About a month ago, in the beginning of January of 2024, we got hit up with a request to see if we would be able to provide G&E [ that's Grip and Electric ] equipment or gear for a 2 day food show production in Las Vegas. This was going to be a combination of doing lighting for restaurant interviews in Las Vegas and shooting b-roll. So food related video production.
Being as one of the only Las Vegas, NV local production companies that has a 1 TON G&E Van in town, we started talking about the production details, the scope of the production, the gear that would be needed, the setups, and so on.
After some time it was determined that we would be proving the G&E in Las Vegas and also handing all the lighting and grip on set, which is usually done by a Gaffer assisted by Grip.
So we jumped right in. This was going to be a 2 day production as mentioned earlier. During day 1 we had just the one location, a local restaurant which food and chef we were mentioning.
A traditional setup goes something like this.
We get to the location:
Load all the gear in
Start setting up for a specific show. In the beginning on this one we had a proper sit down interview, 2 subjects, so this needed to be properly lit in a restaurant setting also taking into consideration that other restaurant patrons would be on site.
So we decided to go w/ a 4 bank Nanlite Pavotubes , they are full RGB, and allowed us to preset the desired color temperature at the location. Also in order to soften them, we decided to drape unbleached muslin fabric. This makes the lighting more pleasing.
Then on the sides we did a cross key, to fill in the shadows and help out the key. On one side we went with Aputure F22X, and on the other side we had the Aputure 150C with a softbox.
On the front we decided to just rig a light tube to give the image more of a pop and make the whole thing more pleasing. All in all it was a decent setup.
After that we would do patron interviews at the location just talking about food and experience and ambiance. So for this a separate lighting setup would be needed. Something very mobil as the restaurant at that time is open for business and we need to have as little of a footprint as possible.
For something like this we just usually go w/ mobile units, something we can power off a battery and not have to run a stringer, or an extension cord. So tube lights work pretty well just on a c-stand and we usually cross key during these sorta shoots.
Day 2 was a lot more hectic.
Day 2 we had 4 location changes. That means loading in and loading out 4 times. 1 Location was off the strip. a Place called Sparrow and Wolf, knows for their great cuisine and also being off the Strip. Generally this day was going to be filled with doing a bunch of lighting setups for restaurant video interviews as well. But much more than day 1.
This was also going to be a similar type of setup. Get in, setup up all the lights for the 2 person interview, meaning 2 people were going to be on camera. For this one we decided to key with Aputure 600D Pro with china ball. In order to get it out of the frame we put the light onto a combo stand with a menace arm extended out. In order to soften the light and add more color to it , we put unbleached muslin over the diffusion and that knocked the light down a couple of hundred degrees kelvin.
In terms of filling in the light, we did a similar thing with Aputure F22X and Aputure 150C set to about 4800 for contrast.
After the scene was completed we had to load out and move to the next location which was on the trip inside Mandalay Bay Casino, 5 min away from the Las Vegas Airport.
The new location presented its own challenges. Since this was inside a casino setting, we were not able to dim the house or overhead lights so some sort of a solution needed to be worked out.
Since we would not be able to reach 20 ft ceilings, the easiest and fastest solution was to put a tent, which was unbleached muslin over the top of our talent. This softened the light that was coming off the ceiling lights. Overall quick thinking as always saved the day.
Lighting inside operating restaurant is always a challenge. From high contrast of light within the restaurant to daylight seeping in from the outside to the sun movement you have to think very quickly and make sure the listing setup will work for our shoot.
After this location was done we headed yet again to the next restaurant and had to quickly set up the lights in order to shoot a 3 person scene next. This was going to be a sit down interview with a couple of chefs.
Traditionally when you are lighting a round table discussing with more that 2 subjects, one of the ways of going about it is to place a china ball or a lantern in the middle of the table that way the light is also going to be able to bounce of the table and fill in the shadows on talent faces. Of course this still needs to be complimented with additional lights from either side and you want to place something on the font as well to soften to falloffs.
There were other setups but in general if you need a Gaffer in Las Vegas with a full lighting and grip package, at least you have some options. so hit us up at HUSTL Media.