Monday, 5 November 2012

Research - Mise En Scene/Lighting - Ms Heath

What is lighting?
Lighting is used to convey mood and atmosphere in a specific scene or a film. It can also be used to guide the audience’s attention to a particular object, person, emotion or gesture. Lighting can also be used to cast shadows and build tension and suspense.

Key terms: Angles of lighting:
Under lighting:
The main source of light comes from below the person. As portrayed in the example under lighting tends to have a distorting effect on the character and is mostly used in thriller or horror specific films.

Top lighting:
The main source of lighting comes from above. As shown in the example, top lighting highlights the features of a character. It’s also used to create a glamorous look in a character.

Back lighting:
This is when the light source is behind an character/object. If little or no lights are used, silhouettes are created. As shown in the example, there is a dark outline around the object which is visible against a lighter background.

Types of lighting:
This is when the lighting is dark with only small areas of light. This also creates shadows.  As shown in the example dark lighting has been used to portray the cat.

High-key lighting is when lighting appears more natural and realistic to the viewer. For example in a film it could be used to create a joyful mood with a mum and her children.

Natural lighting:
This is when no lighting effects has been put into practice, it is what the viewer is expected to see. As displayed in the example, we can see natural lighting used to portray the sunset onto a sea.

What genres might use low-key lighting?
Low-key lighting is mainly used in the horror thriller or genre to create suspense and to control how much of the surrounding scene is revealed.
What genres might use high-key lighting?
High-key lighting is frequently used in classical Hollywood films because it gives an overall lighting design which uses the fill light and back light to create low contrast between brighter and darker areas. Mostly used in daylight, but also can be used at night scenes.
Low-key lighting in thrillers:
In the example we can see a scene from Taken 2 which demonstrates low-key lighting being used and the use of dark lighting with only small areas of light. This also creates shadows which increases the level of intensity in the scene.

Low-key lighting and the atmosphere created:
The location with low-key lighting is usually somewhere like an abandoned house or an alleyway. The characters mainly consist of the usual protagonist and the antagonist.
The moon and the gutter:
While watching I realised that the use of low-key was dominant throughout the video. The affect that this had was that it added suspense and it gave an idea about the lighting that the lady was witnessing, which the dark lighting was used in affect also with the shade of small areas of light, for example when they were showing the shadow of the moon on the puddle. The lighting made me understand more clearly the situation that the lady was in and gave the sense that the lady was in trouble


  1. Onat, a clear understanding of the differences between types of lighting and how lighting is used to represent different characters, such as the antagonist and the protagonist.

    To improve;

    Develop your understanding with further discussion on each of the examples which you have provided.

    Explain how they are used to create different meanings. For example, discuss why the example of top lighting in the scream images is used and what response this could evoke from the audience.

    Provide a conclusion stating what you have learned from the lesson, and some of the ideas of lighting that you plan to use in your own thriller.

    1. Please make the changes noted above to your work.