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Lighting for Film: Simple not Plain

with Bill Megalos

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  •   01 Class Introduction

    17:28
  •   02 The Qualities of Light

    48:08

Class duration: 4h 44m

See all 14 lessons
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  • 50% recommended

    4 student reviews

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About The Class

high-impact, low-budget lighting.


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."

Topics Covered


Lesson Plan

  1. 01

    Class Introduction

    17:28
  2. 02

    The Qualities of Light

    48:08
  3. 03

    Hard Light vs. Soft Light

    22:54
  4. 04

    Three Point Lighting

    12:17
  5. 05

    Color Temperature & White Balance

    14:44
  6. 06

    Basic Light Safety & Gear

    11:48
  7. 07

    Lighting a Subject

    15:36
  8. 08

    Lighting a Room in Daylight

    12:55
  9. 09

    Lighting Day to Look Like Night

    13:52
  10. 10

    Creating Drama with Light

    38:03
  11. 11

    Lighting at Dusk

    18:23
  12. 12

    Lighting in the Shade

    21:04
  13. 13

    Changing Light: Shooting at Sunset

    26:03
  14. 14

    Lighting for Night

    11:30

Meet Your Expert

Bill Megalos

Bill Megalos has taught filmmaking at SVA in New York City, the Univ. of Southern California, and is currently on the faculty of the Maine Media Workshops in Rockport, Maine. He has also taught filmmaking workshops in Asia, Africa, Europe ... read more

See instructor's Classes

50% of students recommend this class.
See what some of them have to say.

  • Creativelive Student

    December 2017

    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.

  • Abel Riojas

    Abel Riojas

    February 2018

    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"

  • Creativelive Student

    Creativelive Student

    April 2019

    I fully agree with Carston. Understanding what they are doing to change the lighting and seeing what needs to be corrected and changed is so important to learning. This is especially a problem in the last two segments. This was a huge waste of time. Everything that I learned could have been summarized in about 5 minutes.

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