Blocking & Lighting A-Z

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A Look at The Blockbuster Hit "Semi-Pro"

Step into world-renowned cinematographer Shane Hurlbut’s office to interpret the lighting and thought process that went into the locker room scene in the blockbuster hit Semi-Pro.  

Begin by reading the Semi-Pro script along with Shane Hurlbut and the direction he was given from Director Kent Alderman. Dissect the daunting challenge of lighting 5-7 main characters with different skin complexions, from a videographer’s point of view. Learn how to add punch to the key moments in a scene by giving purpose to everything in the lighting setup and making the most emotional impact on the viewer.

Go on set in the locker room with Shane and the actors to rehearse the scene, refine the shot list and learn about light motivation. Watch as Shane explains timeless and classic lighting that doesn’t go out of date that he’s learned from experienced directors of photography and cinematographers, such as Rembrandt lighting.

Understand the importance of being able to light a scene effectively and efficiently. Go behind the scenes with Shane as he shows you his technique to quickly light a room, each crew member’s responsibilities, and the timing of lighting in relation to filming. Learn Shane’s specific lighting gear and accessories and where he places them to define a specific lighting style that quickly creates contrast, mood and shape from any angle.

This exclusive content from Shane’s Inner Circle is available for PRO EDU subscription members only. For more information on how to subscribe click here.

  • 01. Pre-Production
    • Thumbnail for Pre-Production / Using the Script to Pre Visualize the Blocking
      Using the Script to Pre Visualize the Blocking (11:28)
      Begin by reading the Semi-Pro script along with Shane Hurlbut and the direction he was given from Director Kent Alderman. Dissect the daunting challenge of lighting 5-7 main characters with different skin complexions, from a cinematographer’s point of view. Understand the importance of impromptu acting in a movie such as Semi-Pro that includes actor, Will Ferrell. Identify keyframes that educate you on how to emotionally impact and light the scene.

  • 02. Blocking
    • Thumbnail for Blocking / Understanding & Breaking the Rules
      Understanding & Breaking the Rules (13:07)
      Become aware of the 180 Degree Rule on Coverage - a cinematography guideline where two characters in a scene should maintain the same left/right relationship to one another. Then understand when it makes sense to follow that rule or break that rule with a reverse angle. Watch as Shane describes two ways to do over the shoulder coverage and discern how powerful camera height can be when telling a story and conveying emotion. Learn how to add punch to the key moments in a scene by giving purpose to everything in the lighting setup and making the most emotional impact on the viewer. Watch Shane’s crew light the scene with a top down approach.

    • Thumbnail for Blocking / Using the Rehearsal to Refine the Shot List
      Using the Rehearsal to Refine the Shot List (16:28)
      Go on set in the locker room with Shane and the actors to rehearse the scene, refine the shot list and learn about light motivation. Emphasize the importance of intentionally making room for impromptu actors to capture their unexpected reactions, confrontations, close ups, or over the shoulder views. Revisit when it makes sense to break the 180 Degree of Coverage and unpack examples of this from different movie scenes.

  • 03. Lighting to Camera Blocking
    • Thumbnail for Lighting to Camera Blocking / Understanding Light Placement with Multiple Actors
      Understanding Light Placement with Multiple Actors (12:47)
      Go on set with Shane to discuss light placement for 6 actors on a night interior. Learn how to go from a close up to a wide shot as Shane’s crew lights the entire scene. Watch as Shane explains timeless and classic lighting that doesn’t go out of date that he’s learned from experienced directors of photography and cinematographers, such as Rembrandt lighting. Walk alongside Shane as he prepares to light Will Ferrell and pays close attention to his deep eye sockets and eyeliner that create a lighting challenge.

    • Thumbnail for Lighting to Camera Blocking / How to Increase Your Lighting Speed
      How to Increase Your Lighting Speed (10:58)
      Understand the importance of being able to light a scene effectively and efficiently. Go behind the scenes with Shane as he shows you his technique to quickly light a room, each crew member’s responsibilities, and the timing of lighting in relation to filming. Review the value of lighting an area and not a mark to allow actors to feel like they can move around and work the room, especially in comedy or improv. Learn Shane’s specific lighting gear and accessories and where he places them to define a specific lighting style that quickly creates contrast, mood and shape from any angle.

    • Thumbnail for Lighting to Camera Blocking / How Light Placement Affects Emotion
      How Light Placement Affects Emotion (11:27)
      Summarize the tutorial by reviewing how to set and infuse the mood of a scene with dramatic lighting that creates beautiful lights in the actor’s eyes and highlights their individual skin tones. Consider lighting ratio, overexposure, perimeter lighting, and close ups to predict and understand why the scene was lit in a certain way. Refer back to the two keyframes that help Shane, as a cinematographer, get inside the locker room scene and use the emotion of lighting to take the performance even higher.



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