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

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Basic Character Lighting: Three Point Method

How one uses hard light and soft light to gain selective exposure on talent and on set is the fun part of creative lighting for composition. There are innumerable ways for you to place light on your actors, and hopefully, over your career as a filmmaker, you will have the opportunity to experiment with many of them. Starting off on solid ground is useful, however, so we are going to explore the most basic standard in subject illumination—the three point lighting method.

The three points actually refer to three distinct jobs that lighting fixtures have when put into particular placements around the film set. Rather than describing the light’s properties, these terms define their purposes.

KEY—Key light ...

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