Name of lecturer(s)
Learning outcomes of the course unit
Practical experience with studio lighting
Mode of study
Prerequisites and co-requisites
Basic experience as cinematographers, ability to handle essential filmmaking tasks. Successful completion of Shots in Studio.
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.
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.
•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.
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)
- “film night” - light accent through the window from outside: WS
- “film night” with effect of electric torch: WS, MS, CU
- “film night” with silhouette against the night window with torch effect: MS
- switching on and off of a light in the other room: MS
- switching on and off of ceiling light: MS
- switching on and off of practical lights
- 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
Assessment methods and criteria
a)end of 1st year: screening of silent film print
b)part of the final set of work (DCP)
All screenings with classified grade from commission (klauzura)
No sync sound shooting, silent.
Studio FAMU equipment only:
camera: arri 3 with standard settings (see White Book)
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
- developing of negative 480m in film lab
- grading of dailies in film lab according to grey chart/onelight with presence of student
- film print, 480m - “dailies” according to grey chart with screening
- editing of film print on classical analog editing table with editor from editing dpt: no sound; “creative edit”
- creative edit screening for mentor for approval prior to handing the print to the film lab
- cutting of negative in CT lab according to “creative edit” = serviska
- grading in film lab with presence of student
- film print; silent; maximum 120m screening for mentor
- final year exams (klauzury ) KK 2nd year, CINKK 1st year
- scan of negative max. 120m
- analysis with teacher
- grading of digi intermediate
- sound postproduction with supervisor’s approval
- screening for mentor: compoarison film print vs digi print
- 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
Schedule for winter semester 2019/2020:
The schedule has not yet been prepared
Schedule for summer semester 2019/2020:
The schedule has not yet been prepared