Simple Lighting for Two-Person Interview

I was scanning through some news videos for a consulting project and noticed a CBS News interview with special prosecutor Angela Corey after the Treyvon Martin/George Zimmerman verdict. The scheme as simple and produced an elegant look, so I thought I would share.

As you can see in the image below, the interviewer and interviewee sat across from each other, with the lights above each other’s heads. Since they’re soft lights (looks like CFL), there’s no major strain on the eyes causing a deer in the headlight look. Scroll down and you can see a frame of the prosecutor. 


Here it is, nice flat lighting, just what you want for news-oriented web videos. And you only have to lug one light along, assuming the accent lights for the back wall were already there. 


When you’re shooting on the run, simpler is almost always better. Though it looked like this interview involved three cameras, you could use the same lighting technique behind a single camera for a one-camera, one-light shoot.

About Jan Ozer

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I help companies train new technical hires in streaming media-related positions; I also help companies optimize their codec selections and encoding stacks and evaluate new encoders and codecs. I am a contributing editor to Streaming Media Magazine, writing about codecs and encoding tools. I have written multiple authoritative books on video encoding, including Video Encoding by the Numbers: Eliminate the Guesswork from your Streaming Video ( and Learn to Produce Video with FFmpeg: In Thirty Minutes or Less ( I have multiple courses relating to streaming media production, all available at I currently work as as a Senior Director in Marketing.

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