Lighting - the stuff you do not see


Tama Berkeljon TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
i
Lighting is the stuff you don't see that makes a difference in what you do see. How the audience feels about a character and whether the scene is scary, tense or upbeat are communicated by the quality and placement of light. Lighting can take the drama to a whole new level - think about film noir with all those shadows on the wall.

So called "natural light" - the image or video exactly as it is, without any bias - is considered by some to be the default lighting option for cinematographers. A cinematographer may add an additional layer of meaning to the shot by combining ambient, flood, spot, soft and reflective lighting options. This gives the filmmaker control over the colours cast onto the image with different types of lights producing slightly different coloured glows. Coloured filters can produce an obvious mood effect to the scene. To create a scene that looks "natural" to the audience may require a lot of lighting work behind the scenes.

Jess Hall, BSC created a new level of visual sophistication to the feature film Ghost in the Shell. He created a 28-colour palette derived from Masamune Shirow's original anime Ghost in the Shell franchise. To mimic the hazy look humid Hong Kong at night, he put these individual colours in a number of Creamsource Sky units. "I was able to call up any one of my unique pre-designed 28 colours instantly. Using this system, I could create Hong Kong 2029 exactly as we had envisioned and designed it," said Hall.

"The interactive light in the film's gunfight sequences feature the Creamsource Doppios in a very specific way; to successfully simulate the muzzle flash of the weapons. However, for one scene I wanted to use the Doppios as the only light source. This presented some significant technical challenges but I overcame these by using the Doppios combined with the Outsight FlashBandit to sync the lights precisely to the Alexa 65's frame rate, therefore avoiding torn frames." FlashBandit allows synchronisation of the Creamsource built-in flicker effects with the camera's frame rate and shutter through a video signal from the camera.
On The Fate of the Furious cinematographer Stephen F. Windon, ASC, ACS, collaborated with Gaffer Michael Ambrose for a lighting scheme that pushes the drama of the scenes and intensifies the audience's emotions. Ambrose describes one memorable situation. "Vin Diesel's Dodge Charger is hit by a big explosion and has to tumble through fire. We rigged the Charger on a 360-degree rotary rig in Atlanta and used 36 Creamsource Sky's set to theatrical mode for the fire effect. This produced absolutely stunning lighting inside the car - you could swear you were seeing flames reflected off Diesel's face and the car's interior." This lighting set up contributed strongly in bringing the audience to the edge of their seats.

As technology evolves across production, cinematographers are increasingly looking for LED lighting solutions that offer excellent light quality but are robust and durable enough for challenging set-ups. Greig Fraser, ASC, ACS, required an all-weather lighting solution for Lucasfilm's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. "We had the Creamsource Sky rigged in the ceiling for weeks while it was 'raining'. It's just amazing that we can do that!" said Fraser.

Cinematographers frequently confront space constraints for lighting on set. On the pre-arranged camera and lighting set-up for Mad Max: Fury Road, John Seale had the challenge of creating shadows to make it look like the trucks were moving and lighting conditions outside were changing, in spite of the fact that the trucks were static. "This was where the Creamsource+ lights really came to the fore. With multiple cameras and a small set, space was extremely limited," he said. "The Creamsource lights had plenty of power and were actually well-suited to the set situation, since they were small and lightweight enough to be held by hand or squeezed between cameras."

Explosive or intimate - lighting and the talent of Cinematographer and Gaffer - can be what makes the scene unique. Creamsource lights are designed to give them the most flexible, advanced, rugged, high quality tools to do the job. You don't see them on the screen but they are a key part of the stuff that scenes are made of.


Tags: iss126 | outsight | ghost in the shell | led lighting | Tama Berkeljon
Contributing Author Tama Berkeljon

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • FilmGear LED lighting at IBC 2015

    FilmGear LED lighting at IBC 2015

  • KitPlus filming rig used at NAB 2017

    KitPlus filming rig used at NAB 2017

  • Cineo HS2 at IBC 2015

    Cineo HS2 at IBC 2015

  • LiteGear at IBC 2015

    LiteGear at IBC 2015

  • LiteGear LED LiteMat at IBC 2015

    LiteGear LED LiteMat at IBC 2015

  • Cineo Matchbox at IBC 2015

    Cineo Matchbox at IBC 2015

  • Litepanels at IBC2011

    Litepanels at IBC2011


Related Shows
  • LED Lighting with Den Lennie at BVE

    LED Lighting with Den Lennie at BVE


Articles
Working with Remote Workflows
Alex Macleod At the time of me writing this article there is literally no other subject of conversation going on at the moment. The creative industries are on the verge of a complete shutdown, and it’s a seriously scary prospect. The fear & uncertainty is very real.
Tags: iss142 | mediacity training | premier pro | nle | editing | motion templates | Alex Macleod
Contributing Author Alex Macleod Click to read or download PDF
KVM Trends for Broadcast Pros
Jochen Bauer G&D North America Inc., one of the world’s leading KVM manufacturers, presents their latest KVM trends 2020 for broadcast professionals. KVM systems play an essential role in broadcasting by forming the link between IT and broadcast structures and thereby offering operation across systems and independently from any platform.
Tags: iss142 | kvm | ip kvm | kvm over ip | 4k over ip | kvm matrix | remote access | Jochen Bauer
Contributing Author Jochen Bauer Click to read or download PDF
Five Rules for Creating a YouTube Business
KitPlus Ever dream of creating entertaining, impactful videos for a living? YouTube sensation Cherry Wallis and her technical consultant Chris Pearless tell us what they’ve learned throughout her channel’s rise to fame.
Tags: iss142 | cherry wallis | youtube | channel | blackmagic | adsense | google revenue | KitPlus
Contributing Author KitPlus Click to read or download PDF
Control, as easy as pressing a button
Bazile Peter

A fundamental issue with control surfaces in modern broadcast operations is that they are, for the most part, old fashioned.

The ease, responsiveness, and functionality of touchscreens, especially in Smartphones are now commonplace. Attributes that are largely absent from touchscreens are typically buttons, sliders, and dials found on many control devices associated with human machine interaction.

Tags: iss142 | densitron | monitor | tactile | Bazile Peter
Contributing Author Bazile Peter Click to read or download PDF
Synced Across Multiple Screens
Christof Haslauer Live TV viewing habits around the world are changing. This is especially true with audiences under 30 who prefer to consume Live TV on their mobile devices rather than on a large screen TV. One of the major reasons for this change is the lack of options for personalisation of content on Linear TV.
Tags: iss142 | ott streaming | rtmp | nativewave | native waves | Christof Haslauer
Contributing Author Christof Haslauer Click to read or download PDF