The technique of shooting outdoor night scenes in broad daylight has been around since the early days of film. It is commonly called Day for Night (DFN), and you can spot it in films like It’s a Wonderful Life, Planet of the Apes and Jaws; documentaries like The Creation of the Universe; and, of course, the French film, Day for Night. At times, the effect is obvious; at others, it is not.
But today’s camcorders are able to shoot in very low light. Those with infrared capabilities can even make some subjects visible in pitch black. So why would you want to fake it by shooting in the day to simulate the look of night?
Read the article Night Light: How to turn the light of day into the dark of night.