How To Light a Remote Video Interview With No Power

One of the challenges of shooting remote location video interviews is lighting the subject when there is no power available. The videographer needs to either use a generator to power the lighting or utilize battery-powered lights. For a recent interview with adventure photographer, Daniel Woods, we used battery powered FoxFury Nomad Production lights to illuminate his interview.

We set up the interview in the La Jolla Shores State Beach public parking lot near where Daniel was finishing up a beach sunset portrait shoot. Due to Daniel’s busy schedule, we needed to shoot the interview at night, which was the perfect opportunity to use the FoxFury Nomad Production Lights that Daniel would be discussing.

Daniel travels all over the Western United States for his photography and video shoots. A foundation of his business is his large, grey Sprinter van named Monstro. The van is set up with everything he needs to travel, shoot, edit, and even sleep on the road.

Our video crew consisted of one videographer and an interviewer, so there was not a lot of available help for setup and tear down.

There was no electrical power in the parking lot, and we didn't know exactly where we would shoot. The portable design of the Nomad Production Lights made it easy to move them around the lot to accommodate any location changes. We only had 2 hours before the parking lot gates closed to the public, so we needed to move fast to setup, interview, and teardown.

Learn How Nomad Production Lights are Used To Shoot Interviews in a Hospital

First light up and the last light down

We arrived after sunset and it was already getting dark as we started to set up. The Nomads can be deployed in 20 seconds each, so all of the lights for the shoot were deployed in five minutes.

Image of the Nomad Production Lights being used by the video crew during tear down.

The first light we pulled out was the Nomad T56, which illuminated the prep area. Once all the equipment was set up, we walked our lights across the parking lot to where the Daniel's van was parked and staged our interview.

Image of the interview site in the middle of a parking lot.

Cordless

If there had been power outlets in the vicinity, we would have needed to run cables all the way across the parking lot. Besides being very inconvenient, the cables could have been a tripping hazard to people walking around the area. The other option with conventional lighting would be to use a generator. That would have introduced the issue of noise, making it harder to get quiet, clean audio. The battery powered Production Lights gave us SILENT lighting in a convenient cordless package.

Multiple Uses in Production

Daniel sat just inside the sliding van door with one of his photos displayed on a monitor in the background. The key light was a Nomad Production P56 with a 2x2’ softbox placed about 6’ from Daniel. A Nomad Production P56 with a 2x2’ softbox was deployed inside the back of the van for rim lighting. Our compact Nomad Production N56 lights were placed on the ground behind the van to light up a palm tree and create some illumination under the vehicle. Lastly, a Nomad Production T56 was placed off the rear of the van to light up the van itself. A total of three cameras and five lights were used for this interview.

Lighting set up used during interview.
Actual lighting set up of the shoot with subject sitting inside the door of the van.

The same lights that are used for video production are ideal for setup and teardown. The whole interview shoot took about 2.5 hours - 45 minutes to prep equipment, stage the set, set the lights and camera, and configure audio. The interview lasted about 90 minutes, and we wrapped everything in 20 minutes. The Nomad T56 was the last light that we used for wrapping. A quick 15 second breakdown of the light and we were driving away. The three hour runtime on the lights gave us plenty of time to work and not worry about the lights failing halfway through the interview.

Illustrated diagram of the lighting set up for the interview.
Overhead diagram of the lighting set up.

 

A camera still from the video showing the lighting results on the subject.
A camera still showing the end results of the lighting.

 

The video crew used the Nomad Production Lights during tear down once the interview was complete.

Interviews are an essential element of any video team’s workload. This interview with Daniel Woods provided the perfect opportunity to use the Nomad Production Lights outside of the typical boardroom interview setting. We tested the versatility of the Nomad lights on a remote location shoot, and they passed with flying colors.

The only thing that wasn't tested in this interview is the lights' ability to stand up to water. However, we have used these lights in several underwater photo shoots with Daniel by completely submersing them in a pool, and we had no issues with them.

All in all, it was a success. We shot the interview, we shot within our time limit, and the whole shoot was relatively stress free. The Nomad Production Lights made our job easy.

Watch the full interview with Daniel Woods below

 

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