I'm shooting my first short film in the coming weeks, and I am looking for advice on how to light a particular scene. The scene isn't very complicated at all, it involves two characters sitting and speaking at a wooden table in an otherwise empty room. I want to light the scene the way that Tarantino lit the opening scene in "Inglourious Basterds", with the light coming straight down onto the wooden table and bouncing up into the actor's faces. I have attempted this a couple of times already, trying to achieve the look before I actually shoot it. i used the only lighting equipment i have, an 800 watt tungsten light (1 of 3 very cheap lights) and a 43 inch reflector. I have found that, while the results are close, they aren't as close as I'd like them to be. The light is too intense and it isn't as focused on the table as I'd like it to be (the light shines on more than just the table). The only technique I have tried is shining the light at the ceiling and bouncing it onto the table with a reflector. It is also worth noting that I did these tests in my kitchen, not in the location where the shoot will occur(which is much larger, and has a much higher ceiling).
My questions are:
1. Are there any techniques that would work better?
2. Is the intensity of the light ( meaning that it washes out the actor's faces) something can be fixed by changing the white balance or contrast on the camera, or with color correction in post?
3. Will the location change help?
Also, keep in mind that I am 17, and still in high school, working with an 11 dollar budget (literally) and my equipment is about as cheap as it gets. I am using a 300 dollar Sony digital camera and 150 dollar lights.
Any suggestions at all would be of great help.