The Technique of Lighting for Television and Film

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Focal Press, 1991 - Photography - 466 pages
A practical study of the art and craft of lighting for the screen, assuming no previous knowledge or experience and covering all aspects of the craft, from the basic physics of illumination to everyday practicalities.

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"There is another aspect of color which must be understood, and that is "color depth." This is the apparency of depth (relative distance from the viewer) characteristic of different colors and depending on background against which they appear.
Against a white background, colors give the illusion of distance from the viewer in the order:
blue-green (apparently nearest the viewer)
yellow-green (apparently farthest from the viewer)
Against a black background, the apparency of distance changes:
red (nearest)
violet (farthest)
Color depth and color harmony must be used in conjunction..
As an example of the use of this technology, I was once submitted a set design for a film which looked a bit unintegrated, as though it didn't really belong together. The main fault was that a black-board in this particular classroom scene looked like it was closer to the audience than the students, when it was actually farther away--thus robin the set of depth. I tried to work with the color wheel (Grumbacher Color Compass) to find some different color background for the set and discovered at that time that I couldn't get the combination that had been proposed on a color wheel or on the depth perception chart. It turned out out that the blackboard would have to be yellow to make the set come off.
Another example, a proposed set design for a Greek temple I was handed had its color depth backwards, collapsing the set and making it look small. The back walls and floors and pillars should have been Greek white marble, and a decorative frieze set in the back wall (because of the white backgrounds in this set) should only have been apple-green.
The costumes would also have to have been followed color depth perception--fabrics of almost all hues were available in Greece.
Further data on color depth may be found in the book "The Techniques of lighting for Television and Motion Pictures, by Gerald Millerson, and published by Hastings House, 10 East 40th Street, NY, NY 10016."
This is on page 105 in the book entitled ART by L. Ron Hubbard
I use this book more than any other lighting book in all of my productions and recommend everyone buying both for your work library.


Preface to the Third Edition
The nature of light
The eye and perception

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About the author (1991)

Millerson was primarily associated with studio operations in the Television Service during his career with the BBC. His lecturing background included courses in TV production at a number of American universities.

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