HND – Day 6 – Three Point Lighting

Thursdays lesson with Zulf is scheduled to cover three point lighting.  Sadly I am going to miss this lesson due to my being in Mexico.

My understanding of the lesson plan is that Zulf will spend the morning going through the history of 3 point lighting, how it originated in the theatre and how it has developed over the years for film and the afternoon in a practical session showing how to set up a basic 3 point lighting setup, what happens if it goes wrong and what it should look like.  As they say, do it badly and it shows, do it right and it is cliché 🙂

I expect/hope time will be spent discussing the father of cinematography (Georges Méliès*) and his contributions to the techniques which many film makers now take for granted (he discovered and exploited the basic camera tricks: stop motion, slow motion, dissolve, fade-out, superimposition, and double exposure all with a magician’s intuition), as well as time covering some of the basic techniques and terms of reference (fill, hair light, rim light, etc), as well as reinforcing how lenses work, the effects of prisms, as well as depth of field and compression; which were all introduced in the previous weeks lessons.

* Georges Méliès (born in Paris, Dec 8th, 1861) made over 550 films between 1896 and 1913 including the worlds first known sci-fi movie (Le Voyage dans la Lune / A Trip To The Moon, 1902), and the worlds first horror movie (The Haunted Castle /  Le Manoir du Diable, 1896) and Many of his films were less than 20 minutes in duration.  His films are some of the most imaginative ever to be directed, even by today’s standards. His innovations in the field of cinematography were groundbreaking and paved the way for future directors… DW Griffin remarked “I owe him everything”, whilst Charlie Chaplin dubbed Méliès as “the alchemist of light”. Praise indeed from the greats of the time. 

Cinematography is a passion of mine so I am sad to be missing the class, however I look forward to the next opportunity after half term!

I hope the guys enjoy the practical and manage to take away some understanding of the magic of cinematography as a result!

References include 

  • – url
  • encyclopaedia britannica – [url]
  • The Alchemist Of Light by Osie Turner Smashwords Edition, 2013


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