Lighting and Design

Good lighting is an essential part for every video production.  Chapter 7 goes into details on the aesthetics of light and design. The three types of aesthetics of light include realist, modernist, and postmodernist.

Realist aesthetics creates an illusion for the audience. The lighting comes from an actual light source in a setting or location. It emphasizes on the illusion of reality even though it may not be real. For instance, if it was a sunny day, the audience would know where the sun was coming from based on the lighting; especially with the sun highlighting the character on set.

If I’m understanding this illusion of reality correctly, then I can imagine the sitcom Friends using a realist design. The audience was set to believe they were in New York, when in actuality the show was shot in LA.

With modernist aesthetics, the lighting and design directors set it up to be purely abstract. They base it off of the emotion they want their audience to feel by creating a dynamic visual impression.  For example, musical dramas may light a death scene red to emphasize on the tragedy and pain the character is suffering.

Postmodernist lighting and settings is a mix of all types of styles. The purpose is to stimulate complex emotions with the viewer. Chapter 7 mentions how The Batman Forever uses postmodernist lighting using special computerized effects to kind of confuse the viewer in a way. The point is to highlight the different cultures, places, and times through postmodernist lighting.


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