UNDERSTANDING HOW TO LIGHT WINDOWS IS AN IMPORTANT SKILL FOR EVERY FILMMAKER. READ OUR COMPREHENSIVE INDIE-FILMMAKER’S GUIDE FOR WINDOW-LIGHTING TIPS THAT CAN BRIGHTEN UP YOUR GAME.
Written by Devan Scott
It’s the first day of your shoot. You arrive on location; it’s an interior. Daytime. You need to figure out how the heck you’re going to light this blank canvass of a room. Those of us tasked with shooting independent films have all been there, and those of you who want to shoot independent films will just as inevitably encounter this situation. Yet despite its commonality, this is one of the trickier situations you’ll be asked to shoot in.
Rooms are dark, surprisingly so! On film, an unlit room photographs much like a cave: mostly dark, with some bright points of light. In most rooms, these bright points are windows. They cut and control the real source of light: the sun.
How can we corral and enhance the sun to render rooms less cave-like, and more suitable to our storytelling needs? Here are some simple principles.