I love that part of our course is to learn about things via watching movies; for me it is such a good way, especially if the movie is put together in a good way. The other day I watched Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography and Vittorio Storaro: Writing with Light in the library after class, and I found it both entertaining and educational.
While Visions had a huge variety of approaches to cinematography (and a timeline, showing new techniques that approached as time went by), Writing with Light showed the ideas of Vittorio Storaro, a cinematographer who has received three Oscars for his work, and is regarded as one of the best within that field.
What an adorable man. A little quirky, but it shines through that he simply loves what he’s doing. The way he talks about cinematography (well, to be fair, he doesn’t talk so much about the actual use of the camera, it is mainly all about lights) is quite fascinating; he talks about all these complicated and often highly experimental ways to use light in such a matter of fact sense, like it is something everybody should know. I think it was Francis Ford Coppola (it might also have been Bernardo Bertolucci, I’m not sure) who said that Storaro is just as crazy as everybody else who devotes their life to film; he lives in his own little universe, where lights are the most essential thing.
Colours are light waves, different colours are defined by the speed of the waves. I found it interesting how he uses colour to evoke emotion in the audience. This is his description of the colour spectrum (on one occasion, he refers to it differently every time).
Black is the unconscious, where everything starts
The first step is red, the colour of the blood
Orange is the colour of the family
Yellow is the colour of the consciousness
Green in the colour of knowing, or knowledge
Blue is the intelligence as a human being
Indigo is your prime material power
Violet is the last stage in life
And assume all of these colours is the last one, it is the white, which means balance, equilibrium
I think that I can highly benefit from learning more about light if I’m going to get better within cinematography. During our shoot I learned a lot, but there wasn’t much room for experimenting. We did use elements of red, to foreshadow the blood that would come later in the film, but in a simple way; we added extra props that were red. Perhaps it is possible to play around with this a bit more in the edit..
I’ll give it a go next week.