Inside filming and Lighting issues!!

Thanks for the people who answer this question.
I think we have all filmed or seen a video shot inside a house and it looks grainy! I was wondering how do you get good lighting inside a house or etc?? I have had the most trouble. I know You can turn down the exposure to get rid of some of the noise, but then the film looks to dark. Any ideas without spending hundreds of dollars?? Thanks, Chad


  • Get some cheap white paint and paint all the ceilings, this will reflect any light you do have back into the scene, and the lighter you can have the walls the more that will help. Get some white card/reflective material, as big as you can just off camera, again tis will bounce any stray light back at your actors. Change the bulbs in the sockets, unless your mainly using free standing lights, to the highest wattage that they will take. Use as many lights as you can in a scene, ceiling,lamp etc.
  • The simple answer: more light. Grain is the result of your camera trying to create useable footage with inadequate light. The only way to eliminate it is to get more light into the scene. Mike's suggestions are good; reflecting light in is a good way to boost the brightness on set, but if you want to film interior footage without it being grainy, you will have to invest in some powerful lights, there's no way around it. You can get halogen worklights relatively inexpensively, so you might run down to Home Depot or whatever hardware store you have nearby and see what some halogens would cost. They aren't as versatile as proper video lights, with softboxes and whatnot, but they are much more affordable.
  • The first thing to realise with lighting is that it is almost always faked. It's very rare for a movie to use the actual, real lighting on a set or location. You need to pump additional light in from off camera, partly to get rid of the grain that you're encountering, but also to create a sense of drama.
  • To light an interior you have to use enough light to get the look you are going for and also be able to set the camera on a low enough iso that you won't get noise. Also, depending on what aperture you want to shoot at, you need to factor in how much light you will need.
    Here is an example from my latest short film, which was mainly shot in a single room in a small flat. I was going for a flat, dim look, which was appropriate for the film and also to make the location look bigger than it was.
    For this particular shot I used two large lights, can't remember the wattage but they were powerful, with soft boxes on them. I pointed them at the closed white blinds of the large windows at the opposite end of the room from the actors and angled them slightly up so that the light bounced off the blinds and the ceiling and fell back on the scene as though it was coming from an overhead light above the table.
    This was the simplest interior lighting set up in the film, for the rest of the shots multiple lights were used, but the point here is that having enough light to shoot clean and make the place look fairly dim required a lot of light.
    Hope this is helpful in some way.
  • if you are having trouble shooting scenes at night, getting too much grain from dim lighting, a age old trick is to film it in the day and then use colour correction & other such lighting effects to make it look like night.
    the only problem is this only works when filming indoors. and you have to be careful not to let the sun be seen reflecting off anything. and make sure your lights are turned on (sounds dumb but people forget that what with shooting in the day)
  • edited July 2011
    Halogen work lights can be okay in a pinch and cost between $30-50 but they're more useful for lighting a green screen and also generate a lot of heat. If you are using in housse lighting I suggest you buy some high wattage flourescent bulbs if possible. Also you have to make sure if you are using high wattage lights that the lamp fixtures you place them in are rated with the acceptable wattage. Putting a hundred watt bulb in one rated for forty watts is a fire risk.

Sign in to comment

Leave a Comment