Fill Light: Where When and Why: Illumination Experience

INCLUDED IN THIS LESSON: 60 Minutes of Video

IN THIS LESSON YOU WILL LEARN:  What is Fill Light?  How much, what color temp, where to you place it, what quality should it be?  All these questions and many more will be answered in this lesson designed around  the use FILL LIGHT.  It can help navigate the audience into a certain emotion, environment, or mindset.  Shane Hurlbut, ASC takes you into the motivation of fill and how that breakdown into the “when, where, why” theory. This is a deeper looking into the theory of lighting and how to break the conventional mold of lighting talent and worlds.

  • Understanding the importance of fill in a scene to evoke emotion and character.
  • The subtleties of fill and how you can use it to motivate action.
  • Understanding when and where to motivate your fill light.
  • The deeper theory behind why you use this technique in film.
We are directing all comments and questions to our New Forum, please find the related course in the forum’s categories to submit.

Júlio Sales 19 days ago

Hey Shane, 1 question about fill light: In the first lesson, about key light, you said that you dont really enjoy doing fill light on the opposite side (at like a 90º degree angle difference between the key light). But you didnt explain it there, I was expecting to see you say something about it here, though. Can you tell me why you dont like to do it this way? I see that sometimes you just do it in front of the subject, or in other different ways!

    • Júlio Sales    19 days ago

      @Júlio Sales I understand that it depends on the mood of the scene and the subject, but in thecnical terms, when you have to do a standard fill light, why would you prefer doing it at a different angle than this standard 90 degree way?

    • Shane Hurlbut, ASC    19 days ago

      @Júlio Sales Hi Júlio, It is my lighting style. You can do it however you want, but this is the style I have fallen in love with. I never liked filling from the opposite side because I thought it flattened out the face in a bad way and also you loose that 3 deminsional quality. I try to learn from my mentors and one of my mentors was Robert Richardson. Watch the film, Snow Falling on Cedars. This will blow you mind. It is within the top 10 films ever photographed in my opinion.

    • Júlio Sales    19 days ago

      @Júlio Sales Awesome, thanks for the advice! So, in terms of positioning the light, your style would be to light more from the front? I will definitely see this movie!

    • Shane Hurlbut, ASC    16 days ago

      @Júlio Sales Hi Júlio, All the light is on one side, back light, key light and the fill light, 180 degrees only

Ana 22 days ago

This video is in spanish??

    • Shane Hurlbut, ASC    22 days ago

      @Ana Hi Ana, this video is not is Spanish, if you want spanish go here:

dislamedia Today

This is an incredible example of how you explain the practical aspects of light and then show us the theory behind it! Thank you! My question is, during the key frame with Shia’s closeup and his eyes watering, when do you decide what is too dark or when it is too light? I think it’s so artistic and beautiful but I don’t want to over do it, how can I avoid that?

    • Shane Hurlbut, ASC    Today

      @dislamedia Hi Dislamedia, YEP, this is how we teach at the Hurlbut Academy, all the lessons and courses are built this way. You have to trust your instincts. I felt in that moment to go dark, you already saw his eyes watering so by taking it dark you add a whole other level to the characters performance.