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Thread: Question about brightness / darkness in horror film

  1. #1
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    Default Question about brightness / darkness in horror film

    Okay so my friends and I are going to be filming a horror movie soon and then I'm in charge of video editing, so I have a few questions.

    Short plot for the part I'm inquiring about: Cops break into a serial killer's house to arrest him, searching through the house, he starts killing them one by one.

    So obviously for a horror movie it has to be dark throughout the house to make it suspensfull so I'm wondering how I can achieve this, these are the possibilties I thought of:

    1) Should I turn most of the lights off in the house we're using and just leave enough on to see what's going on?

    2) Should I film in regular lighting like normal and then when I'm editing it make it darker (I have access to Sony Vegas, Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0, and Windows Movie Maker)

    Or is there any other ways I should do??? and if editing is involved, please tell me how to with either Vegas or Premiere

  2. #2
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    " So obviously for a horror movie it has to be dark throughout the house to make it suspensfull "

    Why? Is there a power cut? I would suggest it's much more complicated than that. I would say good cinemaphotography and cutting are far more important than relying on one clichied device to create suspense.

  3. #3
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    and i would disagree, and insist that the house has to be dark

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    I would film it during daytime and use the "night time" filter from magic bullets. Making night shots are very difficult to get it right, doing it wrong will result in too dark, muddy images with less detail and too much grain.

  5. #5
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    Actually, it the primary job of the cinematogrpaher the get this right. Editting comes later for colour balancing etc

    but I would agree. better to film with plenty of light and change it in post. think about shadows though. there might be some times you want nice harsh shadows for good effect so think about lighting for these.

    however, your best answer is to film some test footage youself and try it out befoire the main shoot. Film it every which way you can think of and see what works and what doesn't.

    Consider a classic like Alien. generally considered to be a dark movie but watch it again and see how much is really in the dark. next to none of it really. Just good lighting givine excellent contrast - and yes I'm a fan of this movie.

    We can all throw in our 2p worth and you may well get an answer that's right on the money but why chance it? Film a scene and try some different post production on it and see what works and what doesn't. It's the only way to be sure!

  6. #6
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    thnx alot, i will try it

    and im pretty sure i have a magic bullet suite or somethin for after effects.. is that what u're referring to? if so how do i use it?? im so lost with after effects

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommie31 View Post
    and i would disagree, and insist that the house has to be dark
    Stereo typically it should be dark but horror can be achieved in brightenss too - depends on the style you are going for.

  8. #8
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    i know i was just kinda frustrated cuz i had asked a question about how to ACHIEVE darkness not whether or not it was required

    but i know what u're saying... but it aint my movie its my friends idea im just recording / editing so its what he says that goes

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