Amazing Singer Australia (ASA) is the first Indian musical reality TV show for Indian’s in Australia. ASA starts with 23 top contestants and over a number of rounds, contestants are eliminated until there is a winner.
The show is directed by Sherin John of Malayalam Channel Australia and is hosted by Amanda Mathews.
I recently came on board to work as Director of Photography. My role is to co-ordinate the main camera, a Sony EX3, as well as a second camera. I also manage the lighting.
When I first started I was unaware that I was also handling the lighting. At first it was a little bit daunting. All I had was 3 red heads, a 500w work light and very few extension cables (see below for more information about lights)
It also seemed that no one was sure of how many circuits the building had so I made myself and other crew familiar with the whereabouts of the fuse box. Using a total of 2400w I would definitely be at risk of blowing a fuse if I didn’t spread the lights over a few circuits.
The main trouble was that I had to light the stage, the judges as well as an audience of 200 people in a large hall. I tried to simulate 3 point lighting for the stage using a stage light and 2 red heads. For the hall I had one of the heads of the work light spotting on the judges and then bounced the remaining lights.
I definitely felt a bit overwhelmed. Thankfully I managed to distribute the lights where necessary and the footage came out fine. I have been very happy with the result (and even more so that there wasn’t a power failure.)
The talent is incredible. Each contestant has to perform an Indian song to a live audience and take on feedback from a panel of 3 judges. Even though I am not familiar with Indian singing styles or language, I am thoroughly enjoying the music and singing.
This week we have a dance round and each contestant performs a Bollywood like number with backup dancers. One of my favourite Bollywood movies is Main Hoon Na. So I’m hoping I may get to see one of the contestants take on one of the films songs.
The crew work very hard and Sherin does a marvellous job running the set and looking after the contestants.
Stay tuned for more information about the show which will be screening on TVS (Channel 44) from August. Please like the Amazing Singer Australia page to help get this project out to as many people as we can.
Here is a trailer for the show so far.
The lights I used were a Red Head lighting kit (3 lights). Red Heads are Tungsten 800w each and come with foldable barn doors which make for more controllable lighting. They also have a dial to modulate the bulbs focus.I find using black wrap foil also helps cut out any unwanted spill. See here for a video showing you how to light with Red Heads for DSLR.
The other light I use is a 500w Halogen work light on an adjustable tripod. The light has two lights which you can adjust the angles of individually. This is generally suitable for productions working on a budget. These are just industrial work lights, not made for film purposes but if you are desperate they are handy. You can buy these from Bunnings warehouse for about $30.
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