Any time I am given a job to light something whether it be a commercial, a narrative, or anything in between, I first ask myself what the project/story is asking for (in terms of light). More often than not I will need a variety of lights for a variety of different situations, but that’s not always the case. Recently I worked on a project for a little film festival in the boonies of Wisconsin with a few friends. In an ideal world we would have been given days and days to plan our lighting layouts and shot lists, but we weren’t, we were given two days. In order to keep on schedule while staying true to our story we opted to shoot bare-bones, natural light.
The name of our project was Won’t, a story about Tanner Lofgren the NHL’s best hockey player as he abandons his team during the middle of their playoff push. There were a few things I loved while working on this project. For one, I got to get together with some friends and make a movie, which seems to never happen these days, that was amazing by itself. Another thing that was a real breathe of fresh air was being able to utilize natural light, there is something so beautiful about how it wraps the face, it can be so incredibly gentle and also so aggressive.
I really enjoyed our indoor scenes during this shoot, they were elegant and strong, but with that said; our outdoor scenes did not hold the same emotion as the indoor ones. There are a few reasons for that I feel, one we were stuck shooting in the dead of the afternoon for a few of our scenes. This led to our image turning a bit flat and faces to loose a bit of that “grit”. Ideally we would have shot the sidewalk scene with the sun coming from the side, and a bit later in the day, but the location was a bit to good to pass and we needed to get rolling, the trails and tribulations of 48hr film festivals.
In the end I was very happy with our final edit. I felt we used our resources effectively and told a beautiful story. Sometimes you don’t need all the bells and whistles to get a wonderful image, you simply need a window and some talented friends.
Until Next Time.