Monday, May 23, 2011

Tip # 8: Lighting

By Anant Mathur (May 23, 2011)

The art of lighting for films is essential for visual storytelling. The purpose of lighting is to create an aesthetically pleasing scene both visually and emotionally. 

Lighting adds significantly to the emotional response an audience has while viewing a motion picture. Not only does it help create a certain mood for the character(s) but also generates a peculiar environment for the scene.

Film Lighting includes the use of both daylight and artificial sources. Daylight is most often used for daytime scenes due to its low cost and high quality. Use of daylight doesn't necessary mean exterior scenes, it could also include interior scenes where light come in through windows, skylights, etc. Artificial Lighting is available from electronic lights, lamps, candles, etc. and most commonly used for interior scenes. Interior lighting is a form of fixture or furnishings and used as part of the set design.

Generally, there are three techniques used of lighting scenes: 1) General, 2) Accent, or 3) Task.

                        Task Lighting is usually the most intense and used for
                        situations such as reading or inspection of materials.
                        Other instances of task lighting are in machinery, where
                        a specific work area needs illumination. For example,
                        examination and operation lights for medicine and
                        surgery, as well as the dentist's lamp. Lighting of larger
                        areas is beyond the scope of task lighting.

                        Accent Lighting is lighting that emphasizes an area of
                        or an object in a room. This lighting adds to the drama
                        or style of a room by highlighting certain aspects of a
                        room's decor. For example, plants, pictures, or other
                        features of interior design or landscaping.

                        General lighting (also called ambient light) covers every
                        other situation and is a general illumination that comes
                        from all directions in a room that has no visible source.
                        For example, table or floor lamps or a fixture on the ceiling.
                        Outdoors it could be lighting for a parking lot, etc.

Methods of Lighting

Downlighting is the most common method of lighting a scene. In this technique fixtures are on or recessed in the ceiling directing the light downwards. This is the most used method and although it is easy to design it has drawbacks due to glare and large amounts of energy consumption.

Front lighting is also used very regularly, but it tends to make the subject look flat because it casts almost no visible shadows. Lighting from the side is the not all that common, as it tends to produce glare near eye level.

Uplighting is not very common, its usually used to bounce indirect light off the ceiling and back down. It is typically used in situations that require little glare and uniform general luminance levels.

As you can imagine, it is much easier to light a scene in black and white than in color. There have been instances where filmmakers have shot in black and white to save on the cost of lighting. That said, black and white is about tonality and is hard to grasp for some filmmakers. It's also important to remember that the colors - in make up, costumes, and sets - may turn into the same tone in black and white and may not look anything like what your eye is seeing. If you decide to shoot in black and white, its very useful to do several tests to make sure the tonality of the scene is working.

The Basics of Film Lighting

At its most basic, set lighting usually incorporates what's known as a three-point lighting setup. This film and video lighting technique uses a trio of lights to illuminate the action on screen, including:

                        The key light. A key light is the main element of a film
                        lighting setup, and it is usually placed at the side and
                        oriented at an angle to cast bright light on one side of
                        the frame while leaving shadow and darker space to be
                        filled in by the other lights.

                        The fill light. This set light is used to fill in the
                        shadowy areas left by the angled placement of the key
                        light. It's normally softer than the key light and is
                        placed across from it and oriented at the same angle to
                        create consistency within the frame.

                        The back light. Back lights are used to create the
                        illusion of 3-dimensional space on the 2-dimensional
                        screen; they shine in the back portions of the frame and
                        are also used to create definition and highlights in the

Lighting is not just about turning lights onto a scene and starting to shoot. Lighting is an art that helps to create the mood of the scene, it grabs the attention of the audience and helps them focus on the drama before them.

© Anant Mathur. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Few Good Songs...

By Anant Mathur (May 10, 2011) 
One of my favorite thing to do is promote songs I like. Today I wish share a couple of songs with you which were released recently. After a long time I have heard songs worth mentioning. You may already know about them, but in case you haven't heard them you might want to give a listen. 

The first is a song by Alex Ebert from his solo debut album Alexander, The song is title "A Million Years" and was recently featured in an episode of CHUCK. Ebert is the lead singer of Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, "Alexander" was released on March 1, 2011.

The other song I would like to tell you about is a beauty titled "Steal Your Heart" which was released on February 8, 2011 by a band called Augustana. I heard these guy on an episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, purely by accident and thanks to the magic of PVR, I was able to rewind and listen to the song several times. Must say Augustana rocked live!

I hope you will listen to these songs and come to love them as I have.

© Anant Mathur. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Good News

After almost 10 years, the US government finally achieves success in their goal of ridding the world of Osama Bin Laden. Here are some memorable moments and reactions from Monday May 2, 2011 after the world got to know about the death of OSAMA BIN LADEN.

Monologue from the Tonight Show with Jay Leno:
Jay Leno:
"The Good News, OSAMA BIN LADEN IS DEAD. The bad news... There is no bad news, OSAMA BIN LADEN IS DEAD! That is the Good News..."
Many Indian film celebrities took to social networking site Twitter after US President Obama announced the killing of the world's most wanted terrorist. Here's what some celebrities had to say:

Mallika Sherawat:
“A certain kind of closure, esp 4 Americans. hopefully now healing begins, wars end. i pray”

Neha Dhupia:
“Phas gaya re Osama!”

Minissha Lamba:
“Osama is Dead. 2nd term guaranteed 4 #obama. Trust American’s to steal d world’s attn away from d #RoyalWedding. Interesting timing.”

Ranvir Shorey:
“The US has just pulled the proverbial ‘rabbit’ out of Pakistan’s ‘hat’.”

Bipasha Basu:
“Watching very moving visuals frm Newyork nw n during 9/11. Big Day! Seeing a lot of ppl get closure to what happened to them. 1 terrorist less!”

Madhur Bhandarkar:
Since Osama Bin Laden is dead, now may the World Rest in Peace (R.I.P).

Mahesh Bhatt:
“With the death of Osama the narrative of Al Qaeda has come to a dead end! US may now exit Afghanistan claiming that their mission is over.”

Sophie Choudry:
“4 me the most surprising aspect is that Osama was only 70km frm #Islamabad livin in luxury! Confirms what many suspected...that he was in Pak!”

Gul Panag:
So finally after a decade, 9/11 has been avenged. The process having killed and maimed countless civilians. All to get one man.

Anurag Basu: 
Bin Laden's demise marks the beginning of the end of terrorism at a time when democracy is spreading throughout the Middle East.
Anupam Kher:
Kudos to America's intelligence and security forces for operation Bin Laden. It is important to pursue goals and then achieve them.

Ameesha Patel:
“Hope the news is true about Osama being dead. N it isn’t an impostor that monster capable of anything.”

Ram Gopal Varma: 
Whatever the future of terrorism is after the death of osama I am right now so very very very happy fr America..3000 CHEERS!!!

Celina Jaitley:
Terror leader Osama bin laden is killed...if only Bin Laden used his mind for peace and love that Islam actually teaches.
Dino Morea:
“Hello Tweeps, strange feeling Osama still lurking somewhere, and planning something bigger.”

100 Must See Bollywood Films

By Anant Mathur (May 03, 2011) 

It is very easy for fans and students of film to learn about Hollywood filmmaking through a variety of resources, including screenplays, available to the general public. But, I've constantly struggled to find content on Bollywood and Bollywood style filmmaking. The purpose of this blog has been to not only entertain but educate film fans on what Bollywood truly means.

In this post I'm listing 100 essential films which should be viewed by every fan and most certainly by all students of film. These films have been selected based on several criterion including but not limited to: acting, direction, cinematography, screenplay, style and music. None of these films are here purely on Box Office merit.

The following is NOT a list of the top 100 Bollywood films of all time and should not be regarded as one. The films are in alphabetical order:

100 Must See Bollywood Films

Star Cast
3 Idiots (2009)
Rajkumar Hirani
Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor
Aan (1952)
Mehboob Khan
Dilip Kumar, Nimmi
Aankhen (1968)
Ramanand Sagar
Dharmendra, Mala Sinha
Amar Prem (1971)
Shakti Samanta
Rajesh Khanna, Sharmila Tagore
An Evening In Paris (1967)
Shakti Samanta
Shammi Kapoor, Sharmila Tagore
Anand (1970)
Hrishikesh Mukherjee
Rajesh Khanna, Amitab Bachchan
Anarkali (1953)
Nandlal Jaswantlal
Bina Rai, Pradeep Kumar
Andaz Apna Apna (1987)
Rajkumar Santoshi
Aamir Khan, Salman Khan
Aradhana (1969)
Shakti Samanta
Rajesh Khanna, Sharmila Tagore
Awaara (1951)
Raj Kapoor
Raj Kapoor, Nargis
Baazigar (1993)
Shahrukh Khan, Kajol
Baton Baton Mein (1979)
Basu Chatterjee
Amol Palekar, Tina Munim, David, Asrani
Border (1997)
J.P. Dutta
Sunny Deol, Jackie Shroff
C.I.D. (1956)
Raj Khosla
Dev Anand, Shakila, Kumkum
Caravan (1971)
Nasir Hussain
Jeetendra, Asha Parekh
Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958)
Satyen Bose
Kishore Kumar, Madhubala
Chitchor (1976)
Basu Chatterjee
Amol Palekar, Zarina Wahab
Chupke Chupke (1975)
Hrishikesh Mukherjee
Dharmendra, Sharmila Tagore
Dabangg (2010)
Abinav Kashyap
Salman Khan, Sonakshi Sinha
Deewana Mastana (1997)
David Dhawan
Anil Kapoor, Govinda
Devdas (1955)
Bimal Roy
Dilip Kumar, Vyjayanthimala
Dharam Veer (1977)
Manmohan Desai
Dharmendra, Zeenat Aman
Dharmatma (1975)
Feroz Khan
Feroz Khan, Hema Malini
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)
Aditya Chopra
Shahrukh Khan, Kajol
Do Aankhen Barah Haath (1957)
V. Shantaram
V. Shantaram, Sandhya
Do Bigha Zameen (1953)
Bimal Roy
Balraj Sahni, Nirupa Roy
Do Raaste (1969)
Raj Khosla
Rajesh Khanna, Mumtaz
Don (1978)
Chandra Barot
Amitabh Bachchan, Zeenat Aman
Ek Phool Char Kaante (1960)
Bhappi Sonie
Sunil Dutt, Waheeda Rehman
Guide (1965)
Vijay Anand
Dev Anand, Waheeda Rehman
Gunga Jumna (1961)
Nitin Bose
Dilip Kumar, Vyjayanthimala
Haathi Mera Saathi (1971)
M.A. Thirumugham
Rajesh Khanna, Tanuja
Hero (1983)
Subhash Ghai
Jackie Shroff, Meenakshi Sheshadri
Hum Aapke Hain Kaun (1994)
Sooraj R. Barjatya
Salman Khan, Madhuri Dixit
Hum Kisise Kum Nahin (1977)
Nasir Hussain
Rishi Kapoor, Kajal Kiran, Tariq
Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron (1983)
Kundan Shan
Naseeruddin Shah, Ravi Baswani
Jaani Dushman (1979)
Rajkumar Kohli
Sunil Dutt, Rekha, Sanjeev Kumar
Jewel Thief (1967)
Vijay Anand
Dev Anand, Vyjayanthimala
Johny Mera Naam (1970)
Vijay Anand
Dev Anand, Hema Malini, Pran
Junglee (1961)
Subodh Mukherji
Shammi Kapoor, Saira Banu
Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959)
Guru Dutt
Guru Dutt, Waheeda Rehman
Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001)
Karan Johar
Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan
Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai (2000)
Rakesh Roshan
Hrithik Roshan, Amisha Patel
Kal Aaj Aur Kal (1971)
Randhir Kapoor
Raj Kapoor, Randhir Kapoor, Babita
Kala Patthar (1979)
Yash Chopra
Amitabh Bachchan, Rakhee
Kalicharan (1976)
Subhash Ghai
Shatrughan Sinha, Reena Roy
Karan Arjun (1995)
Rakesh Roshan
Shahrukh Khan, Kajol, Salman Khan
Karma (1986)
Subhash Ghai
Dilip Kumar, Nutan, Anil Kapoor
Kashmir Ki Kali (1964)
Shakti Samanta
Shammi Kapoor, Sharmila Tagore
Kati Patang (1970)
Shakti Samanta
Rajesh Khanna, Asha Parekh
Khalnayak (1993)
Subhash Ghai
Sanjay Dutt, Madhuri Dixit
Khel Khel Mein (1975)
Ravi Tandon
Rishi Kapoor, Neetu Singh
Kismet (1943)
Gyan Mukherjee
Ashok Kumar, Mumtaz Shanti
Kranti (1981)
Manoj Kumar
Manoj Kumar, Hema Malini
Lagaan (2001)
Ashutosh Gowariker
Aamir Khan, Gracy Singh
Love In Tokyo (1966)
Pramod Chakravorty
Joy Mukherjee, Asha Parekh
Mahal (1949)
Kamal Amrohi
Ashok Kumar, Madhubala
Maine Pyar Kiya (1989)
Sooraj R. Barjatya
Salman Khan, Bhagyashree
Mard (1985)
Manmohan Desai
Amitabh Bachchan, Amrita Singh
Mohabbatein (2000)
Aditya Chopra
Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan
Mr Natwarlal (1979)
Rakesh Kumar
Amitabh Bachchan, Rekha
Mr. India (1987)
Shekhar Kapur
Anil Kapoor, Sridevi
Mughal-e-Azam (1960)
K. Asif
Dilip Kumar, Madhubala
Munnabhai M.B.B.S. (2003)
Rajkumar Hirani
Sanjay Dutt, Gracy Singh
Nagin (1954)
Nandlal Jaswantlal
Pradeep Kumar, Vyjayanthimala
Nagina (1986)
Harmesh Malhotra
Rishi Kapoor, Sridevi
Namak Halaal (1982)
Prakash Mehra
Amitabh Bachchan, Waheeda Rehman
Naya Daur (1957)
B.R. Chopra
Dilip Kumar, Vyjayanthimala
Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai (2010)
Milan Luthria
Ajay Devgn, Emraan Hashmi
Padosan (1968)
Jyoti Swaroop
Sunil Dutt, Saira Banu, Mehmood
Pakeezah (1972)
Kamal Amrohi
Ashok Kumar, Meena Kumari
Phool Aur Patthar (1966)
O.P. Ralhan
Dharmendra, Meena Kumari
Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya (1998)
Sohail Khan
Salman Khan, Kajol, Dharmendra
Pyaasa (1957)
Guru Dutt
Guru Dutt, Waheeda Rehman
Pyar Jhukta Nahin (1985)
Vijay Sadanah
Mithun Chakraborty, Padmini Kolhapure
Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988)
Mansoor Khan
Aamir Khan, Juhi Chawala
Qurbani (1980)
Feroz Khan
Feroz Khan, Zeenat Aman
Ram Aur Shyam (1967)
Tapi Chanakya
Dilip Kumar, Waheeda Rehman, Mumtaz
Ram Lakhan (1989)
Subhash Ghai
Anil Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, Madhuri Dixit
Sahib Biwi aur Ghulam (1962)
Abrar Alvi
Guru Dutt, Meena Kumari
Sangam (1964)
Raj Kapoor
Raj Kapoor, Vyjayanthimala
Satte Pe Satta (1982)
Raj N. Sippy
Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini
Seeta Aur Geeta (1972)
Ramesh Sippy
Dharmendra, Hema Malini
Shaan (1980)
Ramesh Sippy
Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor
Shaheed (1965)
S. Ram Sharma
Manoj Kumar, Prem Chopra, Nirupa Roy
Shalimar (1980)
Krishna Shah
Dharmendra, Zeenat Aman
Sharaabi (1984)
Prakash Mehra
Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Prada, Pran
Sholay (1975)
Ramesh Sippy
Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan
Shree 420 (1955)
Raj Kapoor
Raj Kapoor, Nargis, Nadira
Suhaag (1979)
Manmohan Desai
Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor
Taare Zameen Par (2007)
Aamir Khan
Darsheel Safary, Aamir Khan
Teesri Manzil (1966)
Vijay Anand
Shammi Kapoor, Asha Parekh
Upkar (1967)
Manoj Kumar
Manoj Kumar, Asha Parekh
Waqt (1965)
Yash Chopra
Sunil Dutt, Sadhana, Shashi Kapoor
Woh Kaun Thi? (1964)
Raj Khosla
Manoj Kumar, Sadhana, Prem Chopra
Yaadon Ki Baaraat (1973)
Nasir Hussain
Dharmendra, Zeenat Aman, Vijay Arora
Yakeen (1969)
Dharmendra, Sharmila Tagore
Yamla Pagla Deewana (2011)
Samir Karnik
Dharmendra, Sunny Deol, Bobby Deol
Zakhm (1998)
Mahesh Bhatt
Ajay Devgn, Pooja Bhatt, Sonali Bendre
Zanjeer (1973)
Prakash Mehra
Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bhaduri, Pran

© Anant Mathur. All Rights Reserved.