Setting the Mood with Lighting

There are a few different filming techniques that one can use to convey emotion; however, no one technique is quite as effective as lighting. There are a lot of factors to consider when putting together your lighting design. Are you filming a comedy, drama or horror film? Do you want the overall tone to be bright, emotional or suspenseful? It all comes down to emotion; what do you want your viewers to be feeling as they watch each scene? You can successfully create emotional responses in your viewers simply by employing the right lighting "horror film lighting""comedic lighting"techniques.

There are three basic lighting elements that you should work with when trying to achieve particular moods/emotions: key, contrast and color. Key refers to the proportion of light to dark in an image; contrast refers to the range and gradation of the tones from black to white; and color is pretty self-explanatory. Once you’ve decided what mood you’d like to invoke the next step is to decide whether to go with high-key or low-key lighting, then you will use contrast and color for the fine-tuning.

If you look at two film genres on the opposite ends of the emotional spectrum, you will get a better sense of just how important lighting is to mood. Think about some of the comedies you’ve watched recently, the lighting was probably soft, bright and warm. This kind of lighting design conveys a cheerful feeling in order to foster an environment of comfort and laughter. Now think back to the last horror movie you watched, that film more than likely used hard, shadowy and ominous lighting techniques. These lighting techniques create a suspenseful and fearful environment that leaves the viewer feeling uneasy.

The bottom line is this: No matter what emotion you are trying to invoke with your film, lighting is key. Whatever your lighting design calls for, RatPac’s wireless dimmers are just what you need to get the job done. We offer rentals as well as dimmer sales—so whatever your budget, RatPac can help you convey the perfect mood with  you’re sure to love.

Horror Film Lighting

Last weekend was Halloween weekend, and for us movie buffs that meant hours upon hours of horror film screenings. As we sat there in suspense it got us thinking, what is it exactly that causes those spine-tingling feelings? Well, it is a few different factors combined that create the chills and thrills, but the lighting has A LOT to do with it. And when lighting is such an important piece of the puzzle, wireless dimmers are the only way to go.

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A little dramatic lighting goes a long way. If you think about it, there really cannot be dark without light; think shadowy figures, back-lit silhouettes and spooky half-lit faces. It’s the kind of lighting that could mean anything. That shadowy figure could just be some poor sap taking a midnight stroll around the block or a serial killer stalking his next victim. The suspense is in the unknown, and the unknown is exaggerated by the lighting.
Colored lighting can also help up the thrill-factor of a horror film. Think about your favorite scary movie, chances are there’s a scene or two with a red –or green or blue—tint to the lighting. Colored lighting works best in a horror film, adding an eerie aura to any freaky scene.
Here’s something else to think about: Lighting can be especially tricky for horror films due to the unorthodox locations where they tend to shoot. Lighting a forest scene or an abandoned old hospital is no picnic. RatPac Wireless Dimmers are the answer to all your horror film needs! No matter where you’re shooting, no matter what effects you’re going for, our dimmer packs will help you achieve the perfect lighting situation anywhere. We offer rentals as well as dimmer sales; so whatever your needs, give RatPac Dimmers a call today.