How To Light A Narrative: Real World Application
(Cinematic Lighting Lesson 26)
Summary: Ryan takes you behind the scenes and explains his process in lighting the short film “O’ Danny Boy,” walking you through each shot, set-up and lighting design
Length: 11:51 minutes
Narrative projects rely on a lot of the techniques we’ve talked about so far–from creating certain moods through ratios, to creating soft light, to dealing with the unique challenges of shooting on location. In this video I’ll take you behind the scenes and show you shot by shot how I lit a short film. I’ll cover not only where I placed the lights, but why I made the choices I did. So let’s watch the 1 minute short “O’ Danny Boy,” and then I’ll break each shot down from there.
“O’ Danny Boy” Short
PAUL: Would you rather I told you?
PAUL: It was like falling asleep.
MARY: Don’t tell me that.
PAUL: I thought you wanted to know.
MARY: Not about that.
MARY: I would’ve liked to know you were doing it.
PAUL: I’m sorry.
SHOT 01: Extreme Close Up (Mary)
The film opens on an extreme close up of Mary as she sits at the table. Although we as the viewer don’t know it yet, her world is off-kilter. I wanted to reinforce that feeling through my camera and lighting decisions.
Instead of completely leveling the camera, I kept it a bit off. It isn’t extremely off, just enough so that it doesn’t feel right. We also designed the lighting scheme to enhance this feeling. When Tim and I were talking over this short, we decided that the overall look and feel of this film should be somber, cool, and detached. So, it was my job to create that look using the the four elements of light…
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Camera / Audio
- Sony Alpha a7S Mirrorless Digital Camera
- Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens
- Fotodiox Lens Mount Adapter – Canon EOS (EF / EF-s) to Sony E-Mount
- Bright Tangerine Misfit Matte Box
- Tilta FF-T03 15mm Follow Focus with Hard Stops
- Sachtler Panorama 7+7 Head 100mm (similar head: 1006 DV 10 SB Fluid Head)
- Sachtler Carbon Fiber Tripod (similar tripod: Carbon Fiber HD Tripod Legs)
- MYT Works 4′ Medium slider w/ HiHat
- Hollywood Beefy Baby Stand (8.5′) (two, to raise the MYT Works slider)
- Movcam Cage for Sony A7S
- Hollywood Black Magic 1/2 Filter
- Sekonic L-758Cine DigitalMaster Light Meter
- Sekonic C-700 SpectroMaster Color Meter
- Wooden Camera A/B Gold-Mount Plate for Sony A7, A7r and A7s
- Audio Technica AT835b Shotgun Microphone (similar microphone: Audio Technica BP4071 Shotgun Microphone)
- Wooden Camera DSLR A-Box
- Delkin Devices 64GB SDXC Memory Card 600x UHS-I
- DSC Labs One Shot Reference Chart (Matte Finish)
Behind the Scenes (BTS) Cameras
- GoPro Hero3 Black (similar camera: GoPro HERO4 Black)
- Motrr Galileo: App-Driven Motorized Head w/ GoPro Mount
- Sony Alpha SLT-A57
- Filmcity DSLR Camera Cage Shoulder Rig kit (FC-03)
Lighting / Grip Gear
- Fill-Lite 200
- Fill-Lite Wall Soft Light
- LED (900) (Bestlight®)
- 24×36″ – Black Double Net
- 1/8 Color Temperature Orange (CTO) Filter (24×198″ Roll)
- 1/2 Color Temperature Orange (CTO) Filter (24×198″ Roll)
- Foam Core Bounce (White)
- Floppy – 48×48″ (1.2×1.2m)
- Matthews Century C Stand Grip Arm Kit – 10.5′ (3.2m)
- PBL Sandbags x4 bags