To create the candle light in our film, we wanted to manipulate the lighting of the set in order to make a more romantic setting to suit the tone of our film. To do this, we borrowed several pieces of lighting equipment from the Media department and went to an empty class room to experiment with the lighting. We found an empty Physics lab which we could make pitch black, which enabled us to see how effective the lights were.

We looked at several films with candle lit scenes so that we could decide what kind of effect we wanted to achieve and figure out how to create it.


This shot looks as though the light is shining from behind the camera, helping to illuminate the character in the scene. The corners of the frame are darkened to appear as though the candle isn’t strong enough to light a large space. This can be done during post production through the available filters on Final Cut Pro. This means that we will be able to place the light behind the camera which will illuminate the entire shot and then darken the corners.

candle 2

In this next shot, although a candle isn’t visible the lighting is the same kind of warm lighting that we wanted to create in our candle scene. The lighting appears to be coming from the right of the shot, again behind the camera. There is a filter on Final Cut Pro named cross process which helps to create warm lighting similar to the effect in this shot. As in both of these shots, we need to consider where the light from the candle would shine on the actors faces, and place the lamp accordingly.


This is our attempt at a candle lit scene with no additional lighting so that we could understand where the light shines on the characters faces. From this image, the light is shining mostly on Maddy’s face as if the light was coming from the right of the shot.


This is the same shot but with the light set to the right of the camera, so that it shines on Maddy’s face. However, since the light was so bright it illuminated the entire shot and looks obvious that the light isn’t coming from the candle. To rectify this, we moved the camera further away from the actors.


We decided to move the light further away from the actors faces to create more of a glow rather than illuminating the entire face. There is still a beam on Maddy’s face which clearly hasn’t been created by the candle, but it is less noticeable and I feel that this is quite accurate without editing. In Final Cut Pro, we may be able to darken just that section of Maddy’s face, and then the scene will look as if it was entirely lit by candle.




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