Lighting

In the most recent weeks in FILMTV1 we have been discussing and developing our skills in set lighting. Unlike other filmic techniques, I often seem to neglect the aspect of lighting in contemporary cinema if it is naturalistic or soft. Thinking of brilliant lighting schemes, my mind often wanders to the film noir genre. Here, I think of smoky rooms, venetian blinds casting patterns on actors faces and bright lampposts on dark streets. A brilliant example of this high contrast lighting scheme is in Charles Laughton’s Night of the Hunter:

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After focusing on our own lighting set-up I have decided to try and actively notice the way light shapes the world that I see everyday.What interests me the most is that all light can be mapped on a colour gradient from blue to red. Without noticing, our eyes match the natural outside light which is blue to the green fluorescent artificial lights that are inside.All though we may notice a small change, it isn’t very noticeable.

For our own film, we have decided to mimic the blue tinge that can often be seen in gritty Australian dramas, such as Snowtown, Animal Kingdom, Wish You Were Here and Chopper:

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This means that we will use a large and relatively soft light with a blue tinge to mainly light our film (maybe even using blue gels). In Post-production we will then colour grade our film by bringing out the shades of cyan. As our film is also set at night, we have to use minimal lighting and only have a few direct light sources which will be artificial. We are also going to use negative fills and black curtains to cover any natural light sources.

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