You know those creepy scene in movies where it's dark -- like bluish or dark grey? I'm wondering how to achieve this kind of shot. Lighting setup, lens, etc?


  • edited November 2017

    I’m no expert by any means, however if it was me, I’d do it this way: one light source (I’ve used an iPad/iPhone for a pretty good single source low light effect) for that moon lit look for harsh shadows. If you want a bit of light on the opposite side of the talent to throw them out from the background use either a ring light or a bounce board.

    Cookies can be made out of cardboard to give you shadows that look like Venetian blinds etc.

    Camera on raw setting to give you maximum detail and information to work with later. Once footage is imported in software, use the various colour correction tools until you get the bluish effect you want. 

    I’m sure there are better answers to come from others.

    have a look at this from the lovely guys at film riot

    and this might be helpful (I’ve not watched this one)

  • Okay, another newbie question: Can you put a light on a boom pole?  I Ddo't haver a boom pole yet, but I think I saw  saw someone use one to get some overhead light.

  • Ryan answers a question similar to yours at approx 1:30 mark

  • The first stage is in the lighting. Lighting for darkness is actually pretty bright normally... except that you don't fill in the shadows as much. Using a blue overall tone helps with the night time effect also.

    But really, the secret is simple: shadows. Even in a moonlight scene, remember that the key light is still quite bright -- it's reflected sunlight after all, and the moon has a relatively high albedo. It's far enough away that its light is fairly hard, so the shadows should be hard also.

    If you're concerned about noise in the shadows, use an exposure that gives you reasonable detail there. Use a lighting ratio of 4-5 stops or more, and keep the highlights on skin tones especially consistent. In post, bring the exposure down enough to crush the shadows, and you'll get a pretty good start on a night time scene right there. Add a little bit of blue to the shadows, especially in an outdoor scene, and you're well on your way.

    Just don't fall into the classic trap of making it dark. That tends to lead to a look where you the audience has trouble reading the actors' performances, and when you raise the exposure to make them visible, you end up adding so much noise that the overall image looks like mush.

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