Lighting for Noir (B&W):
Posted 24 October 2009 - 12:09 PM
I'm going to be working on a project that plans to go B&W noir. I'm not only going to be acting in this production, but I'll also be heavily involved in the production side--this will include working on the lighting at times.
Now, I'm not a lighting designer, but I've been doing film long enough, and have done lights on a few features in my time, so I'm comfortable with the way lighting works in terms of three-point systems, background fill, gels, lighting concepts, etc...however, I've never done a B&W noir peice, and I was wondering if you guys had any links or references I might be able to check out online.
I understand noir consists of high contrast, lots of shadows, point of interest lighting, etc...but I'd love to check out any stylistic breakdowns of the lighting genre...know what I mean?
(I'd love the lighting of Mercury Men and would like to do something similar: http://www.mercuryseries.com/)
Posted 24 October 2009 - 12:26 PM
in Boston. It's not technical but it's pretty good and shows lots of examples of noir lighting, art direction
or the lack of sets and need for lighting to compensate.
I'm pretty close to Providence. Send me a message if you want and we can talk on phone.
Posted 24 October 2009 - 12:42 PM
I'll send you a PM sometime--I'd love to chat on the phone and get some pointers or ideas.
BTW, I found this link, which is a good breakdown of the genre: http://www.videomake.../article/13548/
It would be nice, however, to see some actual schematics...I know that's asking a alot...but it would be ideal.
Posted 27 November 2009 - 07:08 PM
PS: Something great about shooting on B&W is that you will not have to be worried about CT, balance, etc.
Posted 27 November 2009 - 08:42 PM
I would recommend grabbig some B/w stills film and firing off a few exposures.
I would say that when I think of Noir, I think a lot of hard lighting approaches. I would forget diffusion for the most part, and really try to emphasize smoke in rooms. Some of the scenes from Casablanca in the bar are textbook to me, such as this one:
Point of light in darkness. Darkness is your friend. Only show what is necessary to show. Or, to go a bit of another direction, look at Fargo which is almost an inversion of the typical noir style.
Good luck, and don't forget that B/w stock has different ratings based upon whether it's exposed under daylight or tungsten. It's always faster in daylight and slower in tungsten.
Posted 28 November 2009 - 08:29 PM
To me noir isn't (entirely) about what you see, a lot (if not most) of the story is told in what you do not see. Try and keep that in mind.
Posted 29 November 2009 - 11:38 AM
Ironically, depending on where you are in the world, stock and processing on B&W film can be more expensive than the equivalent in colour!
Edited by Karel Bata, 29 November 2009 - 11:39 AM.
Posted 27 December 2009 - 09:06 PM