This next lecture was all about lighting, sound, and how they could be used to create dramatic effect in a film or TV show. There are some amazing effects to be seen at the cinema or on the internet these days, as technology has advanced to the point where I start to wonder if I can keep up with it, but even before the last 20 or so years where computers have really taken off, there was some very sophisticated lighting done with analogue means, instead of being touched up in programs.
One famous example of incredible lighting in film is Sin City, edited to be mostly black and white, apart from the odd person or item of interest, the contrast of which is incredible at forcing the eye of the audience to see what Rodriguez wants seen. One reason behind shooting the film with such light and dark contrast was its comic book origins, which were drawn mostly with just two colours, black and white.
The effect of this on the audience was to create a dark and dangerous feeling atmosphere, which was especially effective when coupled with the story content.
The film did a fantastic job of imitating the comic book style of light and dark, using some very bright spot lighting to over contrast certain areas of the image while still keeping areas very dark, reminding the audience that BaSin City is a dark place.
This shot here has some incredible lighting in it. The shot clearly shows Hartigan in the foreground, typically being the centre of focus in the shot, however the movement in the background also frames the unfocused Nancy as part of the shot. This is accentuated by the fact that Nancy has a very unrealistic glow around her, forcing her to have an angelic aura, especially through her hair which is being blown by a wind machine. The effect of this is two-fold, firstly it is to emphasize her movements in the background to stop the eye of the audience from focusing on the right hand side of the image, with the focused Hartigan, and also to give an underlying impression that the girl is angelic, innocent in this game of aggressiveness, or possibly an object of desire framed by a spotlight.
On the other side of the frame, Hartigan is lit from behind and his left side, giving a very clear and crisp image of the left side of his face, while keeping the right hand side in shadow. This coupled with the look he is giving shows the audience a very contrasting nature to the “hero”. The white and dark shows conflicting emotions and character traits, the lighter side reminding us that he is the hero, and he is doing good, however the dark side giving us the feeling that he doesn’t care how to achieve the result, and that he is very capable of violence and darker impulses. The conflict in lighting could also show that Hartigan is troubled, either emotionally which is almost defiantly the case considering his background, but also by the situation he is now in.
The rest of the room is incredibly dark, and has almost no visible lighting or light sources in it, making more contrast between the two characters and their surroundings, perhaps implying that they are alone in this.