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Lighting for Mood

Lesson 13 from: Guerilla Filmmaking

Ryan Connolly

Lighting for Mood

Lesson 13 from: Guerilla Filmmaking

Ryan Connolly

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Lesson Info

13. Lighting for Mood

Next Lesson: Lighting Setups Q&A


Class Trailer

Day 1


Writing Your Story


Script Breakdowns and Shooting Schedules


Finding Cast and Crew


VFX in Pre-Production


Filming Gear: Audio


Filming Gear: Camera


Filming Gear: Lenses


Lesson Info

Lighting for Mood

Next we're going to talk about lighting for mood so we've already been talking about high key and low key brother you knew that was coming so high key would be when there's a lot less contrast right? So it's like a sitcom you're getting a lot closer to what the key light and the film light is uh why don't we grab that can light again so we could just illustrate that real quick uh loki his brother is a lot more contrast e you know want to come you know why don't you back up just a touch right there's good and josh let's let's correct exposure for that you're good you're good let's go right there. Oh, man this looks like a get out and vote rock the boat man yeah, keep it loose and if I were to say go loose with this shot shot what would you do way unlock everything and we kind of let things breathe a little bit we're not just fully locked down we create some breathing room a little bit of action a little more energy in the frame but go ahead and lie back down look towards here josh on mo...

re more and more that way yeah that's that's good let's actually take the camera let's go about two feet that way let's not worry about the flare just yet god it's actually keep coming at you so I'm trying to put the shadow on camera side that's always more interesting to put the very bright side of the face on camera side and it's going to look a little more flat you're not going the death that you want by creating that layer of light starting with the shadow it's going to create a lot more interest because you can already see and this would be, uh, very low key lighting, huh? A lot of contrast, but I really like this actually, I kind of want to roll on it just so I can keep it, so I love how the light is shifting over and we're just getting just a bit of his eye right there. So josh, one of my hand here come a little bit more this way with your head just to touch a little bit more no, too much back back back right there. I love that super dramatic we've got a great eye light going and the lights just slipping over to the other eye, but look over here let's see if we can retain the key so way lose the eye entirely, almost, but we still got that I light in there so we could still see where his eyes so it's still alive so we could play with that as well and sometimes could be very interesting. Safer villain. Same right here. We're trying to piece of two minds of something. Maybe let me go this way a little bit more and we're visually cutting him right down the middle, which is really interesting to me. You wanna bring let's, bring the can light over here. Good. Kick it on. Okay, I have to comment now that josh is yawning because people in the charts like she actually looks some boredom, the tension and then a mag. Smith said, can you get george some coffee over here? Just do something entertaining. Yeah, yeah. Job, you know, that's a good example, actually, of, you know, dealing with stuff on set with actors when you start to see actors sort of slip out on you, it's fun, a really good idea to create something fun, create kind of like an ongoing joke. If you watch the on set sort of thing that we did for proximity, I had to ask my actor to repeatedly throw himself into the ground where there was these thorns, we tried to clear him out, but they were still there. For the most part, there was, like, cow poop everywhere so we might land and that's why I had to ask him, like maggie, just go for it, we need to a shot at by making you know I made a joke out if he had to take a socks off so I wore sakas a necklace he said if you wear my soccer the necklace I'll do it I'm like bring it on so I have a dirty nasty smelling sock right here on my shirt but it became I always look for these and the second that they pop up I'm grabbing form and I'm going with it because what happens is you create this inside joke for you your crew, your actors that you guys could just mess around with and now have fun with lightens the mood a lot and anything you can do to go that route do that so the second I saw him getting a little bit irritated we could start joking about sock again picked his mood right back up and you're good to go and that's kind of an example of it if josh is getting bored starting to lose them a little bit we make a joke we all rally together he's in good moods again we continue that that actually worked out let's bring them back over are you less bored now john are you russia to be fun you're a part of it man let's let's bring it so go a little bit that way and that's kind of you could see already why you don't really want to put your fill light over there we're getting some odd shadows it's not quite doing what we want you could see this little triangle shadow happening on this side of his cheek if the light would stay on for us all right now come or close uh let's move this out of the way for you let's go towards camera bit more and just start trucking keep it going it's a lot nicer phil let's bring it up a little higher as well you and a little left back step back one step that's good. So this is you know, not super high key but in the range we're getting little contrast let's step forward a step and that would be super high key that's what you know you're starting to balance both those lights were using harsh lights obviously we should be diffusing this a bit we have some diffusion we could throw in this real quick start grab me a pan a little piece of diffusion that's what you're gonna get like the sitcom me feel or or the you know the comedic sort of film type vibe going on is when you got that really hi key sort of thing again let's step back a little bit more that just reminds me of the men in black scene where he's like moving the desk it sounds like you're doing a war in the theater where people bring like ten thousand bags and you're trying to watch the movie and it's just that has nothing to do with anything that's much better now let's truck it in a bit aereo that's a lot nicer so little there you go that's going a little further. All right, now we're in the high key area and let's just slowly start backing up so this is a big part of deciding what you want your shot to be is how much failure you're gonna have stop all right now let's turn it off so none at all you've got a really extreme look back on getting a lot of phil there were bringing detail back we still really contrast is shot but we got just enough detail to play with later so that's a big part of setting you're seeing things you could put that down take a seat, it's a big part about setting your scene is your deciding on what level of contrast you want on top of you know where you're putting the light as well? We talked about harsh life versus soft light but let's talk about angle of light you gotta happening again. I'm gonna use and led for this one wait a yeah can you come over here and let's get enough space? Yeah, I'm plugged that let's plug this guy in way to go ahead and kill that backlight you could take a seat now let's get the led london e eso angle of light is another big thing that you have in your little toolbox to try to convey x I want to get that reminds me of that little actress segment we showed what happened there you've gotta get that we need that later all right uh so angle of light right back to what we were talking about uh so for instance you could do something like going top flight top lip you wantto change up the exposure bit you know and you've got sort of an interrogation scene type feel it's feeling a touch sinister if you want to go really sinister you can kind of bottom like them which is a little you know could be a little contrived but if you do it a little more subtly because of the shadows we're getting on the face but an extreme version would obviously be this but it's feeling more like a campfire story we go a little higher like this here is because well that's usually what we expect of lighting any lights in your house the sun it's all usually a little a little bit higher and we're getting a nice contrast if u what happened? Remember okay nothing before uh you're getting nice shadows under the eyebrows with the nose as you bring it down it's getting a little more flat it kind of looks like he's looking directly into the light or tv I am blinding everyone I know let's go the other out shelling so the angle of light is really gonna just how the scene feels as well again a topper which I do love a little bit of a pill on the other side would be looking pretty great bottom light not something I used that often because it's looking a little a little bit much a little contrived good good that I'm blinding myself now they don't just stay right there for me perfect then let's can you kick on that backlight again for me josh you wanna like that up you josh oh no light up a cigarette I met but no that's fine we need that on too so that works that way you want to dim that down a touch for me can you track this back so atmosphere uh we'll talk about fog a little bit later but you can do other stuff outside of like fog that smells horrible fog and taking yours does it yeah what does it taste like like I'm looking metal let's let's bring it this way just a touch of let's say putting half they go yeah and I did this with proximity using the sun is the backlight let's take it up a bit right there that's good let's shift the tungsten it's just a simple simple added element in the scene that really does a lot your head take another puff and with that back light we're getting a really awesome look out of that and if we move this way playing with the backlight don't worry about flare anything couldn't take another puff frame him up he would get did nero right now but it's his straightforward so it's kind of engulfing your face little more that way puff puff my friend let this way so like breathe it out right here so we're getting this really cool like shaft of smoke where the smoke is kind of revolving around his head since his head is creating this sort of shadow here so the smoke is really getting picked up right here and you can use that to great effect with you know like villains stuff it's a little also again a little bit on the nose but used all the time I actually use it in proximity backlit that smoking it looked really cool added a lot of the scenes something very very simple but added a lot to the scene these air herbal so it's not deadly to anyone uh it's is that sap like dinner? Is it not okay so it's the idea of just creating atmosphere I've even done it toe where you don't swap you want to sit here stand here for me to stand here and just go ahead and take a puff and pretty much right in front of the line so now it's almost like we have a haze or fog machine in the room and we don't. But we're back lighting that smoke and it's still very, very heavy in the scene. Another trick that we did with cigarettes was in a short film. I did. Even before film riot was, we took a straw because we had, like these terrible, terrible prop guns. We take the straw to the side of the barrel and then make the strong very long had someone take a puff of a cigarette holding the gun right about here, to where the cameras and blue in the straw. And now the gun is smoking at the very end, cigarettes, and that sort of atmosphere can really add a lot to the shot.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

1080p Screen Insert
2.40 Aspect Wide Screen Template
Rule of Thirds
Storyboard Template
Storyboard Template
Class Footage - 1
Class Footage - 2
Class Footage - 3
Class Keynotes
Stark Assets
Guerilla Filmmaking Outline
Gear Guide

Ratings and Reviews

Samuel Befekadu

I bet this class will be awesome. the course is given by Ryan Connolly!! I have been watching this guy for more that 5 years. I just wasn't serous about film making then. but now since i love film making why not try to be one of them by learning form the best in the field like Rayn. he has been inspiration for a lot of film maker from his YouTube channel Film Riot. his way of teaching so funny and entertaining . I bought this course to learn Ryan Connolly's killer skill. Thanks creative live and Ryan Connolly!

Will Green

Great class! It starts at a very simplistic level and covers the full spectrum of filmmaking. I would not necessarily buy this course for advanced film students, however it is an amazing review for beginner students to intermediate students. I would love to see a BTS of a short film from start to finish. I've seen all of Ryan's BTS shorts and I would greatly enjoy a much more intricate play by play of the short. THAT"S SOMETHING I WOULD PAY A LOT TO SEE. An 18 hour compilation of prepro - post of a short would be awesome.

Jonathan Beresford

Love Ryan and everyone at Film Riot. Excellent course of the excellent quality I've come to expect from them. I just wIsh he'd act more. So funny.

Student Work