Inivitation scroll


A precise description of a shot has to take into account two essential plastic elements: light and colour.

Like composition, light and colour bring the filmmaker’s work close to that of a painter. The means differ, but the effects are comparable.

6.1 – Light: description

To describe a lighting set-up, we can draw on three key criteria : intensity, contrast and the direction of lighting.

Lighting influences the composition of the image.

6.2 – Lighting styles

Classical Hollywood cinema introduced a lighting system dubbed "three-point lighting". Three light sources complement each other: the key light, the fill light and the backlight.

If the amount of fill light and backlight is reduced, this creates a more highly contrasted directional lighting, as in German Expressionist cinema.

Modern cinema often uses uniform ambient lighting, and variations of natural lighting.

6.3 – Colours

In cinema, colours play an expressive role.

We can describe a chromatic style by referring to the tones of the colours used, their variety, their level of saturation.

A film can exploit the symbolic connotations traditionally linked to the different colours, or create new associations.