Lighting Advice

Lighting PLC:

  • key light
  • fill light
  • back light
  • three-point lighting
  • high key vs low key
  • bounce
  • practical light
  • Lighting silk
  • Lighting gels

The one aspect of mise-en-scene that can have the biggest impact on whether a shot looks professional is lighting. You must spend time planning your lighting and making sure that you achieve the effect you want in the final product. Getting it ‘right’ first time can stop you having to either spend hours in editing or even having to go back and re-shoot it completely.

The basics: key, fill and back lights

Click here to watch a (very) basic video if it’s all new to you. And here is one with a bit more detail:

Lighting and genre

This is a really good video to understand the conventions. Ignore the numbers and technical specifications – just look at what they actually do and how they use gels, bounce, fill and silks to change the lighting effects.

How to light a shot using only one light (up to 5.44)

We’ll be lighting on a budget and this video is full of handy tips (including using sheets and t-shirts) to create lighting effects with just one light – you could use a lamp or even a torch to experiment.

Lighting on a budget

This article from Movie Maker magazine talks about how you can light a scene within a very tight budget.

Budget Lighting 1Budget lighting 2Budget lighting 3