I think that this interview was quite successful. I wound up with 2 Arri 650 watt lights and a 1,000 watt softbox. I used the two 650′s, and threw a little Lowell kick light behind. One of the problems I had was that my interview subject (my grandmother) was that she was getting ready to paint her walls, so she had test swatches of different kinds of blue painted every six inches or so throughout her entire apartment.
What I wound up doing was setting up a standard 3-point lighting setup, threw a ton of diffusion on the 650′s and shot her in front of her figurine cabinet. I had a nice shallow focus, and got a nice separation between my grandmother and her background. I took the approach of painting the frame from a black canvas, and this really helped me. We lit up the figurine cabinet, which had two lights shining down from the top (I will post stills as soon as I get more space for the site). I felt like the two lights in the cabinet were too much, and the frame was too bright, so I simply opened the cabinet and unscrewed one of the bulbs. This gave a nice separation between the subject and background, and added a sort of gradient quality as the light fall off across the cabinet from left to right.
I would really encourage using this black frame technique. I turned off all the lights, and checked each light individually, and I feel like it is some of the best lighting I have ever done.
The interview itself was very good. I got a lot of facts about the time, and was able to establish a very good timeline that will help me in my future interviews. She was somewhat reluctant to tackle the racial issues, and really delve into why they popped up, so I am hoping that my other subjects will be able to contribute more to that area.