Introduction to Film Lighting
Fall 2008

Tuesdays, 6 to 8:20 p.m.
Children’s Center for the Arts

Mr. Bryan Cardinale-Powell
Room 6, Children’s Center for the Arts

Office Hours: Mondays through Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., or by appointment.
Please be sure to confirm your plans to meet with me via email.

Course Description:
In the realm of moving images, nothing is accomplished without light. This course is designed to help students learn about the fundamental properties and functions of this most important element of moving images. Classroom discussions will help students develop their ability to determine, deliberate, and explore the technical and artistic choices made whenever a subject is illuminated. Hands-on demonstrations and exercises will provide students with opportunities to operate lighting and grip equipment. Throughout, this question will guide our class: How does our use of light support the emotional and/or narrative context of a given moving image?

Course Objectives:
Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to demonstrate the following:
  • familiarity with the vocabulary and fundamental principles of lighting design
  • operation of lighting and grip equipment in a manner consistent with high standards of safety
  • thoughtful analysis and discussion of various lighting objectives and setups
  • planning and execution of “appropriate” lighting scenarios

Required Supplies:
  • Brown, Blain. Motion Picture and Video Lighting.
  • Lowell, Ross. Matters of Light and Depth
  • Coursepack
  • Leather Gloves

Additional readings may be assigned during the term. Any additional readings either will be distributed in class or electronically via email. More information will be provided as necessary. Readings assigned for this course were selected to complement class activities and demonstrations. Therefore, reading assignments should be completed before attending class.

Course Requirements and Expectations:
Student requirements for this course include the following:
  • Attendance and active participation in classroom activities
  • Lighting Analysis
  • Mid-Term Exam
  • Lighting Scenario
  • Final Exam

Attendance and Participation: Each student is entitled to two unexcused absences, but keep in mind that failure to attend class is the best way to fail class. Your attendance and participation in classroom activities is expected and will be monitored and factored into your final grade for the course.

Lighting Analysis: Each student will select and analyze an example of lighting he or she admires. The analysis will include explanation of the lighting objective achieved through consideration of four general categories of lighting choices: intensity, quality, direction, and color. The analysis will be delivered as a 5-7 minute presentation. Further details will be distributed in class.

Mid-Term Exam: The mid-term exam is designed to test each student’s understanding of vocabulary and fundamental concepts like the application of electricity in lighting design and characteristics of light. The exam will consist of 30 to 50 multiple-choice and/or matching questions.

Lighting Scenario: The Lighting Scenario is a semester-long project that provides students with an opportunity to establish a lighting objective, design and execute a plan for meeting that objective, and analyze the results. This project involves individual and group participation. Further details will be distributed in class.

Final Exam: The Final Exam will be cumulative, and like the Mid-Term Exam, will test each student’s understanding of material covered in class. This test will likely include short answer questions in addition to multiple choice/matching questions.

IMPORTANT! Throughout the semester, class-related information will be communicated via email. To ensure that this works as smoothly as possible, please be sure you have access to your email account, and that you check that account regularly. If you’d rather use a different email address for class-related correspondence, please let me know by the end of the first week of classes.

Plagiarism, cheating, and/or academic dishonesty in any form will not be tolerated in this course. For further details, please refer to the Policy on Academic Honesty on page 40 of the 2008-09 undergraduate catalog available online here. Sanctions for violations of academic honesty are at the discretion of the instructor and can be severe.

Students will earn final grades based on the following formula:

10% Attendance
20% Lighting Analysis
25% Midterm Exam
20% Lighting Scenario
25% Final Exam

Assignment scores and calculated totals will correspond to letter grades according to the following scale:
94-100 A 75-78 C+
90-93 A- 72-74 C
86-89 B+ 68-71 C-
83-85 B 60-67 D
79-82 B- 0-59 F

Make-up work and late assignments may only be accepted with the advance permission of the instructor, and such permission will be granted only in cases of verifiable hardship.

An incomplete (I) will only be granted according to the university policies published on page 46 of the 2008-09 undergraduate catalog.

If you need an accommodation due to a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, please contact the Student Health and Disabilities Service Office immediately at (405) 208-5991 or (405) 208-5090. Advance notice is required for many accommodations.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at any time during the semester to discuss your classroom performance. However, I will not disclose any grades via email.

They’re your grades. You earn them.