Impactful Lighting for Film and Video

Effective lighting is the ultimate cinematic technique in the filmmaker’s toolbox used to convey mood and emotion through the lens. By controlling the direction, intensity and color, lighting design has the potential to dramatically influence the way the audience responds to a scene or character. Color hues guide emotion, as does the angle of light and degree of diffusion which all control the perspective of the camera and ultimately, the viewer.

Communicating Emotion Through Light

Whether you’re going for a natural look in your production, intentional artificiality or dramatic harsh lighting, having a full kit on hand with all the options for bouncing and diffusing light is critical. Understanding the various terminologies such as keylight (main subject light), hardlight (no diffusion), softlight (highly diffused), backlight (illuminating the subject from behind), or sidelight (you guessed it!), will streamline communication with the director of photography and ensure a fluid production. Strategically placed blue gels can add a solemn, sad, and depressing look to your image, while using warmer gels will give the opposite effect. Furthermore, low key lighting with a lot of contrast is great for communicating fear, anxiety, distrust, and evilness, while high key lighting with little contrast is great for communicating happiness, peacefulness, joy, and contentment.




Lighting in Post-Production

While pre-production and production can get you pretty far with your filmmaking goals in terms of achieving the perfect lighting, new technologies have enabled this process to extend into post-production. White balancing and color correction possibilities are essentially infinite in post with a highly-skilled colorist. Shooting lens flare for example could be a challenge for the flare to hit right when you want it to, but in post-production you can select from any shape, color and movement and overlay it on to the existing footage. Customized templates can be created to fit the exact needs of every project as well as 3D lighting effects, adding realistic lighting and tones to products and people, making them practically pop out of the screen.


Contact Moonji today to see how we can craft the perfect lighting design for you and collaborate on your next project.