Thursday, 26 May 2011

Lights camera action

This post will show all I learnt from the photo shoots and what i have learnt about using lighting to make a set come to life.
There is usually three main lights in film and TV sets they consist of, key, fill and back light. The key light is the brightest light and casts the primary shadows which gives a direction to the light. The fill light does what it says and fills in any shadows left by the key light this light has no real shadows or direction of its own. And finally the back light. Each light has its own job and they are usually combined to create an overall effect. but they all do the same job which is to simulate the light that might occur under normal conditions in the filming space.

After being taught the three lights, we were shown how they were hung on long stands such as a C stand. They can be extended to a great height and this can unbalance the heavy light so sand bags are added to the base to distribute the weigh as seen below.We then went through all the possible effects that could be created with lighting showing us the different size lights , different filters, and how to properly use the barn doors (the hinged shutters on the front) these get very very hot and have to be handled with gloves !
We were then shown how the camera works they worked explained the different setting such as the effect that the aperture can have on the amount of light there is is a shot.Using poor Vicky as a model we filmed 5 second clips on each aperture setting.
The Lighting can help create illusions, shadows can distort the set and fool the audience.
Through the use of different lights we are able to control: The colour, direction, intensity, harsh and soft lighting, the mood and certain compositions.The difference between harsh and soft lighting: HARSH: Harsh and sharp shadows are created, the light is pretty solid. SOFT: The light is often bounced off a board to create a more subtle highlight and produce a more defused look.

    Gels are put in front of the light to change the colour, the light shines through the gel.The gels can be layered to create different colours set colour correction and set the mood. Once we were familiarise with all the equipment we started to think about how our rooms should be lit.

    How does light effect the atmosphere in a film ?

    'Low key lighting uses shadows and directed pools of light to create atmosphere
    and suspense. It is often seen in crime or gangster movies. Low key lighting
    suggests an air of mystery. Horror movies often use this style of lighting in
    exaggerated form by over-lighting (placing a light above the face) or under-lighting
    (placing a light under a face) actors to create a dramatic or distorted effect.'
    quote from

    So finally we can shoot so we started with the Study. We set up a light in front of the double door joining the room to the drawing room this was a fill light effect we began to change the filters and the lights. we got more light in the set, We then tried the reflector technique involving the white board to try and create a softer light but we ended up loosing the detail of the room. it was particularly difficult to get the haunting effect we desired but the room worked well with the use of shadows.
    My personal favourite is the drawing room the subtle orange light make the time frame look around sunset its warm and inviting but feels fresh at the same time as the picture below shows.

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