Part of Lesson Plan: Three-Point Lighting System
Activity Overview / Details
How do filmmakers create emotion, texture, depth and shadow in their compositions – AND What movie making tools can be used to alter the ‘feel’ of a movie to change a scene from romantic into a comedy, or turn a dramatic scene and turn it into a horror scene?
Film cannot exist without light. Filmmakers utilize natural and artificial light to produce dramatic effects. Film lighting plays a key role in the storytelling process.
There are three main lighting schemes used in film. One is the Key light; the primary light that is used to stimulate the natural light (like a ceiling light or from the window). This light sets up the main illumination on the subject or person and defines visible lighting and shadows.
Second is called the Fill light. This light softens and extends the illumination established by the key light and makes the subject or person more visible. This creates a secondary light source such as a table lamp or lantern.
The third light is called the Rim light, also known as the Back light. It adds a bright line around the main object of focus and gives it a “heavenly” glow.
All of these lights play a big role in setting the mood of a film. There are many other light placements that can create many different looks. All ways are in aspiration to create the perfect film.
Note to teacher: **IMPORTANT** This lighting system is based on Portrait and Interview style production. This system is NOT to be used for dramatic, or realistic type field production.
The main purpose of this lighting system is to create separation between the subject and the background - which helps to create depth within the composition.
Next, the class views a video called Four-point Lighting.
Students are put into groups and asked to use the Think-pair-share model to discuss what they learned from the video about the three-point lighting system. For information about 'Think-Pair-Share', goto: http://olc.spsd.sk.ca/DE/PD/instr/strats/think/
With teacher prompting and modeling, the teacher types the key vocabulary words of the lesson on the projector screen as students identify them.