This is exactly the kind of exchange I'm interested in. Tricks of the trade are great, and you're teaching concepts here, too.
White paper, eh? I've got a 9' roll of white seamless and some hot lights, but I still have trouble with lighting. I'm interested to know how to place, direct, and mask the lights for precise control, and control over the background gradient.
We should all agree to take snapshots of our setups as part of the discussion.