I'm a film production student at a relatively prestigious film school and I'm currently taking an important film production course. My main interest is writing and directing but I'm also a huge fan of cinematography and I very much enjoy editing as well. I have a friend I've worked with very closely last semester, I shot four of his projects on a smaller scale production class, those films were all B&W, silent shorts with some very minimal lighting in two of them. I've learned a lot about designing shots, I found out technical things about the camera in great detail, (digital though), this friend and I have worked on a lot of projects together in the past months. A few weeks ago he asked me to shoot his next project which is going to be a color, 16 mm short with dialogue. A lot of money is going to be put into it (in student terms at least), he's planning to bring this one to festivals, he's got a great script too. Point being: it's a huge project and a huge responsibility for any student DP to shoot.
I've done one hands-on class on cinematography so far but the more I learn about the subject, the more I realize that I really don't know much at all. I'd like to think that I can design solid/interesting shots, perhaps I might know what shots would make sense to shoot in a sequence and I also know a bit about cameras as well. However, my knowledge about lights and using them properly is very limited. I don't really know the brands/models, I don't know how to maintain unity in lighting style, I don't know what lights to pick for different scenarios etc. I think all of this is because I just never had a chance to spend enough time with lights at all. As much as I wish I could jump on this opportunity of working with 16mm (which I've also never done, being one of the first film students growing up in the digital era) I feel like I wouldn't be able to deliver the results that are expected of me as a DP, and I know that neither I or my friend would want this film to look like "a student film", whatever that might mean. I think I understand the impact of powerful cinematography enough to know that I wouldn't be able to execute quality interior lighting which makes me inclined to refuse the offer.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not looking for encouragement or moral support here, what I'm curious about is what might be the best way to learn some of the most fundamental things about lights, how to maintain unity in different set ups, what are some of the things that I definitely need to look out for when lighting, what are the mathematics that I need to keep in mind when using the light meter, etc. Is there an online tutorial of some sort that I could read through that would make me more prepared for the challenge if I decide to shoot it? I understand that filmmaking is a learn-by-doing process but since I'm not majoring in cinematography, I don't have that many opportunities to learn some of the more advanced, and to me very relevant aspects of the subject, which is why I don't feel quite ready to shoot this film the way it deserves to be shot. I'd appreciate any feedback, and thank you so much for your time!