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Code Completion Credits Range Language Instruction Semester
304EAC ZK 3 24S English summer

Subject guarantor

Name of lecturer(s)

Learning outcomes of the course unit

Practical experience with studio lighting

Mode of study

practical exercise

Prerequisites and co-requisites

advanced experience as cinematographers, ability to handle more advanced filmmaking tasks

Successful completion of lighting seminar 1-4 and workshop shots in studio 1 and camera (arri3) provided by studio famu film set (3wall room with big window and door, small room as kitchen, bathroom or extra room TBD; backdrop) provided by studio famu

Course contents

Short fiction depicting various light atmospheres; light changes in the shot; use of practical lights; dramaturgic use of light; correct exposure according to the intended atmosphere.

Literary script:

The story of a night opens with a darkened room illuminated by street light.

The atmosphere is suddenly disturbed by an unknown person entering. The figure moves around the room with distinctive uncertainty and finds out the pieces of furnishing in the light of a torch (pocket light). The stranger’s expression reveals a certain degree of concentration and curiosity. He walks through the spaces when, suddenly, he is interrupted by light turned on in the hallway next door by a girl coming in. The stranger hides quickly. The girl takes off her coat; she is distressed and suspects she is not alone there. She enters a room and turns the ceiling light on, looks around but finds nothing suspicious.

She goes back to the hallway and turns the light out. She also turns off the light in the room, walks over to her vanity table, carrying her handbag; there, she turns on a table lamp and removes her make up. Her actions are constantly observed by the stranger. Once she has finished with her face, she turns the lamp off, walks over to the bedside table where she turns on a bedside lamp. She takes her clothes off. The stranger’s attention intensifies. The girl puts on a nightie and lies down. The stranger quietly approaches the girl and turns the bedside lamp off. The girl freezes, turns over towards the source of noise and then quickly curls up in the corner of the sofa. She can see the silhouette of a figure against the window, coming closer. In a flash, the stranger turns on the torch (pocket light) which pours sharp light on her helpless, scared face. The stranger mercilessly walks closer and closer. The girl has been overcome by fear. His other hand is holding the glinting blade of an enormous knife. The girl has no more strength; she collapses and falls down unconscious. A vigorous move of the knife not aimed to hurt the victim, the girl.

Possible use of this script, but not mandatory. Light changes specified in this syllabus must be respected though.

If a student doesn’t submit a synopsis of an original, own script at least 3 months before shooting, this given script will be shot. In any case the approval schedule described below has to be followed.

Technical specs:

•b/w, 35mm,

•480m eastman double-x negative film 5222

•Final length max. 120m

•Number of shots: min. 15, max. 25

•Floor plan, set remains basically identical for everyone

Based on the given literary script, the student creates a technical script / shooting board (15- 25 shots). The scripts, shooting plan, lighting plan, production plan and budget, art department need to be approved prior to shooting.

Approval schedule:

Synopsis: (head teacher) 3 months before shooting

literary script: (head teacher) 2 months before shooting

technical script/ shooting board: (head teacher) 1 months before shooting

art department: (Petra Lebdušková) 1 month before shooting

production plan and budget: (studio famu) 1 month before shooting

shooting plan, floor plan, lighting plan: 2 weeks before shooting

Obligatory light changes: (WS = wide shot, MS = medium shot, CU = close up)

  1. “film night” - light accent through the window from outside: WS
  2. “film night” with effect of electric torch: WS, MS, CU
  3. “film night” with silhouette against the night window with torch effect: MS
  4. switching on and off of a light in the other room: MS
  5. switching on and off of ceiling light: MS
  6. switching on and off of practical lights
  7. at least one shot with a metal surface reflecting in the light during a movement. (hence the name: “stainless steel knife”)

Light changes must be executed during the shot, without changing the T-stop. (6 times)

The size and angle of the shots must be chosen in a way, that these light changes are intelligible and expressive.

Light effects like police alarm lights and similar are possible but are not considered light changes

Recommended or required reading

american cinematographer’s manual

John Alton, “Painting with Light”

Sven Nykvist, “Reverence for the light” 1997

D. Schaefer and L. Salvato, “Masters of light” 1984

F. Truffaut, “le cinema selon Hitchcock” 1966

K. Malkiewicz, “film lighting” 1986

D. Samuelson, “motion picture, camera and lighting equipment” 1980

Studio´s FAMU equipment

The White book – Production list

Assessment methods and criteria

all students must be present all the time - helping each other out

screening - with classified grade from commission (klauzura)


No sync sound shooting, silent.

Studio FAMU equipment only:

camera: arri 3 with standard settings (see White Book)

no zoom

4perf; shutter 180 degrees @ 25fps

aspect ratio 1:1.85

Camera moves: pan, tilt, travelling. NO jib. NO crane. NO steadycam. NO gimbals etc.


SFX: NO rain or snow. Drops on windows possible. Wind possible. NO OPEN FIRE like torches, fireplaces, flame cutters etc.

NO explosions or gunshots.

Cigarettes with reserve, if permitted by supervisor.

Smoke, haze, fog etc. strongly NOT recommended (only if permitted by supervisor).

The set will be built to meet the requirements of this exercise (after consultation with film architect) and WILL STAY THE SAME FOR ALL STUDENTS (floorplan, window, doors, wall colours). Changes to the floorplan in the set and wall colours cannot be accepted. Each student choses/ finds own props, furniture etc. upon consultation with supervisor and Studio FAMU person in charge.

Each student has 1/2 day prep, 2 days shooting, 1/2 day liquidation

During shooting the studio working hours have to be respected


  1. shooting
  2. developing of negative 480m in film lab
  3. grading of dailies in film lab according to grey chart/onelight with presence of student
  4. film print, 480m - “dailies” according to grey chart with screening
  5. editing of film print on classical analog editing table with editor from editing dpt: no sound; “creative edit”
  6. creative edit screening for mentor for approval prior to handing the print to the film lab
  7. cutting of negative in CT lab according to “creative edit” = serviska
  8. grading in film lab with presence of student
  9. film print; silent; maximum 120m screening for mentor
  10. final year exams (klauzury ) KK 2nd year, CINKK 1st year
  11. scan of negative max. 120m
  12. analysis with teacher
  13. grading of digi intermediate
  14. sound postproduction with supervisor’s approval
  15. screening for mentor: compoarison film print vs digi print
  16. digiprint with sound: DCP made by Studio FAMU, screening at bachelor exam for KK and graduation set for CINKK (+ export to ProRes 422)

steps 11-16 are part of the seminar “colour grading workshop 1” and take place in the following semester

Further information

No schedule has been prepared for this course

The subject is a part of the following study plans