Blog 4.6 - Lighten Up!


     Movies are a game of shadows.  

     Imagine this: you have to make a movie.  It's going to be a mystery, and the opening scene  requires you to film the wife of a murdered man coming to see the detective.  First of all, you have to ask yourself some quetions: what kind of woman is married to a guy who would get murdered (low-life, high-life, mobster, the boy next door?).  You have to imagine the kind of guy who would be a private detective (full-time job, part-time job, out of work guy looking for some cash, elite, retired special forces?).  Then you have to think how both would walk, talk, think, and -- especially -- how they would approach strangers.

   Now, before the scene, you need to read this short story: The Killers

  1. Write a Brief Treatment (summary) of how the characters will look.  Here is an example of how to do it:  Movie Treatment (Use "Write a Synopsis" Section of the Article)
  2. Set up the opening scene with every last detail:
    • Who are the characters (use The Killers as an example, if you can't think of anything else)
    • What kind of shot (long, short, medium)
    • Camera Angle (low, high, eye-level)
    • Effects (what colors are in the room, what kind of furniture, what time of day)

   Now think about how you would create the scene.  You have to (in the space provided below):  Now, look at these next few pictures which demonstrate lighting, and think about how you would set the scene.

Low-Key Lighting

Low Key Lighting

High Key Lighting

High Key Lighting

Bottom Side Lighting

Bottom/Side Lighting

Front Lighting

Front Lighting 


Back Lighting    

     In your treatment, tell me what lighting you would use, and explain how it would influence the impact of your shot.

© Jeff Thomas,