Lighting for restaurant video production in Las Vegas [ Client: Tastemade]

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 grip and electric van with lights and combo stand is parked outside of a restaurant

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.

The image is an indoor scene of a video production setup within a restaurant. There's a two-person interview happening in the foreground with a camera operator in close proximity, capturing the moment. The restaurant has a contemporary design with a bar area to the left, and it's well-lit, likely midday due to the light streaming in. Various production equipment, such as lighting rigs, microphones, and monitors, are strategically placed around the set. Crew members are seen in the background, either preparing for the next shot or monitoring the ongoing one. The image captures the behind-the-scenes of a professional video shoot, showcasing the collaborative effort involved in creating content

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.

point is a chef, dressed in white chef's attire, explaining a point passionately to an interviewer, who is attentively listening and seated opposite. The chef appears to be gesturing towards a dish on the counter, perhaps describing a cooking technique or recipe. Two camera operators, equipped with professional video cameras and headphones, are capturing the interaction. One camera operator is in the foreground, with a steady cam rig, focusing on the chef, while the other is capturing a wider shot. The setting is a well-stocked bar with an array of bottles lining the shelves in the background, and the lighting rigs above suggest a controlled environment to create the perfect ambience for the shoot. The scene is well-lit, with natural light complemented by production lights, and the restaurant's modern decor provides a stylish backdrop for the interview. This behind-the-scenes moment showcases the intricate details that go into producing a professional culinary segment.

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.

The image depicts a dynamic film set inside a trendy restaurant. A camera operator is in the midst of capturing a scene at the bar, where several individuals are engaged in a conversation. The bar is well-appointed with an extensive selection of bottles, and a lighting diffuser overhead is ensuring a softly lit environment. In the foreground, a man is seated with his back to the camera, seemingly reviewing content on his smartphone, possibly related to the production. The setting is professional yet casual, with the restaurant's ambient lighting providing a warm atmosphere. Another crew member is positioned in the background, attentively observing the filming process. The image gives a sense of the careful coordination and attention to detail that goes into creating a polished video segment.

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.

The image shows the exterior of a restaurant named "Sparrow + Wolf," described as a neighborhood cookery and libations establishment. The restaurant's facade is adorned with a stylized sparrow graphic, evoking a modern and artistic vibe. In the foreground, there is a variety of film production equipment meticulously organized and ready for transport or use; this includes lighting stands, a gear-filled van with its doors open, and a protective camera case. The equipment is staged in a parking lot, under the bright daylight, suggesting that a film crew is on location for a shoot. The presence of a camera bag on the ground and other gear indicates an active production site, possibly in the process of setting up or wrapping up a day's work. The scene is indicative of the meticulous planning and logistics that go into location shooting for video productions

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.

The image presents a lively on-set atmosphere during a video production inside a stylish restaurant. Two individuals are seated at a long wooden table, engaged in what appears to be an interview. The person facing the camera is dressed in chef's attire, suggesting a culinary focus for the production. The camera crew is in action, with a camera operator wearing a steadicam harness in the foreground, and another handling a camera on a tripod. The lighting equipment, including a large softbox, is set up to ensure the subjects are well-lit. The ambient lighting from various pendant lights adds to the scene's warmth. The restaurant's bar, stocked with an array of bottles, creates a refined backdrop. A camera monitor is visible in the hands of one of the crew, allowing for a real-time preview of the footage. The overall scene is a testament to the intricate process of capturing professional-grade video content.

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.

The image showcases a video production set, this time with a focus on an indoor dining area that exudes a Mediterranean vibe. A man is seated at a table, seemingly in the middle of an interview or a discussion, with a camera operator capturing the scene closely. The setting is intimate, featuring rustic furniture, a variety of kitchen utensils, and a row of glasses on a shelf behind the subject, creating a homely yet elegant atmosphere. Diffusers and reflectors are strategically placed to soften and direct the light, ensuring the subject is well-illuminated. Other crew members are visible in the scene, each attending to their respective tasks, such as monitoring the camera equipment. A tree in the corner adds a touch of nature to the indoor setting, enhancing the aesthetic. This environment appears to be carefully curated to reflect a specific culinary theme or ambiance for the production.

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.

In this image, the perspective is centered on a camera monitor during a video production. The monitor displays an active interview scene; the focus is on two individuals at a table, one gesturing while speaking, the other attentively listening. The camera's viewfinder image provides a crisp, clear window into the staged interaction, with the depth of field blurring the background, highlighting the subjects. Above and out of focus, a diffused lighting setup is visible, casting a soft glow on the scene. The intricacies of the set, the positioning of the equipment, and the composition on the monitor itself emphasize the meticulous nature of film production, capturing both the technical and artistic aspects of the craft.

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.

The image captures a behind-the-scenes view of a video production in a warmly lit, domestic interior setting. A group of individuals, including crew members and talent, are arranged around a dining table adorned with colorful plates and food items, suggesting a scene focused on a meal or culinary presentation. The room is equipped with professional lighting, including overhead diffusers and side lights to create a soft, inviting ambiance. In the background, there's a kitchen and a living room area, contributing to the scene's residential feel. The presence of the crew, strategically placing and adjusting equipment, indicates the careful orchestration required to achieve the desired visual effect for the shoot. The image provides a snapshot of the collaborative effort that goes into producing content within an intricately designed set.

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.

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