An interview focusing on his career, real-world experiences and an upcoming lighting workshop in Chicago. More than anything else, ProVideo Coalition is a place where experienced professionals can talk through the essentials around what you need to know. An emmy-winning Director of Photography, lighting designer and educator, Holshevnikoff has been lighting and shooting broadcast, corporate and documentary programming for over 30 years. What can you tell us about some of your most recent work? As a kid, I shot thousands of 35mm photographs … that taught me a great deal about composition, light and shadow.
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He says that once he learned how to create mood simply by manipulating the nature and quality of light, it changed the way that he saw the world forever. He worked closely on a series of instructional videos with lighting educator Dean Collins, who excitedly introduced him to the Chimera Lighting company as they began work on a series of Lightbanks for the film and video production world.
Holshevnikoff has even collaborated with Chimera on a series of incredibly natural cucoloris background patterns Chimera Window Patterns that he always carries with him as well. Otherwise, he will work out in advance what is needed for each project per the budget.
He now counts a number of high-end clients like ESPN, Mercedes-Benz, Marriott Resorts, Disney and National Geographic, as well as an incredibly versatile roster of short films, broadcast work, industrials and commercial work.
While most DPs rely on a staid kit, Holshevnikoff thanks his busy workload for keeping him on his toes, and he finds just as much comfort in working with only a key light as he does in fully fleshing out complex lighting designs. I have no choice but to use what they have, or what they have brought for the day.
But Holshevnikoff is also embracing the changes in technology. For many situations, both on-location and in-studio, the newest LED lighting solutions offer so much control and a range of color manipulation that we could not achieve previously. Tungsten will probably be pushed to the wayside much sooner, but I think that the bigger HMIs are going to be around until LEDs can match or exceed what they do now.
Still, the low power consumption is a huge draw for him, no pun intended, and he has found himself using LED lights much more frequently as the technology matures. Prior to the ubiquitousness of the Internet, Holshevnikoff offered nationwide workshops and his own Power of Lighting series of lighting tutorials. He still does his workshops, though he no longer tours the US to offer them.
When he was younger, however, in true rock star fashion, Holshevnikoff traveled the US four times over, hitting roughly thirty cities per tour. Eventually he plans on introducing a nominal fee, but in the meantime, the online posts are more of a response to the many pirated versions of his videos that he says are easily found online, sometimes even dubbed in Russian and other languages.
Holshevnikoff says that he has refined a vast amount of material over his many years of doing these workshops, which cover roughly hours of material per class. He also talks a lot about newer technologies and shifts in the industry as larger sensors with better light sensitivities come more and more into play, which obviously has a big effect on lighting needs.
And I still love teaching! Our thanks to Bill for taking the time to give amazing insight on his work and educational experience. DP and Educator Bill Holshevnikoff reflects on seeing light and the changing tech behind it all. Follow on Instagram.
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Bill Holshevnikoff Looks to Change the Mentality Around Lighting for Cinematographers