Lighting Live Events for Camera

photograph of the Superbowl Halftime Show, Lighting by Bob Barnhart

Of course, your live event is being captured by the camera! We’re covering creating and adapting for the camera. Interfacing with a video director, video engineer, and director of photography. Plus metering lights, managing color for video, and working in both HD and 4K+ environments.

Eight (8) 2-hour Sessions meet Saturdays March 4 – April 22, 2023, 12 noon-2pm, UTC-4 (EDT).

This course is designed for, but not limited to, early and mid-career professionals

Program Facilitator(s):

Robert Barnhart and Guests

A LIVE online interactive course

Photo: Superbowl 54 Halftime Show, Scenic Designer: Bruce Rogers, Lighting Director faculty member Robert Barnhart, Photographer: Brad Duns

More Information:

Schedule subject to change.

  1. March 4, 12 noon-2pm, UTC-4 (EDT):  What is the difference between lighting for your eye and the camera’s eye? In order to translate your design ideas to TV, we need to understand the simple difference between how your eye sees lighting and how the camera interprets it. Contrast levels, color rendering, picking color temperature for the cameras white balance and how & why we choose our expose levels. Throughout the course we will be examples from real shows like, the “Academy Awards”, “VMAs”, “So You Think You Can Dance”, “Super Bowl Halftime shows” and many others.
  2. March 11, 12 noon-2pm, UTC-4 (EDT): What are the specific differences of a TV light plot (key light, backlight angles – What needs to be lit (how and why) – watching out for camera shadows in the light plot.On this day we will look at and discuss the placement of lights.
    Key Light – Tools to make someone look as good as possible, when needed. Shadow pitfalls and reflection danger zones. Back Light – probably the 2nd most important light in your entire tool kit and my #1 favorite light to work with. We will also discuss lighting scenery, lighting as scenery and avoiding pesky camera shadows. This class is not meant to be technical but we have to have the tools and know how to use them so we can apply our creative ideas.
  3. March 18, 12 noon-2pm, UTC-4 (EDT): Breaking down the production design and pre-production planning. Working with the producer, director, production designer, talent and their people.In this session we are going to breakdown the show in pre-production. Probably the most important relationship throughout your entire career (outside of your department) will be the one with the Production Designer. We will breakdown many different set design presentations and then look at the final product. Understanding the process of getting from a rendering to reality is a tool that I wish I had paid more attention to when I was in school. Working with the Production Designer, Director, Producers and talent, prior to walking onto the stage is a critical step to a successful final product.
  4. March 25, 12 noon-2pm, UTC-4 (EDT): The relationship between the programmer and designer.One of the quirks about TV specials is the incredibly short time frame we have to light the show. We will discuss how the communication process works and how with some designers, it doesn’t work with others. You will get an insight as to how they set up their consoles for speed and creative reaction. You might be surprised to find out, I don’t channel my light plots (no, really).
  5. April 1, 12 noon-2pm, UTC-4 (EDT): Working with the Video op, Camera people, Director, Stage Manager, etc. The Video Controller can make or break your lighting design. We’ll be demonstrating all of the tools the VC has to make your work look so much better.
  6. April 8, 12 noon-2pm, UTC-4 (EDT):  Concerts, Corporate, and the camera. We will be sharing experience with concert touring & corporate shows.
  7. April 15, 12 noon-2pm, UTC-4 (EDT): Relighting existing stage designs for the camera. Taking an existing Broadway, Opera or dance production and adjusting it for TV, while maintaining the integrity of the original design. It will take the first seven classes of this series to truly appreciate how Alan has been so successful at navigating these delicate projects.
  8. April 22, 12 noon-2pm, UTC-4 (EDT):  Budgeting the show and where all the money goes.  How do you handle yourself as a freelancer and as a company?Let’s talk business; I want to share my 35 years of dealing with Producers, Directors and budgets. Understanding the money side of your job and how to navigate / negotiate your way to a workable budget number. For your entire career you will be hired based on your reputation. So let’s talk about being a freelance designer and the keys to your success / reputation.

Scholarship support for this course has been made possible by donations from generous supporters of the Studio School of Design. Please become a supporter today to help us continue to achieve our community’s mission to make our profession stronger through knowledge, access and belonging.

Registration Opening Soon

Program Facilitator(s)

photograph of Bob Barnhart

Robert Barnhart

Advisory Board, Program Facilitator 2021-Present