The Grip and Lighting Illustrated
for Film and
N - from Natural Light to Noir.
Natural Light - is pretty obviously light from non-artificial
sources, primarily the sun. Light from fires, candles, lanterns, the
moon and other non-electric sources are considered natural, too. In grip
terms, natural light is (also pretty obviously) going to call for nets,
silks, reflectors, flags, and the like in the day's grip package.
Nets - are bobbinet material stretched on a
frame, used to filter the amount of light emitted from a light source.
They can be made with a single layer (a "single net" or
"single") and double layers (a "double") of
bobbinet. Grip and lighting net devices come in various frame sizes and
configurations (open-ended or closed frame). Net frames usually have a
mounting stud suitable for a c-stand grip head or
lollipop to hold and position it by. Framed small net standard sizes
include: 12"x18", 18"x24", and 24"x36".
Occasionally you might come across a 4'x4' frame mounted net. Larger
nets (6'x6' and larger) are unframed, with a sewn edge and grommets.
Trick line strings are used to secure and stretch (very slightly) the
net onto a breakdown frame on the set or location. Used and placed
properly, larger nets can cut down the light entering through windows
(or even small background areas on exterior shots), if they are far
enough back in the depth of field to be out of focus and thus appear
transparent. Like silks, they can be used to knock down light levels on
foreground objects as well, or to cast more subtle shadows than a flag
is capable of.
Neutral Density (gel or glass filter) - are colorless dark-tinted
filters, and are calibrated by the amount of light they cut. These are:
ND.3, ND.6 and ND.9. Larger gel sheets and rolls can be mounted to
bright windows in backgrounds to bring them closer to the interior light
level on a location shoot.
Night-for-Night - means shooting film or video night-time scenes
at night, as opposed to "day-for-night".
Noir - means "black" in French, and is an artistic,
moody, low-key lighting style developed in classic black and white
suspense/detective/mystery films ("film noir") such as Kiss
Me Deadly, Touch of Evil, The Maltese Falcon and many more.
Hard-edged shadows, edgy key lights and lots of dark areas are the main
elements of this interesting look.