Lighting a Power Outage

Viewing 2 reply threads
  • Author
    • #44576
      Daniel HartDaniel Hart

      A friend of mine wants to make a horror film that takes place during a power outage, while still getting good light. He wants it to look like it’s lit only with flashlights and candles, while still being able to see the actors pretty well. Any advice on what kind of lighting he should use to accomplish this?

    • #186687

      . . . . . You might try using flashlights and candles?

      It seems to me that nearly all Hollywood spook films which used ” practical ” lighting always depended on diffused fillthat appeared to be reflections from the flashlights or candles. The diffused fill will have to be bluish gelled and the overall light levelmust be high enough to just barelymake out room reatures. Key lighting from candles or flashlights can be delicately reinforced with flashlights like the MagLight which can be adjusted from spot to flood. Or maybe yertrying for the classic “X-Files ” look of Halogen lantern beams penetrating aslightly foggy environment??

      Rick Crampton

    • #186688

      Rick has given you some great ideas, to which I’ll add this: Once you establish that there is a light source — a couple of candles in lanterns, for example — you can subtly increase the amount of overall ambient illumination in the scene without damaging the believability of “darkness.” If you can get your hands on films by Guy Madden, a Canadian film maker who shoots in Super 8mm film, you’ll get a great look at how light in dark scenes can be managed.

      Be sure you have a good monitor for checking your lighting. I’d let the blacks in the scene determine how little light you can get away with. If there isn’t enough ambient light you’ll get a great deal of noise in the dark portions of the image.


Viewing 2 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Best Products

The best stock video sites — 2021

Stock video sometimes gets a bad wrap in the filmmaking community. In reality, however, we see stock video used every day in any number of applications. Below, you'll find our selections for the best places to look for stock...