What I want to find out

I want to find out about lighting effects in films, in particular, the 1944 – 1954 film genre – film noir. This is because film noir uses lighting techniques to the extreme.

How am I going to find it out

I have found out a lot of information from these sources and they both seem like reliable sources i.e. they can’t be edited by anyone like Wikipedia can be.

This source told me how modern day film noir can be created just in post production alone, which can be helpful if you have a small budget.

Chris Spooner. 2015. How To Create a Sin City Style Film Noir Effect in Photoshop. [ONLINE] Available at: http://blog.spoongraphics.co.uk/tutorials/how-to-create-a-sin-city-style-film-noir-effect-in-photoshop. [Accessed 1 October 2016].

This source is about how they used to make film noir in the 1940’s and 1950’s.

Robert G. Nulph. 2008. CREATE DETECTIVE STYLE FILMS WITH FILM NOIR LIGHTING. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.videomaker.com/article/c13/13548-create-detective-style-films-with-film-noir-lighting. [Accessed 1 October 2016].

What I found out

I will try to reproduce some of the effects used in film noir using the blinds in my house. I have found out that film noir is usually shot in black and white with a high contrast in lighting. Film noir mostly died out after 1954 but some modern films still use film noir techniques. The most notable film is Sin City (2005), but in modern films, the shadows and lights can be edited in later which can decrease the amount of equipment needed. The effect can be created using blinds and shining a bright light through them. Film noir is used most in crime or detective films because it adds mystery to the film because of the use of shadows to possibly hide the unknown. Film noir is French for “black film” and although there were lots of these films around they weren’t called film noir until Nino Frank – a French critic came up with the name.


wikispaces.com. no date. Film Noir. [ONLINE] Available at: https://ontheroad29.wikispaces.com/Film+Noir. [Accessed 26 September 2016].

Applying it

I have created a film noir style photo which gives the effect of looking throught Venetian blinds

photo_0162751617pfgefu (1).jpg

Usually, to create these shots you would shine a bright light through some Venetian blinds or use photoshop to create this effect, but because I didn’t have either photoshop or Venetian blinds in my house I had to improvise.

I tried cutting out black strips of paper and attaching them to a desk lamp in order to create the effect.


It didn’t work because the light that was coming through between the black strips of paper was dispersing to cover up the shadows I was trying to cast on the wall.


I then found out that if I put the light very close to the wall there wasn’t enough time for the light to disperse before hitting the wall and it worked.


I did some testing and I found out my makeshift Venetian blinds had to be further away from the light source to cast a shadow at a larger distance from the wall. So using a spatula, coathangers, wrapping paper, duct tape and scissors I managed to fix my problem.