Posted on by
Back to Lighting...

Critiquing my Scene (1 reply and 1 comment)

2 months ago
Vashistha 2 months ago

Dear Forum members, 

I'm sharing with you a small scene I shot. I reshot it many times with many variations of lighting. I had initially lit the overall ambience with a bounce as well, given cross lighting to the characters, etc, however, that made my source feel weak. I wanted the scene to feel intense.

Finally decided to completely do away with ambience lighting and rather rely on my sources to light the entire scene up. I added supplemental lights for the sources. 

I added extra light before the fire as I wanted it to do some flaring on the lens, however, it's on the frame. Had I known VFX would've done something to blend it into the fire.

I will attach the link to it below. Could you please spare some of your time and critique my work with insights and pieces of advice?»

Thank you in advance!

2 months ago
Vashistha 2 months ago

Have attached screengrabs below
2 months ago

First set-up is really great, from tracking the boy to a double of both of them to a single of the grandma. That’s great. You could reframe better the single of the grandma shot but it’s fine.
Then there is an OTS of the boy and 2 singles for each character. I would have killed the grandma single as I feel the story here is from boys side so his reaction from the OTS and his single is probably all you need. Apart, from that boy OTS you can see grandma face anyways.
Then you have a wide to show the boy moving to the fireplace. Nice. And then a single CU of him with his grandma on the back. That shot is nice too.
But after that you cut back to the wide… why?? You establish already the boy movement and you establish already their position on the scene why going back to the wide on the edit?
Same for the next shot that is a OTS or a grandma POV shot of the boy. Why is that shot there? What’s the information of that shot that we don’t know already?
If you wanted to tell the audience grandmas feeling instead of that shot you could have done a grandmas single on that moment. To tell the audience her reaction and take the chance of that single to show grandma leaving. Then cut to a wide of the whole scene and be done. The wide but served you to show grandma leaving and kids loneliness in front of the fire.
Those are my first feelings watching the scene. Probably what I’m really missing is the CU shot of the book burning, as it is what the whole scene is about I guess. That shot is mandatory, at least to me.
Also to me, the last push out of the wide is meaningless. I would have not done it. I feel the story is about the boy so the audience have to stick with the boy and his feelings. The push out there breaks it in my opinion. But I understand nowadays everyone is on the push out-push in game.
Lighting wise you need tones and tones of more light. A dark and moody scene has not to be with low levels of light. We sometimes confuse a dark scene with low levels of light but it is not.
You could have brung the whole ambient light a bit and then use fire and candle as the main “fake” sources of light. Also the small fixture next to the fire doesn’t work. It’s too distracting and the flares are off putting. Also whatch out people using glasses and reflections. You can move the light around or use various techniques to avoid the glass reflections. Easiest is just to not use any glass on the glasses.

Back to Lighting...