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Lighting Picture


Mason Smith
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Hello guys I'm a film student and I'm having trouble understanding cinematography (lighting) with figuring out where the light is coming from, the direction. Also what kind of mood and contrast is in the picture. Ex where the fill light, key light, and back light. If you can help me with this picture it'll be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for your help. ( shutter island)

 

http://www.imdb.com/media/rm3267006208/tt1130884?ref_=ttmi_mi_all_sf_15

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Robert Richardson shot this, and one of his "trademarks" is using PARs as a harsh toplight/pool-of-light.

 

In that photo (understanding that this is purely my interpretation) it looks like DiCaprio is standing halfway inside the beam, and the fill on Kingsley's face is comning from DiCaprio's shirt. He is also getting a rimlight from the same PAR, just not as directly as DiCaprio.

 

The fill coming from the camera side could be bounce from the floor, or an actual bounce (showcard, muslin, white reflector).

 

And by keeping the ceiling lights in the background, he motivates (read: explains) where the light is coming from.

 

Again, one man's opinion,

-j

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I'll add the obvious- if you can see them, zoom in and look at the catchlights in the eyes. You can often get an idea of the angle and nature of the light source. You can see a hint of the fill in Ben Kingsley's eye- I'd agree with Adrian and say a large card, or even a metallised reflector, off to the lower left. Di Caprio is getting a little of it.

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Robert Richardson shot this, and one of his "trademarks" is using PARs as a harsh toplight/pool-of-light.

 

In that photo (understanding that this is purely my interpretation) it looks like DiCaprio is standing halfway inside the beam, and the fill on Kingsley's face is comning from DiCaprio's shirt. He is also getting a rimlight from the same PAR, just not as directly as DiCaprio.

 

The fill coming from the camera side could be bounce from the floor, or an actual bounce (showcard, muslin, white reflector).

 

And by keeping the ceiling lights in the background, he motivates (read: explains) where the light is coming from.

 

Again, one man's opinion,

-j

 

Bingo. I worked as a day playing electric on "Shutter Island" and can personally attest that the scene was lit almost exclusively with Par Cans (you can see them in the background of this shot.) The scene was filmed in the basement of a building at a decommissioned State Pysch Hospital in Medfield, MA. Since it was the basement there was only about 12' clearance. The Par Cans were rigged on speedrail that spanned from column to column, which put the lamp at no more than 10' off the ground. They were lamped with 1kw Par 64 Wide lamps, so they were screaming on the talent. At only a distance of 3', I am still surprised that Leonardo DiCaprio's hat didn't catch fire. There were cots with white sheets and blankets set up through out the basement to dress it as a hospital ward. If I recall correctly the bounce of the Par Cans off the cots and off of Ben Kingsley's white lab coat is all the bounce there was. What you see reflected in Kingsley's eye is the cot that they are standing by.

Guy Holt, Gaffer, ScreenLight & Grip, Lighting Rental and Sales in Boston

Edited by Guy Holt
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