How to Light a Scene like Stanley Kubrick

Using a simple candlelight trick can transform your cinematography

Cinematic lighting doesn’t necessarily require a truck packed full with grip hardware and next-generation lighting equipment. Sometimes there are situations when you really need to make the best out of what’s available on set, and simple candlelight can do the job.

When talking about lighting using only candles, it’s hard not to think about Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon (1975). And indeed, in his ARRI Christmas Master Class, Julio Macat, ASC (Home Alone, Wedding Crashers) admits that he borrowed the knowledge for this type of cinematography directly from Mr. John Alcott, Director of Photography of the Kubrickian masterpiece.

cinematography lighting like stanley kubrick

Macat’s course is an insightful journey into the roles and workflows of a professional film set. It explores composition, lighting, camera movements, and even a little bit of set lingo. Particularly, in the Lighting a Scene with One Source modulethe Argentine-American cinematographer takes his students by the hand to show them how to set up a basic Christmas dining dialogue scene from scratch, using (almost) only one candle. So let’s take a look at his approach.

Read the full article on CineD - Lighting a Scene with a Single Candle – with Julio Macat, ASC

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