Lighting a scene is like painting on canvas. The DOP (Director of Photography) is an artist who uses light to brush the scene and tell the story in the best way possible.
Having an understanding of the storyline is essential for the DOP to determine what kind of mood and style he/she is bringing to the image. On a blank canvas, the artist usually begins by drawing the main lines that define the composition, instead of throwing paint all over the place . The DOP starts with the key light and brings more and more to the scene as needed for the desired effect. Controlling light is not enough to bring your scene to life. Understanding the dark side of the light the shadow is as important to add contrast and create a sense of drama. On the other hand, softening the light can bring charm and add beauty even to the harshest reality. A good DOP can make the scene look like a painting, but a great one will make us live the story and through the use of light create an unforgettable emotional connection with the characters, the words and the place.
By Mehyar Abou Matouk, Film Director & Head of Creative, Cella Productions