who recently failed at doing something like this. I would recommend a black curtain or black walls with a real light behind, I think it would be near impossible to duplicate the light halo around the body that a real back light gives.

    The light would not need to be really strong if it's pointing directly at the camera. As for the key light that would depend on how far away the subject is from the camera. If they are close you may be able to get away with a reflector OR to prevent the background from being lit up it would perhaps help if it was directional even a simple desk lamp could do it with a good sized bulb if your budget is tight. You could use the trusty work light for the back light. I'm sorry I only know budget lighting.

    I hope Gaffer doesn't cringe to much at my suggestions.

    By the way my failure was trying to get away with out having black walls or curtains behind the subject. To much of the room was illuminated.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
    Blog Entries


    Useful Post MB. Knowing what DOESN'T work can save the rest of us a lot of time.

  5. #5


    Your welcome Tim, I'm not above humiliating myself for the sake of others.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Blog Entries


    Wot Midnight said.

    I would keep it simple with one backlight pointing directly into the camera and a small light on the camera itself. Black background or film at night. If the walls are far enough away that the light doesn't reach them then a warehouse or something similar will do.

    The more light you put on the subject, the smaller the aperture, the less you have to worry about ambient light. Be careful about using too large a light as a backlight, even a small light will blow out if it's pointed directly down the tube.

    I personally wouldn't greenscreen it unless you have a bloody good reason.

    Just my opinion.

    Having said that... I would probably add a couple of kickers behind the subject, left and right, out of frame, just to give a better outline, unless you really want him to blend into the darkness.

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