Lighting

It’s important that the viewing audience can see what is going on in the shot and that it is not too dark or too bright. Remember, just because it looks okay to you on set, doesn’t mean it looks good on screen. Look at the shot through the viewfinder and adjust your lighting accordingly.

Can you see everyone and everything clearly? If you are shooting outdoors, keep in mind the weather might change or cloud cover might affect the lighting. Make sure you never shoot directly into the sun or any other bright light source as this can cause flare and damage the lens.

You don’t need expensive lights – just open the curtains, film outside, start filming earlier in the day or choose rooms with adjustable lighting. Use all available lights, such as lamps and overhead lights, to light your scenes well. In some circumstances, a piece of white cardboard can be used to reflect ‘fill light’ onto your actors to soften any shadows that might be in the shot and to better illuminate their faces.

When you’re using natural light, ensure that your actors aren’t standing with their backs to the light because this will make their faces difficult to see.