How To Light Quickly

(Cinematic Lighting Lesson 19)

Summary: When you are pressed for time and every second counts knowing how to light quickly can be the difference between getting the shot or not. In this video Ryan shares his secrets so you can light fast while under pressure.

Length: 4:58 minutes

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When the pressure is on with a tight deadline, it’s imperative to know how to light fast. But where do you begin and how do you set yourself up for success? Well in this video, I’ll show you how to do just that.

Have A Game Plan

Have A Game Plan For Lighting (LC119)
To quickly light your scenes, the most important thing is setting yourself up for success from the very beginning of the shoot. This is one reason why preproduction is so important. Scouting the location helps you note what obstacles you’ll face, making you better prepared to light quickly. If you can’t scout the location prior to the shoot, take the time to walk the space and scout the location immediately upon arriving to the shoot.

Block Shot Before Lighting (LC119)

I have been on shoots where the director, producer, or client wanted to immediately start shooting. When this happened we quickly ran into problems and delays, which translated into lost shooting time. Instead, by simply pausing at the start of the day to develop our game plan–identifying what we need to get and how to use the location to its full potential–the rest of the day goes smoother and more quickly.

Follow The Game Plan

Light Wide Shot First (LC119)

Once you’ve figured out your approach for the shoot, stick with that plan and get the shots needed. As soon as you get the shot, move on to the next one. Nothing slows a shoot down more than reshooting something multiple times after it was already successfully filmed.

Key Side Fill Lighting Set-up (LC119)

When it comes to lighting your set…

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Tools We Used

How To Cinematically Light A Corporate Video (Cinematic Lighting Lesson 20)
How To Light Quickly (Cinematic Lighting Lesson 19)
Lighting For Extreme Frame Rates (Cinematic Lighting Lesson 21)
12 Crucial Questions Before Lighting Your Set (Cinematic Lighting Lesson 15)
3 Strategies For Lighting Your Night Exteriors (Cinematic Lighting Lesson 14)
5 Essential Strategies To Lighting Day Exteriors (Cinematic Lighting Lesson 12)
10 Tips To Lighting Day Exteriors (Cinematic Lighting Lesson 13)
How To Light A Small Commercial (Cinematic Lighting Lesson 23)
Where To Begin Lighting Your Set (Cinematic Lighting Lesson 18)
3 replies
  1. Ahmedsalem
    Ahmedsalem says:

    Really I like your approach in lighting key side fill , and I hope to see how you can apply it in a low key scene in a spate tutorial

  2. Ahmedsalem
    Ahmedsalem says:

    Really I like your approach in lighting key side fill , and I hope to see how you can apply it in a low key scene in a separate tutorial

    • Tim
      Tim says:

      Thanks. Key side fill is great for low key lighting set-ups. Reducing or eliminating the fill light will make the shot even more low key. We will add more examples in the future.


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