How to Light Night Interiors: Pt 3

INCLUDED IN THIS LESSON:  10 Minutes of Instructional Video, In-Depth Written Breakdown, Lighting Schematics, and Side by Side Comparison for better instruction    –Supplied w/English Subtitles

IN THIS LESSON YOU WILL LEARN:  Lighting “Night Interiors” is about the finessing and minor adjustment of light to get it in the pocket. In our third and final installment, Shane Hurlbut, ASC and his gaffer, Eric Forand, dial in the final changes to pull off the shot. They take you through how minor lighting adjustments can help add depth, dimension, and texture to your images. By the end of this, you’ll understand how to properly light for night interior scenarios and how to direct your crew to effectively execute the vision.

  • How to make the Lamp Lighting Gag work.
  • Understanding the transition from having a light “on” to “off.”
  • How to shape light for added depth and dimension.
  • The ratios for night interior lighting work.
  • The art of minor changes and finessing lights.
  • Considering your key source and how it’s playing off of your room/subject.
  • How to use room tone to fill in specific areas.
  • Lighting in layers.
  • Creating a 3-dimensional world for a 2-dimensional screen.
  • The power of blocking and rehearsing with actors.
  • How to think efficiently on set when lighting.


<<<Scott>>>Beautiful. I love this whole method of having all the light present from the start. I’ve seen features where it’s too obvious that they are turning off warm lights and turning on cool ones.
<<<Gary>>>This series has been one of my favorite lessons yet, something I feel can still be achieved on quite a low budget.
<<<Ahmen>>>Very wonderful lesson!
We are directing all comments and questions to our New Forum, please find the related course in the forum’s categories to submit.

cinarunal 29 days ago

Hi Shane, it was great tutorial, thank you! I combined my questions here for first and second module. Firstly, I took most of your tutorial and you always emphasise that read script throughly. My first question is do you receive “broad storyboard”, basic blockings on the scene, if you the scene is complex such as so many actors or sylistic lighting enviroment like night scene in Into the Badlands? If not I assume you pre-rigged day before but for finessing the scene how much time do you get after blocking on set? Lighting process my main working part for now as I am trying to get much professional on set. Secondly, layers of light is also what you stress on as well. Is leaving fill light is always the best way? About room tone or in other words ambient light; on the scene you bounced it off the head frame if we working at real location is always ideal to get it by bouncing of the ceiling? And as fill light is it better to apply it after background and key light? Lastly about practical light; you used specific bulb in practical, is there film industry bulbs used on set or do you make this decision for specific shootings? Thank you!

    • cinarunal    28 days ago

      @cinarunal Sorry, missed sentence; leaving fill light as last the best way? * Thank you.

    • Shane Hurlbut, ASC    24 days ago

      @cinarunal Hi cinarunal, yes, I try to shot list every scene in my films even if the director doesn't want to do that work. I have to because once you shot list it, you decide on the blocking of the scene and you can use this to then figure out how you will light these complex scenes. You are not figuring it out on the day, this is a recipe for disaster. I have let it happen too many times, you have to do the work. I light the background first, then add the key light, then the fill light once I have seen the actors and the camera move in the scene. I use fill light in the FG and BG if needed. For practical lights, yes there are the Movie industry standard of PH-211 & 75 watts then there is the PH 212 @ 150 Watts then there is the PH 213 @ 250 Watts These are all tungsten balanced at 3200 degrees Kelvin. Then their are coller based practicals: BCA-250 @ 250 Watts and 3800 Kelvin as well as other blue bulbs that range from 40 watt to 500 watts.

    • cinarunal    21 days ago

      @cinarunal Thank you very much Shane! It quite makes sense creating shot list even if the director doesn't want it so that you can have already plan on possible shots director wants to create. I noted this as tip.

    • Shane Hurlbut, ASC    17 days ago

      @cinarunal Hi Cinarunal, the big take away from doing this is that you are lighting the shots instead of waiting to see the blocking and then start. Makes you incredibly productive

    • cinarunal    12 days ago

      @cinarunal Hi Shane, yes it really make sense, thank you again for the great lesson.