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Studio/Field Lighting Recommendations

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Studio/Field Lighting Recommendations
on Dec 20, 2007 at 10:46:47 am

Hi everyone, I am looking to step up my lighting knowledge. I have been filming and editing for a few years now, and have come to the point where I really need to focus on lighting! I dont have the time to do classes, so I am looking to get some books, dvds, or anything along the lines (of course focused on lighting for film). Any recommendations?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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todd mcmullen
Re: Studio/Field Lighting Recommendations
on Dec 22, 2007 at 2:54:26 pm

well, there lies the rub...

If you don't have time for actual testing and practice of lighting, then I am positive a book or a dvd will not sharpen your focus for steping up your knowledge of lighting with any expedious results.

Understanding the art of lighting takes experimentation and practice. As well as understanding camera blocking and camera angles.

So with that in mind, I would concentrate on setting up scenes with a camera and a few actors and block it and then light it. Do this a few different ways and you will understand lighting more than seeing a diagram in a book and trying to replicate it on a real shoot.

If this scenario is not part of your vocabulary then I would focus on magazines like American Cinematographer, international camera guild, etc.. these can give you examples of how other people have shot and lit scenes.

Todd McMullen
Flip Flop Films

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Steve Wargo
Re: Studio/Field Lighting Recommendations
on Dec 24, 2007 at 6:38:23 am

Ask a local well known filmmaker if you can tag along on some shoots. Maybe you can work as crew and trade for the opportunity to learn from the lighting director. This is tough to learn from books. In person, you can see the immediate result of a gel, a diffuser, a different angle, 3200 vs 5600, etc.

Because lighting is the most important part of cinematography, you won't learn much in a hurry.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

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Emre Tufekci
Re: Studio/Field Lighting Recommendations
on Dec 24, 2007 at 2:52:09 pm

Todd and steve have given you excellent advice. Even though you stated you dont have time for classes you really should consider attending the lighting workshop in Rockport, Maine. It's a week long course that is so intense it will keep your mind spinning for at least another 6 months. It's not cheap but well worth the cost. Look up the class by Michael Minock.

Also the best way to learn (as mentioned by steve) is teaming up with a DoP and learning from them. Having access to gear/knowledge is very important.

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