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Grammar of the Shot, 2nd Edition by Christopher J. Bowen, Roy Thompson

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Light in Composition—Now You See It, Now You Don’t

In the last section we mentioned how creatively placing the area of crisp focus in the frame can lead the viewer’s eye around your shot. This section briefly explores how light can be used to do the same thing. Values of light and dark can generate a sense of depth in the 2D frame; create feelings of sadness, happiness, fear and so on; underscore themes about characters; and highlight or obscure the more important subjects in a scene. All of this and more fall within the capabilities of film lighting. It will often be your most powerful creative tool in your filmmaking toolbox, but that does not mean it has to be the most complex or the most expensive. Learning about and using light effectively ...

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