Lighting is used in film and TV as a technique to dazzle and entrance the viewer and accentuate the story in a way that other film techniques can’t. Prominent lighting techniques can be seen in the Godfather, the musical episode of Scrubs and Raiders of the Lost Ark.
The Godfather is one of the great classics in which the lighting contributes to the story to support the personalities of the characters. The lighting in the film is reminiscent of many renaissance artworks reminding that the Corleone family is of Sicilian descent. The dark muggy lighting (especially in the Don’s office) implies that the Godfather is a mysterious yet dangerous man who is well respected and honoured. Light strikes quite harshly from one source leaving much of the surrounding area still in total darkness that is featured in many paintings from the renaissance era. Many of these painting feature horrors and threats that are further highlighted with the lighting. This lighting technique has been transferred to the Godfather to heighten and stress the constant threat that the Corleone family faces.
The dark and foreboding lighting is quite different from the cheery uplifting feeling of the musical episode of Scrubs entitled My Musical. The Lighting in the episode is bright and cheerful to symbolise the overall happy tone of any musical. Everything is more colourful than usual from the costumes to the layout of the hospital. This technique of lighting is used to imply that everything is happy and perfect and nothing could go wrong.
Once again the lighting in Raiders is much more different from both The Godfather and Scrubs. The lighting in this film is bold and powerful and is used to insinuate that Indy is a heroic and adventurous character.
It is through the Godfather, Scrubs and Raiders that we can see three different yet clever techniques of lighting within film and TV.