Lighting checklist



1. Demands of the story. Where do we need to see actual colors – and which? (for example we need to see a rat turning green, we cannot light the scene in a monochrome poppy colour.


2. Film works in contrasts. So when a scene has to seem bright, the previous scene has to be dark, if a scene has to seem loud, the prevous has to be quiet and so on) We cannot start bright and get brighter or dark and get darker….


So find the key needs and esthetic effects in the film and in the scenes first.


3. go from those particular key events and design the scenes which have no special lighting needs backwards 

but design the changes between them.


4. Avoid change between cuts. Follow the editing rules

a.) of “three elements continuity” and

b.) the rule “+1 -1” and

c.) the continuity of colour.

Changes should be within the single takes as evolving elements, not between!


4. create the most interesing and (contrasty) design of the single scenes without exagerating into “randomness” apply the the rule of two colours per scene”. 


5. Use light and shadow to create a 3-dimansional world avoid the “light shower” from allover the place – especially frontlight!  Create light pools.


6. Use the colour contrast to create mood and esthetic feel of the film following the psychology of coulours.


7. in case of green screen or blue screen use opposite colours for separation and avoiding spill