Ever wondered why there are a lot of bright lights on a film set? To someone who’s not really into filmmaking, you might find the film set needlessly over lit. Why do filmmakers use too much light?
Think about this — if you want to make a film look realistic and natural, you simply get to the location, set up the cameras and start rolling, right? Doesn’t it sound logical? But what filmmakers do is to take enormous care to use film lights, which entails a lot of money and time to set up. We’re not talking about the regular LED lights that you see at home or any other LED lighting. Don’t even think about LED grow lights, for that you have to check this link instead. Lighting in films use high-powered light equipment and tools that are carefully set up on set.
Filmmakers use lights because video does not respond to light like our eyes do. On the contrary, video and film record the scenes in a rather reverse way. When you shoot a film with just normal lights, either the highlights will go completely bare or the shadows will be lost totally lost. Ironically, the only way to make a scene look realistic is to have enough artificial light. The artificial film lights help the video to create the scene the way our eyes sees.
In cinematography, the goal is more than just to make the location or the actors visible. Lighting is a crucial element in setting the mood of the film, and it can only be achieved through careful use of artificial light sources. Furthermore, there are many instances where the natural light is not enough to provide adequate exposure. For instance, you can barely shoot a scene in a cramped up, enclosed space without lighting.
Some of the best films ever shot are able to convey a heightened interpretation of reality. If the cinematographer is able to make the scene “more real than real,” it can perfectly evoke the emotions that the movie would want to depict. In other words, lighting helps create a realistic scene; one that is not bland. Carefully planned lighting provides an enhanced view of reality which the video captures.
There is a wide variety of light equipment that a filmmaker can use depending on the requirements of the scene. Under the supervision and in coordination with the cinematographer, the lighting director does the tweaks so that the scenes perfectly convey the themes or emotions in that particular scene. At one point, the lights are used in combination. There are also different lights that are used based on the type of camera or video.
There you have it. Lighting is a crucial element in filmmaking, so the next time you find yourself on a film set, don’t be surprised to find the drastically over-lit film set. Lights are used to get the precise depth, texture and contrast that would appear realistic on the big screen.