The Power of Lighting for Film and Video Lighting Backgrounds

Publication Details Click to collapse Cite/Export


  • Access requires authentication through Films on Demand.


  • Although the foreground subject in a moving image is, by definition, the focus of attention, the importance of the background elements can't be overstated. This program provides detailed lighting demonstrations that reveal the importance of background illumination and how to manipulate it. From low-key scenes shot in a living room to the flashy environment of a broadcast newsroom, the program shows ways to create mood, texture, a certain time of day, and more. Viewers learn about using a Chimera light bank, PAR lamps of assorted power levels, a flicker generator to help match firelight, and various gels, filters, silks, and nets. The concept of a lighting "constant," or a source that can't be changed in brightness, is explored.


  • Encoded with permission for digital streaming by Films Media Group on Sept. 15, 2010.
  • Films on Demand is distributed by Films Media Group for Films for the Humanities & Sciences, Cambridge Educational, Meridian Education, and Shopware.
  • Mode of access: Internet.
  • System requirements: FOD playback platform.


  • Lighting: Defining a Constant: Background Elements (7:36) -- Light Control (3:43) -- Location Interviews (10:59) -- Colored Gels (9:01) -- Supplemental Lighting (7:19) -- Credits: The Power of Lighting for Film and Video: Lighting Backgrounds (0:28)
Checking the Web...