Motion Picture and Video Lighting: 3rd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Motion Picture and Video Lighting

3rd Edition

By Blain Brown

Routledge

356 pages

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Description

Lighting is at the heart of filmmaking. The image, the mood, and the visual impact of a film are, to a great extent, determined by the skill and sensitivity of the director of photography in using lighting. Motion Picture and Video Lighting explores technical, aesthetic, and practical aspects of lighting for film and video. It covers not only how to light, but also why.

This revised edition of Motion Picture and Video Lighting is the indispensable guide to film and video lighting. Written by an experienced professional, this comprehensive book explores light and color theory, equipment, and techniques to make every scene look its best, and is heavily illustrated throughout.

Three new chapters discuss best practices of using light to benefit your film, and an extensive appendix includes discussion on additional tips and tricks. In addition, a robust companion website includes up-to-date video tutorials and other resources for students and professionals alike.

Three new chapters:

  • Scene Lighting
  • Lighting as Storytelling
  • Controlling Light

Topics include:

  • Lighting sources
  • The lighting process
  • Lighting basics
  • LED, tungsten, Kino-Flo, HMI, and plasma lights
  • Methods of controlling light
  • Planning your lighting
  • The basic methods: a lighting playbook
  • Visual storytelling with light
  • Understanding and controlling color
  • Terminology
  • Electricity and distribution
  • Gripology
  • Set operations
  • The team: DP, gaffer, grips, lighting technicians
  • Technical issues
  • Lighting for greenscreen/bluescreen
  • Typical equipment orders for large and small jobs
  • Lighting for high speed and macro photography
  • Lighting plans for small, medium, and large films

Reviews

"A remarkable achievement. This is a brilliant combination of technical information and inventive ideas as well as an enriching chronicle of the evolution of lighting; The knowledge you need to excel in a fast advancing, creative world mentored by one of our industry's true experts."

—Armand Gazarian, Director of Photography; IATSE Local 600

"A great upgrade to the best lighting book on the market. Blain has expanded his earlier edition to include the latest lighting equipment as well as present video possibilities and concerns."

—Rick Wise, Director of Photography / Lighting Instructor at the graduate division of the San Francisco Academy of Art University

"'Lighting is to film what music is to Opera' - DeMille's quote, which is so eloquent and true today. Lighting is hard to learn from a book, but Brown continues to teach this with updates on Motion Picture and Video Lighting. His chapters on controlling light are right on, and his images allow the viewer to imitate them - something we all do! Maybe most engrossing is his history of lights, gaslight, limelight (limestone), BrutArcs, all dangerous but gorgeous. And Blade Runner, who knew? A breakthrough of what was to come."

—Judy Irola, ASC, Professor Emerita, USC School of Cinematic Arts

"From the opening pages, I knew I was going to love this book. It is gourmet reading for the lighting connoisseur - a feast for those of us who love chiaroscuro, lightness, and dark. Author Blain Brown goes to great lengths to make this book as much about video as about film. Whenever he discusses a film technique, he makes sure to cover how it should apply to video as well."

—Bill Miller, Video Systems Magazine

"Written by a professional in the field, this comprehensive book reveals inside information based on years of experience and explores the challenges faced by cinematographers, lighting directors, gaffers and grips. Whether the reader is professional or a student, this book will be a useful reference."

Lighting and Sound International

"…book has made the biggest impact on my career of all the resources I used to get where I am. And while I have absorbed many, many books, tapes and met several of my heroes who have helped me, I credit your book with giving met he confidence to 'just do it' these last few years and reach this level. Furthermore, your book is the one book that I recommend to young, aspiring people who want to learn our craft…"

—Dane Lawing, DP

"This book is truly the most outstanding, practical, and highly useful guide to film and video lighting I have come across in many, many years."

—James L. Moody, Head of the Technical Theatre Program for the Theatre Academy at Los Angeles City College

Table of Contents

HISTORY OF LIGHTING

Controllable Light

Early Film Production

Introduction of Tungsten Lighting

The Technicolor Era

HMI, Xenon, Fluorescent, and LED Sources

Kino Flo

LEDs

LIGHTING SOURCES

Types of Lights

Fresnels

LEDs

Efficiency

LED Panels

LED Fresnels

Remote Phosphor LEDs

Tungsten Fresnels

The 10K and 20K/24K

The 5K

Juniors

1K

650, Betweenie, and InBetweenie

Inkie

HMI Units

12K and 18K

6K and 8K

2.5K and 4K

Smaller HMIs

When an HMI Fails to Fire

Care and Feeding of HMIs

Xenons

Open Face Lights

Skypan

2K Open Face

1000/600/650 Watt Open Face

Par 64

PAR Groups

Dino, Moleeno, and Wendy

Maxi-Brute

FAYs

HMI PARs

Soft Lights

Space Lights

Fluorescent Rigs

Color Correct Fluorescent Units

Color Correct Bulbs

Cycs, Strips, Nooks, and Broads

Plasma Lights

Other Types of Sources

Chinese Lanterns

Lekos

Crane Mounted Lights

Jokers

Dedolights

Balloon Lights

Barger Lights

LIGHTING BASICS

The Fundamentals of Lighting

The [Conceptual] Tools of Lighting

The Attributes of Light

What are the Goals of Good Lighting?

Full Range of Tones

Shape

Separation

Depth

Texture

Mood and Tone

Exposure and Lighting

Hard vs. Soft

Color Control and Color Balance

Some Lighting Terminology

Working With Hard Light And Soft Light

Hard Light

Soft Light

Direction

Avoiding Flat Front Lighting

Light from the Upstage Side

Backlight and Kicker

Intensity

Adding Texture in Lighting

Color

Lighting Techniques

Classical Hard Light

Ambient

Bringing it Through the Windows

Motivated Lighting And Practicals

Motivated Light

Lighting with Practicals

Available

Basic Principles of Lighting

Back Cross Keys

Ambient Plus Accents

Lighting Through the Windows

Available Light Windows

Day Exteriors

Open Shade and Garage Door Light

Sun As Backlight

Magic Hour

CONTROLLING LIGHT

Hard Light and Soft Light

Fill for Day Exteriors

Silks and Diffusion

Scrims and Barndoors

Flags, Solids, and Nets

Chimeras and Snoots

Softboxes

Eggcrates

The Window Problem

ND For Windows

Cookies, Celos, and Gobos

Dimmers

LED Dimmers

Hand Squeezers

SCENE LIGHTING

Lighting Plans

General Principals of Scene Lighting

Let’s Look at These One by One

Read the Script

Confer With the Director

Light the Scene, Not the Set

Insist on Seeing a Full Rehearsal

Insist on Having Lighting Stand-Ins

What Are the Opportunities?

The Set

The Action

Script Hints

Consider Your Resources

Lights

Power

The Location

The Director’s Concerns

The Plan

Lighting a Scene With Practicals

Lighting/Grip Order

LIGHT AS STORY

Storytelling With Light

Metaphor

Atmosphere

The Power of Darkness

Establish Character

COLOR

Color Terminology

Color Temperature: The Balances

Warm and Cool

Magenta vs. Green

The CIE Diagram

The Spectral Locus

The White Point

The Line of Purples

Color Balance with Gels and Filters

Conversion Gels

Light Balancing Gels

CTO

CTB

Color Correction Gels

Dealing with Fluorescent Light

Correcting Off-Color Lights

HMI

Industrial Lamps

Camera Filtration for Industrial Sources

Measuring Color

Color Meters

The Vectorscope

Calibration Test Charts

DSC Labs Test Charts

The One Shot

The X-Rite ColorChecker

Color as a Storytelling Tool

EXPOSURE

Exposure Theory

What Do We Want Exposure to Do for Us?

The Bucket

Controlling Exposure

Change the Bucket

The Elements of Exposure

Light

F/Stops

The Response Curve

Underexposure

Overexposure

Correct Exposure

Higher Brightness Range in the Scene

Two Types of Exposure

The Bottom Line

Exposure in Shooting RAW Video

The Tools of Exposure

The Incident Meter

The Reflectance Meter

A Different World of Exposure

Setting Exposure with the Waveform Monitor

F/Stops on the Waveform

Exposure Indicators in the Camera

Zebras

Histogram

Traffic Lights and Goal Posts

Goal Posts

Traffic Lights

False Color Exposure Display

Red False Colors

Comparing Red Exposure Modes

Arri Alexa False Colors

Strategies of Exposure

Don’t Let It Clip, but Avoid the Noise

Texture & Detail

The Dilemma

Using Light Meters

Meter the Key

Using the Waveform Monitor

Placing Middle Gray

Start at the Bottom or Start at the Top

Expose to the Right

Zebras

The Monitor

Know Thyself and Know Thy Camera

ELECTRICITY & DISTRO

Measurement of Electricity

Potential

Paper Amps

Electrical Supply Systems

Single-phase

Three-phase

Power Sources

Stage Service

Generators

Large Generator Operation

Guidelines For Running Small Generators

Paralleling Small Generators

Does Paralleling Cause Damage to Generators?

Tie-ins

Tie-in Safety

Determining KVA

Wall Plugging

Load Calculations and Paper Amps

Ampacity

Color Coding

The Neutral

Distribution Equipment

Tie-in Clamps

Busbar Lugs

Connectors

Bull Switches

Feeder Cable

Wire Types

Wire Designation Codes

Distribution Boxes

Lunch Boxes, Snake Bites, and Gangboxes

Extensions (Stingers)

Zip Extensions

Planning a Distribution System

Balancing the Load

Working with DC

Calculating Voltage Drop

Electrical Safety

Wet Work

HMI Safety

Grounding Safety

GFCI

How Does a GFCI work?

GRIPOLOGY

Definitions

Light Controls

Reflectors

Operating Reflectors

Flags and Cutters

Flag Tricks

Nets

Net Tricks

Cuculoris (Cookies)

Grids and Eggcrates

Open Frames

Diffusers

Butterflies and Overheads

Overhead Rules

Griff

Holding

Grip Heads and C-Stands

C-Stand Rules

Highboys

Clamps

Studded C-Clamps

C-Clamp Tips

Bar Clamps

Pipe Clamps

Cardellini and Mafer Clamps

Quaker Clamp

Wall Plates, Baby Plates, and Pigeons

2K Receivers and Turtles

Side Arms and Offset Arms

Other Grip Gear

Sandbags

Apple boxes

Wedges

Candle Sticks

Studded Chain Vise Grips

SET OPERATIONS

The DP

The Team

Gaffer

Assistant Chief Lighting Technician

Third Electric and Electricians

Other Responsibilities

The Key Grip

Grips

Other Crews

Set Operations

Load-In

Staging

The Generator

Cabling

The Process

Rough-In

Blocking

Light

Rehearsal

Shooting

Procedures

Expendables

TECHNICAL ISSUES

Lighting for Greenscreen and Bluescreen

Greenscreen/Bluescreen Tips

Lighting for Process Photography

Flicker

The Power Supply

Flicker-Free HMIs

Dimmers

Dimmer Systems

DMX

Working with Strobes

Strobe Exposure

Lighting and Exposure for High Speed Photography

Exposure

Flicker in High-Speed Photography

Lighting With HMIs and High Speed

Tips for Lighting High-Speed with HMIs

Exposure for Macrophotography

Depth-of-Field in Close-up Work

Lighting for Extreme Close-up

Underwater Filming

Effects

Rain

Smoke

Fire

TV and Projector Effects

Day-for-Night

Moonlight Effect

Water Effects

Lightning

Using the Sun

APPENDIX

Typical Lighting Order For A Small Independent Film

Equipment Order List For a Large Studio Film

Order for a 2nd Unit Night Shoot—Big Budget Film

Light Loss For Common Diffusion Types

Effect Of Diffusion on Color Temp

Lamps and Sockets

Lighting Expendables Order Form

Building Your Own Hand Squeezer

A Typical 5-Ton Truck Package

INDEX

About the Author

Blain Brown was educated at C.W. Post College, MIT, and Harvard Graduate School of Design. He began in New York as a commercial still photographer before starting in the film business. After working as a gaffer, be became a cinematographer doing primarily commercials and music videos. After completing his first feature film, he moved to Los Angeles where he has been Director of Photography on 14 feature films as well as national commercials, promotional films, industrials, music videos, and documentaries. He has worked in many states in the U.S. as well as Mexico, Canada, India, Italy, France, the Philippines, and Jordan. His experience includes 35mm and 16mm projects, as well as 24P High Def, DigiBeta, BetaSP, and DV. He has completed projects as a director, editor and screenwriter; with three screenplays produced. He has also taught courses in storytelling and visual communication. As a Director of Photography specializing in features and commercials, he is now based in Los Angeles. His books include A Sense of Place; Cinematography; and The Filmmaker's Pocket Reference. His work can be seen at www.BlainBrown.com.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PER004000
PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / General