Week 10 – Lighting for Documentaries

Week 10

A big hands on week this week. As you know I’ve been threatening some lighting workshops for a few weeks now…..this week, we finally get around to it.

Plan for Week 10:

  1. Lighting workshops x 4
  2. Watch the remainder of Cunnamulla
  3. Project/Blog Updates

1. Lighting Workshop x 4

  • Shooting Outdoors
  • Shooting indoors with Natural Light
  • Shooting indoors with mixed light (natural & artificial)
  • Shooting indoors with artificial light

The Chiaroscuro Principle

The Basics

Our aim here is to investigate some simple lighting principals. (See the 2 attached docs above) This will hopefully hold you in good stead as you move in to the production stage of your projects. We’ll focus on getting the best images in the quickest time.

In any production, time and money is usually in short supply and with documentary production we often don’t have the luxury of being able to spend a long time setting up our shots. With this in mind lets focus on a few different shooting situations and put our efforts towards maximising what we have in each set up.

Certain principals carry through each of these shooting situations while at the same time each one presents challenges which you need to be aware of. We’ll be moving through each of these situations methodically and while we’re at it let’s make sure we’re capturing good quality sound as well.

Class Exercise: An interview portrait

In groups of 4 conduct an interview. Pick a person to be the subject and another to be the interviewer. This is about making the best quality interview portrait you can muster. The framing, the sound, the light, the composition of the pictures should be right, the editing smooth and “seem-less”. Within the short time of 3 minutes the film should give us a portrait of a person, especially the inner life interests of this person. Try to interview about the hobby, interest or secret passion of the person. Preparations may take a long time, but the film should be short and concentrated – an “inter-view” going deep!

When we complete the workshops lets now look at some well lit interviews and think about how they achieved the look:


2. Screening – Cunnamulla
Following from week 9 we’ll watch the 2nd half.

3. Discussion: Project progress
Please share with the class any updated information you may have regarding the progress of your own documentary projects. Any rushes to show?

4. Homework.
Continue with your blog entries; updating them with the progress of your project.

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