Today, we had our lighting workshop with Eddie, introducing us to lighting equipment and how we prepare for that. First, we went over the lighting plan and Three-Point Lighting, comprised of the three most important lights, the Keylight (lights front and can control brightness of the actor/subje cts), the Fill light (from the side and helps balance shadows) and the Backlight (seperates the actor(s)/subjects from the background) and, as the title implies, sets them up in a triangular fashion.
Next, Eddie got some of the class to get up and prepare the equipment, showing how to do and NOT to do certain things (get the tripod out first, open the barndoors on the lights if on, putting cases in the way of equipment, only 3 lights per electrical ring, check the equipment beforehand, don't force the stand, weigh down lights with sandbags etc.) and then, when the camera and lights (in this case, two pampas lights and one smaller lamps which can also be attached to the ceiling) were set up, I did camera duties and we (the 3 others who were on the lights) tested out the different lights on another classmate who was in the middle of the lighting triangle, and we saw how each light, as mentioned before, affected his appearance on the screen.
Then finally, Eddie talked about gels, sheets of colour that can change the intensity and colour of light, such as blue, white and orange, as well as the gain controls on the lamp to affect the light's intensity, and the 'barndoors' on the actual lamps to direct and increase or decrease the amount of light and where it points.
My closing thoughts are that I quite enjoyed this lesson, mainly due to Eddie's blunt and upfront approach while taking it with a bit of humour and cheek, his actual experience in the industry I imagine becoming an invaluable assest in the coming months when we will go out and shoot or work on film jobs during summer breaks. Additionally, though the lights were bulky and need quite a bit of attention, it was fascinating to see how a slight change in temperature or direction could alter the feel and mood of a scene.