My main man for cinematography, Owen Kent, pitched the idea to produce a basketball video during production for our soccer video. We had rushed to get the soccer one shot before all of the snow fell in Rexburg. Shooting a basketball video would be more doable during the snowy winter months because we could still get some nice shots inside and less outside.
The Locker Room
Just like the soccer video, we wanted to have a well-lit locker room scene. And wanting the scene to feel different, we went with a different angle with more action happening for the basketball version. So instead of having the angle pushing perpendicular to the lockers we went parallel and had Cliff come in, get dressed, and have moments of contemplation.
To light this scene, Owen and I spent a good hour arranging the light to fit our desired look. We shut off all of the regular light so we could do as we pleased with our own. We ending up using one HMI light. A Joker 800. We wanted light coming from above and behind our subject giving depth to the scene and attempting to fake a natural window spill.
We originally also set up a Joker 400 pumping into a white card taped to the wall/celiing directly behind the camera and then diffused with a 4×4 silk. After testing, we ended up turning the whole unit off and simply went with the Joker 800 to cast the light from behind our subject creating a silhouette. The 400 produced a really nice soft light on our actor but it also made the light feel flat when hitting him. Once we shut it off, we instantly liked it much better.
The other benefit for having the 800 at the angle we used was that the light hit the lockers on the right side of the frame and to bounce back to give our subject a nice rim/fill light on his right side. It was a nice addition we identified once the shot was set.
Now, in camera, we balanced to 5600K to match the temperature of the HMI. This caused the flouescents in the background to appear a little warm. Shooting on the Sony F3 gave us a couple options to handle the fluorescents. We used dialed in the matrix setting to fluorescent lighting to help take out the lovely green that comes with fluorescents.
Another aspect that we tried to utilize in our shots which adds a lot of dimension and atmosphere is haze. We used haze in the locker room and in the gym practice scene. Our event lighting department has a DF-50 hazer that collects more dust than it does producing haze, so we went ahead and capitalized on that. You might be able to tell in the locker room that we were experimenting with haze. It’s an interesting beast to handle but the results really help add a lot of value to your production.
The Gym Practice
Our favorite shoot was the solo practice he had in the main gym. I wanted the overall feel of this scene to act as if he is really practicing but also visualizing his efforts in a glorified way. For this scene, we used our lighting department to rig a LIGHT directly above the hoop to be that “light from heaven” kind of look. And along with that, we used four LIGHTS to give a dramatic ambient lift to the gym. We then pumped a ton of haze to finish the effect. Using the haze not only made it feel epic, but it helped us give that dreamy, glorified feeling that Cliff was visualizing.