Sources of Light
Lights play a key role in the storytelling process of a film. Be it natural or artificial sources of light, they are crucial to produce desired dramatic effects. The source of light and its position set the mood of the story; very often just the way a scene is lit up can narrate a lot to the audiences. In order to understand the various sources of light and how they are best used, Pandolin speaks with renowned lighting technician Mr.Mulchand Dedhia, one of the biggest in the country who has lent his expertise to various national and international projects. He has mastered the art of lighting and introduces us to various sources of light which can be very helpful in the filmmaking process.
The lighting design is always decided as per the storyline of a film. The set up is lit based on the vision of the cinematographer and the requirement of the story. Also if you are on a particular location, you will need lights as per the need of the location.
There are various sources of light, each with its own function, creating a different effect. One can play with a bulb also, you put it in a china lamp and it creates a good highlight. Some of the unique sources of light in addition to the common lights used in filmmaking, are:
It is a small, handy and very powerful light. You can use it for any purpose, during the day and at night as well. They are harsh lights but you can soften it with diffusion as per your requirement. If there is no place for you to rig a light as the whole space is in your frame, you can hide the Dedo light anywhere, behind a pillar or behind a bed etc and it will still produce the desired effect.
Par cans are punchy, 1kW lights but are very powerful. You can use these lights for any kind of a scene; be it interior or exterior during the day or night. They are bigger than Dedos but are impactful. You can use them during the day with blue filters and so on and you won’t lose much light. Par Cans come in handy if you have to create a contrast somewhere or create a highlight in a particular area. They are also used to create depth.
They are soft lights and are good as well but not very powerful and effective. They are mainly a soft, broad and bigger source. You can play with the Kino Flos for ambience light or sometimes in a low light situation; they can be used as key lights. However you cannot cut lights with Kino Flos nor can you use these lights much for exteriors. It is more of an interior light and for small areas.
It is one of the best lights for exteriors. You can get Dinos in 6bank, 9bank, 12bank, 24bank and so on. Since they are very powerful and punchy lights they are used in huge exterior and outdoor shoots. You can get power from a distance of 200 – 300 feet. Dinos are mostly used for lighting up sequences involving cricket stadiums, football stadiums, day and night cricket and so on. During war sequences also, for example in the film Lakshya, we used almost 50 Dinos to light the entire night set up in the Himalayas.
Source Fours are very strong lights with built-in cutters and a built-in iris. For example, if you are doing a commercial for a fountain pen and if you want to highlight only the pen, you can cut it sharply from the internal built-in cutters. No other light can give that kind of sharpness to cut any light. And with the iris, you can play with the circular pattern creating a small circle or a big circle.