Essay on Low-key Lighting and Deep Focus

Submitted By mtbergman7
Words: 1080
Pages: 5

Melissa Bergman
RTVF 10: The Art of Film

Rebel Without a Cause

Shot Sequence: 1. A static MCU shot begins the clip in a darkened room. Gradually, the light increases and Jim Stark appears. Jim is placed in the right axis of the rule-of-thirds. There is a clear focus on the man throughout the scene; 28 seconds (long take).

The door way is very dark and mysterious looking. Gradually, a man appears. His face is well light, high key, but because it is harsher frontal light it does case a shadow. He is dressed in appropriate clothing for the time period (1955) in a red jacket, white undershirt and slicked back hair.

2. A MLS is shown of another man sitting in a chair. Again, on the right access of the rule-of-thirds. The man is in deep focus. 2 seconds.

Man is in what appears to be his home sitting in a chair. He is dressed in a robe with a white undershirt. He is an older man. The room is dimly lit. Low key lighting; the light appears from the right hand of the screen again casting a slight shadow. In interior of the home is on trend with the time period, neutral colors and striped curtains.

3. MCU shot of Jim; deep focus; 3 seconds.

High key frontal light.

4. LS of Jim; begins at the left side of the rule-of- thirds; ends in the center of the frame; track framing; 35 seconds (long take).

Jim gradually walks to a couch, takes another swig of his milk, places down the bottle, kneels on the couch, faces the wall, and then lies down, and hangs himself upside down. He looks distressed. The lighting is low key, placing a harsh shadow on the wall. The couch is a vibrant red, similar to his jacket.

5. CU shot of Jim upside down. 5 seconds.

Jim is in the direct center of the shot. Fill lighting lights the entire frame with a softer feel casting no shadows.

6. LS of woman walking up stairs; POV of Jim; camera turns 180 degrees; begins upside down turns right side up, a canted frame; deep focus; wide angle; mobile frame; 8 seconds.

Dimly lite room; appears a bit ominous; high key lighting; woman is lit; then walks towards Jim; face is lost in darkness while still mobile; continues walking; face appears in light. Woman is dressed in a long bathrobe with hair pinned up and little makeup.

7. MS of Jim and woman; deep focus; wide angle; static frame; 4 seconds.
Woman grabs Jim’s face in a worrisome manner; low-key lighting.

8. MS of man sitting in chair; deep focus; static; 3 seconds.

Man looks distressed. Low-key harsh lighting casting deep shadow.

9. MCU of Jim and woman; track out following shot to LS of the three characters speaking. Jim and woman standing, man sitting. Jim paces and sits, characters follow and camera zooms in on all three of them. Deep focus throughout. 58 seconds. (Long take)

As Jim gets up from the couch he and his mother are in low-key harsh lighting as the walk over the his father their faces are darkened and then lit again as the cross the room. The room is still dimly lit and the characters look worried. As Jim sits, his father stands as Jim’s story continues and his parents become more and more worrisome.

10. CU of Jim sitting; deep focus; wide angle; the camera is mobile slightly as Jim loves his arm; 24 seconds (long take).

Low-key fill lighting illuminating Jim’s entire face. This CU of Jim’s face with no other distractions allows the audience to focus on his story and sympathize with what he is saying.

11. MLS of all three characters; over the shoulder of Jim; deep focus though the handle of the stairs is closet in depth of field; 3 seconds.

High key lighting casting a slight shadow on the back of Jim.

12. MS of Jim; wide angle; deep focus; mobile frame; slighting panning upwards as Jim stands; slightly panning to the right as his father enters the scene; 128 seconds (Long take).

The lighting throughout this