My first reading is Malkiewicz’s ‘Film Lighting: talks with Hollywood’s cinematographers and gaffers’,(p.99-115, 128-135), under the folder of drama. He offers various samples of lighting on the set, and introduces the relative skills and technologies. It was an enjoyable reading, and I certainly gained knowledge that I didn’t know about lighting and studio before . The exciting point is that advantages of a studio, and how cinematographers use a studio to build a scene both under the consideration of creativity and logic. More important thing, is that this article triggers my curiosity to further observe ways of lighting in different film genres. Malkiewicz reports that in day interior lighting, windows are the most logical light sources, and he also mentions how to position lights for different effects such as in the morning or very late in the afternoon, sunrise or sunset. I watched some movies again, and found that is exactly same as what I read from the article. Then the most exciting part comes. As I refer more movies for observing lighting, I find a bunch of exceptions, that the main light sources are not from windows in day interior.
For example, in one scene from Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, we see the main light sources come from top instead of windows. The bright area and the dark area not look like reality, as bright area where audiences easiest enable to focus on is artificially manipulated in cinematic way by DP, and the contrast between brightness and darkness is beyond the real life.
Same style used in one day interior of Inglorious Bastards, the brightest light is also from top to the table as a main source, but the lights across the widows are used as back lights for emphasizing depth and shape.
The point from this reading was new to me, then I found exceptions by expanding more materials. That is more important to me.
Another reading is ‘ Errol Morris, American iconoclast’ by Barker, under the folder of doco. After reading the part how Errol Morris broke the rule of Cinéma vérité by using techniques of fiction, it is very interesting to me. This part makes me notice that in the moving images industry, the boundary between movie and documentary might be more blurred than ever before. To prove this thought, I spent couple of days watching movies and documentaries.
One hand, for fictional films we see the emergence of dogma 95, which is so close to the way of making conventional documentaries. Even in Hollywood, in term of aesthetic they have made Sci-Fi films which look like documentaries, such as District 9 and Apollo 18. On another hand, there are bunch of documentaries are made in fictional flavor. The story of nominated documentary China Heavyweight (Sundance film festival, Grand Jury Prize) is about a boxer, and it is completely expressed in filmic style, including the editing ( very fast-pace), the movement of camera and its sound recording. I watched this documentary, and it is like a low budget version of fiction movie Warrior. In the awarded documentary Undefeated ( Oscar, best documentary, features, 2012), not only do they visually use the fictional techniques, but also the structure of drama are created, which we can clear see the turning points and climax…