Set And Lighting Design

Up until this meeting I have reached a rut with the lighting design as I have been in dire need of the set plans (or at least initial concepts) to work off in order to consider the layout and what equipment is needed. Being asked to create the lighting rig without knowing what you are lighting is pretty much impossible, thankfully today Minty (Producer), Lewys (Set Design) and I sat down to review the plans, now I can get thinking of lighting layout ready for pitching next week.

The lighting design will consist of five different set ups in three locations, these will be:
Question Time – Red Bar, Frenchay (
Elections Live – Red Bar, Frenchay
Elections Live Panel – TV Studio, Bower
Varsity Live – TV Studio, Bower
Varsity Rugby Live – Memorial Stadium

The designs Lewys showed were brilliant, having talked through I am really liking them; I think its just the case of fine tuning. I can already see how I can use lighting to enhance the set design prior to thinking of how to light the subjects – most likely softboxes for even skin tones with stronger back and side light to pull out of the frame. Lewys will be sending me copies of the designs to annotate further, in the meantime these are the initial ideas we discussed and I want to develop upon.


Colour Scheme – Red, White and Black.

Can line the stage with LED strip lights, highlights the risk of work at height along with adding an extra sense of depth and dimension to the set. The backdrop will be white as there will be projected imagery next to the podium. My suggestion is to accommodate a slight gap between the stage and backdrop where we can shine various PAR cans of red and black light to cast beams onto the wall for something more dynamic and interesting. If a gap isn’t feasible look at boxing the lights as part of the scenery so they can sit on the back of the stage without looking out of place.

The studio setup will be relatively simple, a few backboards behind a simple few chairs around a table. Once again I am thinking of shining lights directly up to cast colours onto the white wall. Another option is to cut out designs onto the boards and line them with coloured gels, this way I can shine a 2K ARRI through the board to create illuminated coloured designs.


The design for this studio is a little more undeveloped than Varsity, one of the issues is a lack of house style for the brand. The concept is half and half studio, so each university is represented in a split design. The idea for lighting will take heavy influence from Match Of The Day, Final Score, and Soccer Saturday. One issue is the idea of projectors facing two of the back walls, in order to do this we need to place them in such a way that the generic studio lighting doesn’t wash out the image, if it becomes a huge problem it is worth looking into acquiring televisions.

The Memorial stadium setup will be relevantly simple, just a continuation of the Varsity brand that will be developed for the TV Studio broadcast. It will be typical of any sports broadcast as we will be using the broadcast space of the Memorial stadium. I am scouting the location this Friday, but I anticipate generic studio light, maybe some stylised lighting in the background but the main emphasis will be on the desk (perhaps constructed of frosted glass and illuminate from within) and the window overlooking the ground.

What Next?

For now I will await Lewys sending me his designs so I have something more permanent to work upon. On pitching day he can discuss his set design providing me the perfect opportunity to continue with the set in terms of lighting.

I think the key emphasis of all the lighting ideas I have come up with is rear lights facing up to project beams on the wall and using LED strips to wrap around objects to highlight them.


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