Lighting for film is critical, not only for exposure but also to create a mood that best tells your story. In low-budget filmmaking, you may not be able to afford all the fancy lighting tools out there—a basic Arri kit can cost you close to $2,000 to purchase. So how do you go about lighting your small project effectively and artistically on a shoestring budget?
Learn Your Camera’s Settings
Before you even think about how to light, take the time to learn what your camera is capable of doing. Most low-budget filmmakers are now using HDSLR cameras such as the Canon 7D or the Blackmagic Cinema cameras which offer great picture quality at a relatively low cost. These cameras allow you to change all sorts of settings—F-stop, shutter speed, ISO, and even color schemes. Take some time to play around with these settings and see what your particular camera can do for you.