Film School: Music Video Lighting

YC Imaging | 3 EASY Music Video Lighting Setups! YC Imaging | 3 EASY Music Video Lighting Setups!

A roundup of creative tips and tricks for colour and placement.

Dynamism in low-budget, minimal-crew music videos is often best achieved through creative lighting techniques, as these working music video creators demonstrate.

Cinematographer Danny Gevirtz breaks down various lighting setups he created for a music video:

YC Imaging has churned out a series of rap videos with a particular aesthetic over several years. In these two videos, he shares a handful of low-cost, high-impact techniques he’s devised along the way:

YC Imaging also makes an appearance in regular collaborator Creative Ryan‘s own video on lighting techniques:

Complimentary Colours

Each of the guides above makes reference to complimentary colours, or colours located at opposite ends of the colour wheel. When used together, complimentary colours create contrast and, ideally, dynamism. A quick glance at the complimentary colour wheel will tell you which colours to pair for this particular effect:

Complimentary Color Wheel | via copicmarkertutorials.com
Complimentary Color Wheel | via copicmarkertutorials.com

Further Viewing

Of course, lighting is not the only way to tell a colour story – many elements, including wardrobe, set design, and art direction, all contribute colour. Instagram account Colour Palette Cinema posts stills from well-known movies, together with swatches of the colour which comprise the frame. Here’s a more detailed look.

Color Palette Cinema | Instagram
Color Palette Cinema | Instagram