“Start where you are. Use what you have and do what you can”
There were days when I wanted to make cinematic videos with well-lit scenes and sick compositions, but the lack of materials too often prevented me from achieving all of this. Luckily I didn’t want to stop there. So I looked for ways to support myself. That is to say; I use what I have in possession as; my phone to film and the sun as my primary light source, and to tell you that I struggled before finding the suitable methods. That’s why today, in this article, I’m going to give you some tips to make it a little easier when you decide to use the sun as your first source. Let’s look at method number one;
The approach to the window
This technique consists of filming your scenes so that it happens near a window. Ideal for filming interviews or two characters who start a conversation, and I suggest you stay with two characters. Otherwise, you will have more difficulty. To do this, you must first know where to shoot, I mean, your location. Make a location scout. Know when is the right time to film and especially see the sun’s direction. There are plenty of apps that allow you to track the sun to find out where it is at such a time.
Once when you have everything, adjust your schedules because, as you already know, the earth turns, and so does time. You know what I mean. Be specific about the plan. I recommend that you arrive at least two hours in advance on set. This is necessary for the next step, which is the rehearsal.
Once there, rehearse first. Position your actors near the window and adjust your takes. You could add diffusion to diffuse the light, and at the same time, why not put a wire negative to add contrast to your shot? It all depends on the look you want and the emotion you want to convey.
Tip: If you want to film an interview, consider putting a lamp in the background and adding a backlight to separate your subject and the background. It will add a stylish little touch to your shot.
The window approach only works when you have a window, so what if you want to film outside?
For any type of outdoor shot, the possibility is vast. But the sun is often “Hard,” and it’s not good to see. To avoid overexposure, you could use any type of diffusion to, you guessed it, diffuse the source. It all depends on your location too, if for example, you were going to film in the city, you can film behind a building but for that, you will need good timing too. Otherwise, it’s dead.
Do not hesitate to take advantage of the weather too because you would not have to add anything if you film while it is cloudy. But don’t forget to bring an umbrella… we never know.
A short vocabulary lesson, the golden hour is the short period, two hours maximum, following sunrise or preceding sunset. You probably already knew that. If not, it’s a vocabulary plus in your pocket.
You could also take advantage of these hours because during these two hours, the light emitted by the sun is much softer than the rest of the day, and it is ideal for filming outdoors.
Filming with natural light will undoubtedly save you a lot more money, but you will have to plan your shoots well. Make sure you have skilled actors because you play over time. Common mistakes should therefore be avoided. Ensure your actors know their scripts well, and they’ll all be okay.