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Cinematography Lighting


On this page you will find a collection of lighting plans I have completed for various clients. I enjoy having time to prepare before larger shoots and I do this through lighting plans. I usually complete a lighting plan once I have done a recce of the location and have spoken at length with the director and producer about the scale of the project and the vision that needs to be created. 

Once I have a good idea of what we are trying to achieve I go back and start working out what certain key frames will look like and work out what equipment is needed and where I would need to place it to achieve that 'look'. This is all within a sliding scale of what the budget is for the project.

I find turning up with a lighting plan takes the pressure off the first setup (when there is usually the most to do in terms of getting kit in the right areas of where it needs to go). Once we are rolling it is usually quite a fluid process and the lighting plan becomes more of a rough guide I keep in the back of my mind rather than gospel. 

House Scene

The scene took place in the hallway to a house. The only direct windows into the hallway were from the obscured window panes in the front door. Several rooms off the central hallway did have access to outside windows however, so I decided to light mostly from the outside of the house and open some doors to let light in.

I used 2x Arri D25 HMI lights. Essentially one was at the front of the house for key light and one at the side of the house giving a backlight. The key had to go through the front door window and I opened up the downstairs loo door to let some light in through the obscured glass there.

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This had to be finely balanced as at the end of the scene she opens the door, so I couldn't have it blow out as soon as she did that. I used a Litepanels Gemini on low intensity behind the camera position to give some fill as well.

As there was some camera movement in this first wide shot which revealed a bit of the stairway I stuck an Arri 650 up there and bounced it very subtly off the wall giving the impression an upstairs light had been left on. This just created a bit of interest and warmer light in the background as they past in front and into the daylight hallway.

I'll also include some more BTS and a picture from the recce we did. It was taken from my phone but it does give an idea of the difference lighting makes to a location (just in case it wasn't already obvious!).

Office Scene

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The interesting thing about this space was we were shooting one scene as a daytime office scene and one as a 'later that day' office where the office was closed. So it gave me the chance to take some light away and cool the temperatures.

It was important to keep the office space clear of lights so the actors and camera could move about the space. I had one 1x1 clamped to the ceiling and the rest were outside the glass partition. We were a few floors up so it wasn't an option to put any big lights outside the window so I controlled the natural daylight by putting up some black material.

The story is a laptop has been left out on the office. The cleaner enters later that day and steals it. I took away the warm colour temperature lights for the cleaner scene and introduced some cooler temps to give it a feeling of late in the day. Unfortunately as this was a low budget film we were limited on what we could do with setup and it was also a working office which meant we could not control the windows at the far side of the building which ideally would have been done to reduce the daylight spill. 

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