How To Build A Soft Box


IN THIS LESSON YOU WILL LEARN:  This lesson is Part 6 of a 22 part series that takes you on a journey from Script to Screen.  Every nuances is discussed in detail from the first scout with the director, the tech scout, the pre-rig, the blocking, rehearsals to the final angle composed, lit and shot.

This lesson is all about understanding how to build your soft box that is a mix of some carpentry, foam core and screws.  I have been building soft boxes my whole career.  It is a way to funnel light from above that is as controlled as you want it by boxing in the source.  Specifically with this application we are using it to mimic the practical chandelier that is in the dining room table area.   This source has a huge part to play in our scene because this source will take us through late afternoon light as a warm fill light, then transition into the main key light at dusk and with some more contrast added create a very volatile emotion with dark set eyes and moody undertones.

We are directing all comments and questions to our New Forum, please find the related course in the forum’s categories to submit.

Mintesinot 23 days ago

Hey Shane AKA the best Cinematographer! That was very useful DIY. Thank you so much! May God Bless you.

TimH 26 days ago

How do you connect each 1×3 together? Wood glue? This is awesome!

    • TimH    26 days ago

      @TimH Also, can you walk through how you hang duvetyne over the top when the cross beams may get in the way?

    • Shane Hurlbut, ASC    26 days ago

      @TimH Hi TimH, You can use wood glue if you would like, I just piloted the screw holes with a small drill bit and then Drywall screwed them together. On the duvetyne front we cut slits in them for the cross beams and then you slide that over the top. If you go to Script to Screen you will see all of this:

Shane Hurlbut, ASC 28 days ago

Hi Chris Pilarski,
Than you so much for the kind words

AdamJamesTaylor 20 days ago

This is a great one!

cameracamera 6 days ago

If you were to use a soft box for a dining scene, would you typically make it just a bit smaller than the table itself? At what point does it begin to get toppy?

    • Shane Hurlbut, ASC    6 days ago

      @cameracamera Hi Cameracamera, Yes, you make it smaller than the table itself, you do not want the soft box to get over the head of the people sitting at it, this will create that skull eye effect. Here is a good tutorial on toplight,

cameracamera 6 days ago

Love the DIY lessons.