Film & Video Lighting for low-budgets

Some basic tips on lighting for indie filmmakers.

…OK so after making sure that your actor is saying the right lines, that the picture is in focus and the camera is recording probably the last thing on your mind is the way the picture is lit. But wait, the difference between something that is well lit and something that isn’t can be the difference between a film that’s great and one that’s totally pants.

Generally you want to keep your light level up. Video cameras work best in a certain range – too bright and whites get blasted out (use a Neutral Density Filter to combat this effect) too dark and you get a grainy image without much colour. Well lit footage makes your film look like it was shot with a really good camera.

But you also want to create a play or light and shade on the objects before you, revealing depth, form and mood.

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