Spotlight on Films that use Lighting

Blade Runner

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The use of colour lighting in this at the time ‘futuristic’ film is amazing. It expressed no only the future but a very dark representation of the future. Bright neon style artificial lights surround the concrete city and gives are very extensive glow.

The Dark Knight

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Easily one of my favourite modern day film’s that use natural lighting and extreme shadows to express emotions within a scene. Mostly shot in the night the lights are used to create shadow but when the shots are in the day we are positioned to see bright evenly lit pictures which I feel Nolan uses as a non threatening image compared to the darkness when it is often seen as scary and unexpected.

There Will Be Blood


This film uses a range of lighting techniques which I hope to explore in its own blog post. From single light sources in a room which create shadow to the natural outdoor shots in the day to the extreme light depicted from the huge fire that occurred on sight.

Back To The Future

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This film was obviously depicted in the future. As I watched the film I noticed nearly all the shots within the film are so evenly lit. They use a fill light the entire time when representing a shot inside. This fill light technique allows for no shadows at all which allows the audience to see it as a “futuristic” representation or a positive view.


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This is a great film to explore in terms of natural lighting. The natural lights shown when he (Russell Crowe) is in battle highlights strength and emotion. The light from the sun shines down on him and almost creates a sense of power and a “god” like representation of his character. Whats great in this film is when he is in a dream the lighting in the shot is very dark and diffused. This particular technique was used for the audience to identify the difference between a dream and the real.

The Godfather trilogy

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The Godfather trilogy expresses a large use of lighting as it shows past and present through the films. When depicting family gatherings or happy moments the lighting expressed within the shot is very well light and expresses a happy light representation. When expressing danger or a dramatic scene often the use of shadow appears and is usually lit by one or two lights to create the dramatic effect. When they are expressing the past, the light of the shot seems very “old school” or diffused as if it has a fade on it.  This particular light is often natural outdoor lights and uses a lot of mellow tones such as greys and blacks and whites.

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