Cinematography home lab

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Reference no: EM13299753

Cinematography Home Lab

You will conduct experiments in lighting at your home. For these illuminating exercises, you will need the following:

A friend or helper [aka lab partner!]

A hat (and / or novelty wig; headgear )

A handkerchief

A pair of sunglasses, reading glasses, or regular glasses

A dark room with a mirror

A flashlight

A small bag of candy or cookies

A pen or pencil (for note taking)

A piece of paper (for note taking)

In these exercises, you will discover how settings and lighting positions affect the look of a person or a character. As you conduct each activity, be sensitive to how the light displays you and how filmmakers could use these positions to convey meanings, moods, symbolism, or emotions.

Much can be communicated by the direction of light and of shadow. Dare you to explore these mysteries?

Before you begin this home lab, be sure to READ this entire lesson first and heed the safety information you encounter.

Questions to Consider:

The following questions will guide your observations as you conduct the experiment.

•Could certain lighting positions make you appear mysterious or ominous?

•Would light shining from a certain direction make you seem more powerful to the onlooker [the audience / the individual viewer]?

•Could certain lighting positions make you look helpless or afraid?

•How do costume elements change the way a character appears in light, and do the costume elements affect a viewer’s perception?

•What stories can the shadows tell?

•Can filmmakers manipulate shadow forms to tell a sub-story?

•Are the shadows hard or soft?

•Is the light hard or soft?

•What is the most interesting effect you can SAFELY achieve at home?

•What type of safety concerns are on the cinematographer’s mind when designing a lighting scheme?

Your Experiment:

Take all your items and go to your dark room. Carefully and safely, set up your "work" station near your mirror for easy access, and then follow the directions below. Be mindful if you are working around water sources such as in a bathroom; exercise caution and common sense in these areas when working with lights, battery-operated, electric, or otherwise. You are responsible for your own health and safety as well as your partner's.

With your flashlight on, stand in front of the mirror. Point the flashlight directly at your reflection in the mirror and observe what happens. What do you notice? What do you look like? Write your observations down on a sheet of paper.

Repeat the action above, but this time wear the hat and the glasses. Observe any new elements or changes. Write them down. Adjust the hat to create different light / shadow angles.

Remove the hat and these glasses. Ask your friend or helper to stand directly behind you with the light while you face the mirror. What do you observe? Write it down. Replace the hat and glasses. Observe. What do you see?

Remove the hat and glasses. Ask your friend or helper to stand to your right and shine the light directly on you while you face the mirror. Observe yourself in the mirror. Next, ask your friend or helper to stand on your left and shine the light directly on you while you face the mirror. Observe yourself in the mirror. Write down your observations. Repeat this activity using the hat and glasses.

Remove the hat and glasses. Ask your friend or helper to kneel directly in front of you while shining the flashlight up toward your face as you observe your reflection in the mirror. Do you appear frightened or frightening in this lighting scheme? Write down your observations.

Repeat the actions above using the hat and the glasses to vary your effects.

Remove the hat and glasses. Ask your friend or helper to hold the flashlight directly over your head while you observe your reflection. Write down your observations.

Repeat the actions above using the hat and the sunglasses to vary your effects.

Remove the costume elements. Take the flashlight yourself and hold it directly under your chin. What do you notice? Ask your friend to stand beside you; however, keep the flashlight directly under your own chin. What do you notice?

Repeat the actions above using the hat and the glasses to vary your effects. Remove them after the action.

Ask your friend or helper to cover the flashlight with the handkerchief or scarf to dull the light source. What happens to the mood of your reflection? Write down your observations. [You may try different color handkerchiefs for more interesting affects.]

Repeat the actions above using the hat and the sunglasses to vary your effects. Remove them after the action.

If possible, turn on a room lamp or soft light. Ask your friend to shine the flashlight directly on you as you watch in the mirror. What does the presence of additional light add to your scene? Write down your observations.

Give your friend or helper the candy or cookies, and thank him / her for helping you with this lab project.

How to Grab Your Points:

Now that you have completed your experiments and research, write a short essay (250-400 words) describing your specific observations and any discoveries that you made during this activity. Please be very specific and use your best writing skills. We are interested in reading your own, original experience, and be courteous--->mention your lab partner's name.

Reference no: EM13299753

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