Monday, 12 July 2010

Project 9: Production - creating a feeling

For this production exercise I filmed two short scenes, one about a depressed man alone at home, and the second about a stalker arriving. For the first I wanted to create a downbeat, dark atmosphere to help portray the depression of the man. For the second I wanted to go for a bit of a mysterious feel to the scene, and a scene that created a bit of tension. My two scenes are in the video below

The first scene was shot using mainly light sources within the scene, the computer screen to light the face when sitting at the computer, a small amount of natural light creeping through the window to act as a small amount of fill light and lighting the room. I also used an extra fill light by the bed to light this area when the actor was reading the paper. I went for a slightly unsaturated look, to emphasise the feeling of depression, and the large areas of darkness throughout the scene I hope also portrayed this.

The second scene was shot on an overcast day, and I used a trick I had learnt to make it appear like evening (underexpose the image by a couple of stops, and set the white balance to tungsten, then desaturate and correct the colour a bit in post production). This not only created the look of evening, but also created a frame with a lot of dark, masking a lot of the detail, creating a bit of tension and mystery about the frame.

If I had more lights to use, I would have lit the first scene much more, and had more control over the lighting. I had to work at a fairly high ISO as I had cut most of the light out of the room, in order to control it better, but if I had more lights I would have added more fill light to the room to balance out the light and dark a bit better, and remove some of the shadows on the back wall. I would certainly keep the strong contrast between the light and the dark side of the actors face though.

The second scene I'm not sure I would have shot much differently. I might have shot it at night with some lights to light the scene a bit, but I am satisfied with the look I achieved. Overall as well I would have used some gels on my lights to balance the temperature better, as I couldn't use tungsten lights in with the lights in the first scene as the colour temperatures were different.

Lighting is key to a production. Good lighting often sets apart a big budget production from an amateur production. Control of lighting certainly helps create a mood to a scene, and can give a sense of a location or a time of day or something similar.

No comments:

Post a Comment