Not So Fast is a short film I discovered while searching No Film School is a great place to find resources on all things filmmaking, and I was browsing the site for information on lighting for this journal prompt when I  came across Not So Fast. Not So Fast is a short horror/thriller film with an incredibly smart use of lighting. It begins with a figure reaching for her keys in the hallway of an apartment complex. Suddenly, the lights go out. The figure then attempts to make a break for the door as her anxiety grows and she thinks someone (or something) may be following her. The only light present is the green tint on the face of the figure, which presumably comes from the light emanating from the open door in front of her. As the figure turns around to ensure there isn’t anything behind her, her face (and the only source of light) disappears. The audience is made to feel uncomfortable in these moments as we are left literally ‘in the dark’.

By manipulating the light on the figure as she moves towards the camera, the filmmakers have created an eerie and anxious setting by not allowing us to see what it is she senses behind her. The light spilling from the open doorway represents the safety, the exit route out of a nightmarish scenario. Not So Fast plays into the fear of the dark that I’m sure many people have experienced when they have to walk through their home without light. The light is comforting, the dark however conceals things we couldn’t imagine.

After first viewing the film, I assumed the effect of the green tint on the face of the figure against the stark black background had been created mostly in post production. Open reading and viewing the behind the scenes information, I learned that the filmmaker had actually hand rigged a lighting dolly using an ikea bin. I don’t mean to brag, but I have that exact bin in my room…


The original film: Not So Fast

Behind the scenes: Not So Fast BTS

Article: No Film School Article