The Language of Lighting
Learn to see light like a master cinematographer and lead a creative collaboration with visual artists.
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What you'll learn
Nine videos with a total runtime of about 4 hours, this workshop is designed to give filmmakers the tools to lead a successful collaboration with lighting designers or design their own lighting.
Seeing the world like a cinematographer
Learn to observe the effects of lighting, remember them, and describe them. All of the effects needed to light any scene originate in the world around us. It just takes a trained eye to see them and the vocabulary to remember and describe them. This ability will also enable you to participate in the design of lighting for your film and lead it as a director.
Design impactful lighting effects
Learn what lighting is motivated by, from story to realism, and how to emulate lighting created naturally or with practicals. Use audience expectations from their own worlds to extend your fictional world beyond the camera’s field of view, or use these expectations to surprise your audience when appropriate. Finally, follow the entire process of lighting design with a written scene from a movie. From script breakdown and analysis to lighting design, we take a step by step approach and then watch the scene as it was filmed.
Designing worlds vs. discovering locations
We will review the difference between lighting on location or on a soundstage. What are the pitfalls to avoid in both locations and to make a soundstage set feel real. When is it appropriate to use practicals to light a scene, and exploring the basics of on-set electricity are explored. Making sense of the breaker board and knowing how to plan for a scene on location while utilizing electricity without causing any damage.
Lighting and the camera
The digital sensor and its effect on lighting. From dynamic range and exposure to the way image sensors see color and how to know if a light is going to look right on screen. What is the difference lighting for a single camera vs. multiple cameras and how to design lighting for multiple angles.
The physics of lighting
What laws of physics, like the inverse square law, are used in lighting and how knowing them is key to creating believable lighting quickly. Lighting measurement, from foot candles to light meters and other tools such as the waveform monitor, vectorscope and histogram used on set and in color correction.
All about color in lighting
A deep dive into color temperature, methods to calculate it and use it both in lighting and the camera. How to tell which filter, or color gel, is right for the scene? How to avoid lamps and effects which may look fine to the naked eye, but will never translate well on a digital image sensor.
What is diffusion and how to create and us soft light? What are the different tools to defuse light and the differences between them?
Lighting on set
What is blocking and how does it affect lighting? How to take lighting into account when blocking a scene and what are the proper on-set procedures to do so? We will review how a set can be run efficiently to allow lighting to be done quickly. The different roles and professionals within the lighting departments will be introduced.
More than a quick way to light a face, conventions are helpful in providing a language to collaborate in pre-production and on set. Learn this important vocabulary so that you may use it when collaborating, using visual references, designing a lighting plan or just know what’s happening aroma you on set.
The types of lighting units
Wha are the primary types of lighting units and the differences between them? What makes an HMI different than a tungsten fresnel, kino-foo or LED light? We will explore each of these technologies so that you can participate in making choices that have an effect on image quality and budget.
"If you are looking to understand cinematography from both a technical and creative perspectives, Tal Lazar is the type of instructor you want"
Sandra Valde, ASC
Cinematographer and Senior letcurer, AFI Conservatory
"Tal's classes are fundamental for the needed communication between the cinematographer and production"
Carolina Costa, AMC
Director & Cinematographer
"Tal mkes the building blocks of cinematography digestable. I am forever thankful for the instrumental knowledge he gave us"