Stage Lighting vs. Film Lighting Comparison Essay by scribbler

Stage Lighting vs. Film Lighting
A look at the differences between stage and film lighting.
# 153496 | 988 words | 3 sources | APA | 2013 | US
Published on Jun 06, 2013 in Film (General) , Drama and Theater (General)

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This paper explores the literature on both stage and film lighting, and explains the uses, advantages and major differences between them. The paper finds that lighting for movies is, of necessity, more creative due to the fact that every scene has different lighting needs and it is all done on the spot. The paper then explains that in a theater, lighting is all done in one building, and there is ample time in advance to make all the technical adjustments and preparations, so it is far less complicated and challenging.

The Literature on Lighting

From the Paper:

"Rick Shaw of CSI Multimedia as been providing lighting, sound, video and projection since 1986, and he insists that proper "video and stage lighting are, for the most part, mutually incompatible" (Shaw, 2009). Lighting for film and video is "flat" Shaw says, with no shadows, and it has a high color temperature (5600 Kelvin, which is equal to morning sunlight). Stage lighting however is "dimensional," which means there will be shadows, and its color temperature is just 3200 Kelvin - about the intensity of a quartz bulb (Shaw, p. 1).
"Shaw notes that the anchors on cable news programs have "naturally appearing colors, especially flesh tones" and there are never shadows under the eyes or neck. But on the other hand, when a person views his or her own personal videos, "high contrast shadows are everywhere," faces have "a unnatural glow" and "everything has an orange hue to it" (p. 1). The solution to the issues related to home video production is to use professional movie lights, for example, "large Fresnels" with day light filters or banks of focused fluorescent lights. These lights will help produce the flat lighting and high color temperature needed for good video and film production, Shaw continues (p. 2)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • McQueen, Van, and Steve B. (2009). Movie vs. Theatrical Lighting. Control Booth. Retrieved June 8, 2011, from
  • Ostroff, Boyd, and Wiley, Peter. (2004). Stage Lights vs. Film Lights. RetrievedJune 8, 2011, from
  • Shaw, Rick. (2008). Video and Stage Lighting. CSI Multimedia. Retrieved June 8, 2011, from

Cite this Comparison Essay:

APA Format

Stage Lighting vs. Film Lighting (2013, June 06) Retrieved September 19, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Stage Lighting vs. Film Lighting" 06 June 2013. Web. 19 September. 2021. <>