Week 7 : Work Blog

Day 1

In this week’s course we are going to talk about lighting in movies

We learnt that lighting applies into modern day TV shows but lighting is a strong key to give the mood of the film , if a film was shot in a more warm colour than lighter than the film will look more dramatic.

If the film was shot in a more lighter approach than the film would be more comedic looking.


This shot is from a Korean film called The Man from Nowhere ( 2010 ) Directed by Lee Jung-Beom.

The film is a slow burn action Thriller that features extreme violence. The film is very grim and dour. Not every character in this movie is evil however.

But the mood is grim not light what Lee Jung- Beom has used for his camera is to create a sinister , urban and dramatic effect to feel the vibe and mood of this thriller, actioner. The film was shot by Korean cinematographer Lee Tae-Yoon. The Director of the film needed the widest aperture on his the camera lenses. This technique works best with standard and telephoto lenses because these lenses have less depth of field.

The out of focus background is moody because we can’t see what it’s supposed to be.

The cinematographer also shot the film in low light.

Low light is effectively moody and evocative. If you’re shooting static subjects like landscapes you can put your camera on a tripod and use a cable release to avoid a camera shake.

For it’s gritty and tone balanced pacing. The director needed to shoot The Man from Nowhere by adjusting it’s colour temperature, he had to decide the optimum colour temperature afterwards and didn’t have to worry about setting it correctly in the camera, it was also the same case for the cinematographer.

The Director also had to make sure of the location of the shoot, In the shot up above. The location is grey , green and morbid looking. Then they made sure in how the character would appear , making him slightly bruised and bloodied.


This shot is from a French movie called Subway (1985) directed by Luc Besson.

This shot includes the actors Isabelle Adjani and Christophe Lambert ( The main protagonist from Highlander ( 1986 )

The film was shot by cinematographer Carlo Varini.funny

This film is a mix of lot’s of different genres put into one. But the shot up above describes a romantic scene

The cinematographer had to use a specific color temperature to one of the first things to note whilst studying the lighting in a romantic.

Another tool the crew used with the camera lenses is Brightness and Shadow. because brightly lit or highkey scenes tend to be more cheerful and upbeat, while darker or somewhat low-key scenes hold much more intruige. Shadows have 2 ways in movies, they can either make the lighting more grim and gritty or more sensual.

What the cinematographer and the director needed to achieve was it’s highly sensual romantic aspect and by that includes the other dots that I mentioned up above. But one thing that is highly used is the quality. The quality of light in a film through the hardness and softness of it’s shadows can be easily judge.Soft lighting is particularly used in older romantic films  and it tends to somewhat feel more sentimental.

But there are many use of lighting when it comes to a romantic scene because cool lighting can be romantic , it just depends on where the film is being shot. ( Again location is highly valuable). Bright light can of course be also romantic. But with the advanced settings with modern day technology , sharp shadows that can be in film noir can also evidently be more romantic.


The shot up above comes from a scene from Nicolas Roeg’s Walkabout ( 1971 )

The Film was shot and Directed by Nicolas Roeg. It’s an Adventure film about 2 kids lots in the Australian desert and find  an Aboriginal boy who will guide them back to civilisation.

Nicolas Roeg wanted to capture multiple epic landscapes for the film and thus the one main thing he needed was to get away from the city and travel to Australia. He needed to find a location where pollution is minimal. And the way he shot that scene up above was to capture the light of moon. Because he actually didn’t go to a location where there is no moon. He needed a half moon phase or less. Once he went beyond that he discovered that the moon became so bright that it can actually make the sky look like daytime. Because to capture a full moon shot he had to peer into the sky and await several hours before daytime became dusk and between that, the sun diminishes. This film was not shot in a Hollywood studio.

He shot this film with a wide angle lenses , you can see a lot of detail with high quality but according to the source info that explains wide angle shots if you bring the lenses into a tighter shot format , it brings more attention  to whatever you choose to be in the foreground. And that is exactly what Nicolas Roeg intended.

Nicolas Roeg needed a tripod , an intervalometer, A hand warmer on the lenses that kept the temperature high enough for any moisture to build up.

To capture that sense of beauty and excitement to match the mood and genre of the film Walkabout.  Nic Roeg had to go through a lot of post work.

Day 2

On the day previously we had a task to take pictures with lighting.



We needed a shield and we spared a black room in the Library of Canterbury college.

We used a strong bright light and needed an Actor/ Actresses to be in the shots.

The person carrying the camera was taking different sorts of positions. it took us around 15 minutes to capture the right kind of images that was asked for the task.

What was impressive and  realising that there was a shine of bright light glowing upon Pip’s face that gave the images a more stylistic nuanced quality, It reminded me a lot of the visual lighting JJ Abrams uses in movies.

The shield that we were beholding was a slight nuisance but we all managed in the end.



That uses of shiny light is what I found in the images taken the day beforehand.



With the use of strong light in a dark environment from an audience perspective these pictures could navigate a film that is either romantic or a thriller , maybe even a Science- Fiction because the strong light use of the deep right in the last image above could be interpreted as a flying saucer floating across the room.

In the afternoon we were tasked to take pictures that matches a shot from another movie. with the use of lighting.

I was put in a group of seven. That includes Callum, James, Max,Chloe, Polly,Jack and Myself.

We went to the TV studio using 2 reflectors multiple colour filters, James’s Photo camera which is a Camera, Canon 700D

Here are the pictures we shot with one choice each.

This picture beneath comes from a shot from the movie Black Sea (2014) directed by Kevin MacDonald. It was Max’s picture and his idea.




He wanted to match Jude Law’s character with discovering gold with a similar shot of James laying his hand on a golden table with the use of bright , red and slight blue filter lighting.


The pictures below are taken from Polly who wanted to match her shot to the one from a delightfull French film called Amelie (2001) directed by Jean -Pierre Jeunet.



The only slight difference within these two pictures is that Clhoe isn’t giving a wider smile than that of Audrey Tautou. but we needed the reflector for this shot as the use of lighting of Amelie is constant yellow which is a familiar case with the films of Jean- Pierre Jeunet. Also the images Polly has taken are slightly blurry in comparison.

The Next pictures below are taken from Chloe who wanted to match a picture of the Tv series of Hannibal (2013 -2015) created by Thomas Harris and starring Mads Mikkelsen.



Chloe wanted to take a more sinister looking picture of James looking slightly upwards slight digit. was the background. We shot this image underneath the stairs leading up to the second floor. which has an effective look to grab dark looking environments that can look like a thriller, or even a horror.

Which is exactly the case for Jack as he took a picture of matching the last shot ( spoiler alert ) of The Blair Witch Project ( 1999 ) directed by Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick.



Jack Didn’t use the black and white colour this time. Instead he decided to take a more experimental approach by using red filter in the lighting to capture a horrific tone towards the image. In Semiology the colour red can describe strong, love, passion. But it can also match blood and death.

James took a different kind of picture with the TV series of Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch and created by Mark Gatiss , Steven Moffat and Stephen Thompson.




The picture was from the episode his Last Vow where Sherlock confronts Mary. This picture was slightly tricky to provide as what James wanted a somebody to stand at the back which was Max but wanted him out of Focus and Polly to be in the front and in focus. Unfortunately it turned out to be the opposite. However the use of strong beaming lighting and the location was in the TV studio behind the curtain , the image has a similar visual aspect to the one of Sherlock’s.

Callum used advice from Jack and took a picture that resembles the film The Gallows ( 2015 ) directed by Travis Cluff and Chris Lofing.



In the image above the film the Gallows was shot with red filter neon. With the character frightened in a dark environment. Callum decided to use a more naturalistic approach by using normal lighting and no filters. He positioned the camera in a different yet effective angle using a more morbid space in Canterbury College which was the same location of which Jack shot his image of the Blair Witch Project and ironically using red filter lighting.

Finally there is my picture which I wanted to match an image of either a David Lynch film a Paul Thomas Anderson film a Leos Carax film or a Nicolas Winding Refn film.

I decided to match an a picture from the film Only God Forgives ( 2013 ) shot by Larry Smith and Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. And by doing so I needed the TV studio.



The Major difference within these 2 shots are the facts that in the Only God Forgives image the blue is shot upon Kristin Scott Thomas and the red filter is behind her in the out of focus background. In my image I have used red upon Polly as the in focus and blue towards the other people in the background whom are less in focus. I wanted to have curtains involved and even though there are less curtains in the Only god Forgives image, on my perspective curtains symbolises something yet to come. A sort of mystery before the action of an unknown. Curtains on my perspective symbolises a metaphor of a mystery that can happen which is why it’s exciting and stylish. It is partially another reason why in Theatres and Operas they use curtains to symbolise a closed door before it opens which leaves the audiences anticipating what is behind.

I discovered with my image that it had a David Lynch’s Blue Velvet aspect to it all. that resembled this image below.


  • Day 3

We carried on working with our projects and write exactly what we needed to write and take note of during the course of the last 2 days.

However next week we will start shooting our upcoming project and thanks to these last weeks of learning we get to understand more so.

  • References


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Week 7 : Work Blog

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