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Lighting for Film: Simple not Plain

Lesson 6 of 14

Basic Light Safety & Gear

Bill Megalos

Lighting for Film: Simple not Plain

Bill Megalos

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Lesson Info

6. Basic Light Safety & Gear


  Class Trailer
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1 Class Introduction Duration:17:28
2 The Qualities of Light Duration:48:08
3 Hard Light vs. Soft Light Duration:22:54
4 Three Point Lighting Duration:12:17
6 Basic Light Safety & Gear Duration:11:48
7 Lighting a Subject Duration:15:36
8 Lighting a Room in Daylight Duration:12:55
10 Creating Drama with Light Duration:38:03
11 Lighting at Dusk Duration:18:23
12 Lighting in the Shade Duration:21:04
14 Lighting for Night Duration:11:30

Lesson Info

Basic Light Safety & Gear

Let's talk about safety and basically these to safety things we really have to talk about when you start handling we talked about having to wear gloves when you handle these hot lights not all the lights are hot these other lights were going to use they're not hot, but um I got got to get you guys up to speed on on the electricity so there's no misunderstanding there's nothing like going into somebody's house and blowing out their electricity to make you less welcome I guess running over their cats pretty bad too, but just saying, um basically the voltage that we have in the united states here, does anyone know what our voltage is? One hundred ten okay, one hundred ten volts and does anybody know that? You know, when you're in a house you're in a house, you're in an office you're in a hospital though there's a there's a lighting panel that there's lighting panels like this it's called circuit breakers circuit boards each one of these panels ah house, we'll have a panel like this summer...

I mean, wherever you go you should find out where it is because when you break things you you know, if you were to make a mistake, you have to reset it back and not that long ago people didn't have resettle breakers like this they had fuses we used to carry fuses with us whenever we went somewhere. So if we blew some way, you could get it back going again. But each one of these circuits has a rating on them. Okay, the rating is how much current it can draw. How much? How much? How many amps is that's an amps? Okay, amps. This is volts. Ok, so normally does anyone know what the normal breakers we have? Our don't look there now. Fifteen or twenty, fifteen or twenty. Okay, um, it depends really, on when your house was built on when the thing was built, I find that most commercial buildings or twenty amps all right, where is at home? So I have to assume they're fifteen unless I can see. But what happens with the circuit is, um, let's go to the next one. Just look at the next one that shows it very clearly. You don't know. You don't know what's what outlets are on what circuits in a house, usually unless it's your own house. Generally, you can assume that the kitchen has its own circuits because the kitchen what they'd put in kitchens, things that draw power, toaster ovens, electric cattle's fridge is not so much is that toaster in the toaster oven that really, you know and microwaves things like that, and also they very often in my kitchen, which is not a particularly modern kitchen, there's like, four there's two four by outlets, right next there's a lot of outlets, right next to each other, you know? And anyway, but just because there's, just because there's a double a duplex outlet like this, it doesn't mean it's on its own circuit, very often on older house might have just one or two circuits. So in this house in this in this drawing here, this fifteen amp circuit is in bedroom one and two, and this twenty amps circuit covers the kitchen and the living room, both of them ok? It really depends. Like, I don't know, I live in los angeles, where a lot of the houses air kind of old, old by california standards, you know, they're from maybe the twenties or thirties, and a lot of times I'll walk into a house and it won't have it won't have, um, it will not have a grounded outlet. It'll just have a two probably outlet instead of a three pronged. If I see that I know there's very little power in that house, I know the power has never been redone, and I'm really, really cautious, but you can go back I mean, one thing that you wanted what you would like to do is if you can if you can do it without turning off computers, make sure the computers air off you khun turn off the power and see when the power goes off and see where it is but if you really don't have the time for that or you're doing something well, you do have the time if you're really filming in there I'm thinking about you know me have documentary we're just doing a quick interview summonses al I got ten minutes generally what I will do is I will run power from the kitchen I'll run consider I have one circuit from the kitchen and another circuit from the bathroom right general in the bathrooms in another part of the house from the kitchen the water goes to two different places and general I can assume that those are two different circuits but what? So now we talked about circus but what does that mean? The thing that we need to know is that a fifteen am circuit I can handle technically times one hundred ten volts it can handle one thousand six hundred and fifty watts watts, his power it's gotten by by multiplying the number of volts times the number of amps okay and technically a twenty am can handle twenty, two hundred watts or if you consider that it's one hundred twenty volts around ten, you can squeeze out a little more, but just to be safe, we're just going to use one hundred. Okay, so we're gonna use one hundred. So that hundred means this is we're not going to use sick. We're gonna say fifteen hundred watts and two thousand watts. Okay, this is assuming nothing else is on in the house. You're going to turn off the coffee pot, you're gonna unplug the the if you could take it from the kitchen. So what does that mean? Each of these lights that we have has a different draw. Okay, this light that we're using here that we that we illustrated before is a one k light means it's a thousand wants it means it draws a thousand watts. So if we put a thousand wants on here, that means we only have five hundred watts left. All right, we'd have to put a smaller light on it, like this little pepper that we had, which is one hundred fifty one. We could add that on it, these air standard movie lights and these air the wattage is that they generally have in them, so you don't want to overload that, alright, that's, that's the thing, so and, you know, don't what else should I say about electricity? I mean, you know, you guys have been around don't stick forks and their knives in there, if you can, you know, but I want to show you one more thing before. Can we get a c stand? I want to show you one more thing before we, um, before we put a couple lights together real quick. Um, these are called c stands, which stands for century stand, which also stands for another name for them is a grip stand. Can we also get a sandbag on here, please? Um, these air, this is the secret to hollywood. This is the most amazing thing ever, because it allows you to rig anything you want any way you want securely. And, you know, obviously the guys who know how to use them have a lot to do with it, too. But this allows you to just grip and mount anything the way you want. So one of the things that that is special about these guys is they're designed. Teo. They're designed to fold up and, you know, life flat. So if you see him on a grip, chuck, they'll be it'll be like this, but when you open them, they have a pretty low they don't take up a lot of space like a like a bigger one like that but they also meet inside each other you can have a row of ten of them here you can have ten of them that'll take up this much space because they see how they're all different heights they go right underneath each other and just bang bang bang bang bang so they take up a lot very little room that way but they're designed for holding anything you want I mean I've seen everything put on some people put monitors on them but for the most part what we're doing is using things that control life right? So so the important thing that you need to remember with this is to things righty tighty lefty lucy I hate to say it but it's really important when you're facing when you're facing the the knuckle here that lot this this is okay let's talk about that real quick okay so this is a this is a cease this is a c stand by itself this is called a gobo arm and a gobo head are also a grip arm in a grip head gobo is an old word for anything you put in front of a light but usually a pattern so like you could make you know it would be like a pattern like a piece of wood cut out like this and it would have shapes cut out like this and so you could put that in front of the light it would cast a broken up pattern. So this is this is the holding for goebbels. So go bow arm go go ahead. What you want to do is write a tidy meaning the weight, the work, the thing that you're holding is always to the right. When you're looking at, I'm showing it your way. This weight is to the right. Okay, um whether it's and it can come off the top of this art you see right now it's coming off the bottom of the narco or it can come off the top of the knuckle that doesn't matter where it comes from, but it's got to be on the right side. Okay? And if you put something in here that goes out like can I get? Can I get the eighteen twenty four flags? Either any anyone of the flags wherever the way it is again that's got to go over that's got to go to the right. Okay, they have all different size slots in here now, why do I want it to the right? Can anybody guess why it's got weight? It's righty tighty lefty loosey uh provides a standard direction no, if if let's say this is happy I can put something very heavy in here, the heavyweight makes this tighter and in fact when you see a grip set up except in arm, what he'll do is he'll set it kind of tight and then he'll push it down while he's turning it the tighter the type, the more weight on here the tighter this gets whereas if I put the weight on this side I go like this and it's loosening it I can do that I can't do that on the other side so you so you facing it you facing this this handle righty tighty the other thing that you really need to know about this that's really crucial is you have to put the work the work is whatever you're holding over one of the legs right now it's over one of these legs and it's safe if you can't it's very it's very hard to go over look what happens if I put it between the two legs I barely have to tip it and it and it will go right over okay so you put you put the work over the same thing if you were putting a microphone boom you put it over one of these legs all right, same thing if you were and then you put a sandbag on the back of it same thing on a camera look at the way this camera is set up right over here this camera is set up where the front leg underneath the lens all right, this is it's, not so important with a light camera like this, but a motion picture camera that has a really big, heavy lens. You don't want the camera accidentally going over like that. You always put the lens over a leg.

Class Description

Young filmmakers are often taught to de-prioritize lighting. They are told that lighting takes too much time, money, and expertise to have any profound effect on their work. Lighting for Film: Simple not Plain with Bill Megalos changes that.

In Lighting for Film, Bill will show you how to light technically, instinctually, and cinematically. You will learn how to light for both interior and exterior work and how the simplest lighting techniques can produce the most dramatic effects. 

You’ll learn how to:

  • Produce story-altering lighting effects with minimal equipment
  • Light for both of interior and exterior content
  • Choose instruments that suit your budget and filming goals

Bill will teach professional lighting techniques you can use on your own or with a crew that defy the everyday budget and common-wisdom of filmmakers having to tell a story "in the dark."


a Creativelive Student

This is a wonderful class with a very knowledgeable and experienced instructor. It starts with the principles you need to understand and then walks you through the process of actually doing the work on set. You can see what it takes to accomplish the work. I will be watching this over and over to let it all soak in. Thank you Bill for putting this together.

Joe Stevens

Great class, learned a lot. Would highly recommend!

Abel Riojas

great class! i've struggled with proper lighting and he broke it down in a matter of minutes. very simple and easy to understand. i would recommend this to someone that is still trying to find their "voice"