How to Light the Cinematic Film Look

Notes

Step 1 – Highlight Using Key (WHAT)

  • WHY:
    • Key light indicated visual importance
    • Call attention to what matters
    • Guide eyes using light

Step 2 – Go For a Low Key  (WHAT)

  • Lose the fill light
  • WHY:
    • No shadow, no drama
    • High contrast = cinematic beauty

Step 3 – Shoot Into the Shadows (WHAT)

  • Design the setup for nice fall off
  • Promote uneven lighting of subject
  • Shoot from opposite angle
  • WHY:
    • Light falloff = cinematic touch and more drama / intensity

Step 4 – Use That Edge Light  (WHAT)

  • Separate subject from the background
  • WHY:
    • Depth = Intensity of emotion
    • Flat = Low intensity
  • Shape and outline, frame the highlight

Step 5 – Lighting for Depth (WHAT)

  • WHY:
    • Sense of space emmerses the viewer
  • Layer elements throughout space
  • Feature different luminamce values
  • WHY: 
    • Contrast = Depth
    • Depth = Emotion, deeper depth = more emotion

Step 6 – Contrast Color

Step 7 – Texture Lighting

  • Practicals create texture
    • “Practical lights are the light sources that are visible as models within your scene.” – Peachpit.com
  • Use what is availbale to you
  • Get creative
    • Use light flashes, fluorescent tubes, Edison bulbs, string of Christmas lights, etc.
  • Haze and rain, shafts and beams

Step 8 – Texture Shadows

  • Create shadows with set design
  • Use cucoloris

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