Dancing with Light – Cinematic Expression

Chart Zone System of Exposure. The luminance values of Zones of Exposures - Cinematic Expression
Candle Light. Example of lighting from previsualization with the tools of Cinematic Expression
Candle Light – Lighting without monitor assistance

Cinematic Expression – Dancing with Light.
Any artistic idea starts with the mental image.
Dancing with Light is a method of film lighting from the mind using a Light Meter.
The process is simple, straightforward, and logical. We build the Scene from scratch. We refer to the mental image and start with deconstructing the scene into the elements of cinematic expression. Next, we transform envisioned light values of the scene mood into the light meter f-stops. Knowing the expected light values from individual lights, we start “Dancing with Light,” we position the lights and obtain the known and expected light meter reading from each. The critical decision is the lens f-stop for the scene as this becomes the Canvas we paint over with lights. The Canvas (lens f-stop) never changes and remains locked for the scene. Only the f-stops (light meter) of the lights on the floor are different as those are the “brushes,” the values of which are determined based on and in relation to the f-stop on the lens (canvas). Students follow an iron logic regarding the order of steps in lighting the Scene. It starts with “building” the Ambiance Light, which is the main ingredient of the general Mood. The Lighting Mood of the scene is at the same time supported by the Lighting Style, which is determined by the direction and quality of the Key Light.

We turn the monitor off during the exercise, and students proceed with the light meter only. In the end, we turn the monitor back on, and students look at the resulting mirror image of the mental picture.

The Dancing with Light technique opens the window to creativity limited only by imagination, and it leads to the creation and development of the personal style in cinematic expression.

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