Lighting Definitions

Lighting is one of the most important requirements in making a quality film. Lighting on set is a vital part to building a good scene. Unfortunately not everyone understands the importance of lighting in making a good video. The sunlight is not sufficient enough to provide light when making a video. And it is because of this fact that it is advisable to always carry extra lights. The following are reasons why lighting is important in filming:

Clarity of Image

It is essential for viewers to tell the difference in all elements in the movie. Lighting enables you to differentiate between what is happening in the foreground and background in a scene. Viewers should be able to notice different facial expressions as well as physical gestures.

Creates Realism

The sole purpose of lighting in films was to make the images clear but later, other factors were realized. In 1905, film producers introduced visual schemes that demonstrated how lighting was important in creating realism in film making. Light makes scenes in movies to look real.

Lighting helps in determining the mood of the film

The way a movie scene is lit determines the mood of the movie. A good example is a horror movie. Movie producers make certain scenes dimmer to show how dangerous and scary that scene is or is going to be. Shadows and contrast can have an effect on a movie scene. This also applies in TV commercials and even in online videos.

Increases Editing Time

Poor lighting will give you a hard time when it comes to the final editing of the film. In other cases, you might be forced to even re-shoot the movie. The use of editing software can sometimes prove to be a problem especially on scenes with poor lighting.

Determines the Quality of the Project

The difference between a High Definition movie and a cheap or poor quality movie is lighting. Most poor quality films are either shot using too much or too little artificial light. Adequate lighting means goof quality shooting. You will be able to shoot almost everything in that particular scene because they are all visible. With extra lights on, small effects and textures can be visible to the camera man. These graphics make good quality film. 

In summary, lighting in film is very important. You need light to shoot high quality films. However, this does not mean that you should rely on natural sunshine for light. Carrying extra lights is integral in ensuring that nothing goes wrong when shooting.

MOS in Film

Different categories of definition have been found as regards the use of MOS. MOS is used mostly when a scene is filmed without sound. A Hollywood actor defines MOS as “Mit Out Sound” while some people refer to it as Motor Only Sync. It is called a standard film jargon abbreviation by some people and it is used during film production to indicate associated film segment that has no audio track.

When sound is omitted while recording a particular shot, it saves a lot of time and relives the film crew of certain requirements. For example, silence during a take. This is what makes MOS common during film shoots when some subjects of the take are not making any speech or otherwise generating useful sounds

MOS take is always being combined with miscellaneous sounds recorded on location in post-Production, the musical sound track, voiceovers or sound effect that is created by a Foley artist.

Origin of the term

IDifferent sources have emerged as regards the source of the abbreviation MOS. During recording when the sound recording reaches the point where the sound is recorded on a synchronized but separate piece of media i.e 35mm film, audio tape or other media, keeping the camera film and recoding in sync MOS will be needed. The solution that arose was only to use a special form of motor with multiple windings in it that has the capacity to connect to another motor in such a way that turning one motor to a certain distance will turn the other exactly the same distance. With appropriate circuitry the motors does not necessary need to be together and they do not have to be of the same power size. For you to use this system, the sound mixer will need to connect an intercom to the sound records to roll or start the system

The recordist who actually started and stopped the camera motor had a switch in other to ensure the camera didn’t roll at an inopportune time. For example, loading, replacing lenses. E.t.c and to put a stop to it whenever the need arose.

The sound booth is where the actual power source of the camera is located. If a shot is planned that does not necessarily require sound, the sound mixer will go to work asking the recordist to roll the motor only. The recordist will take action starting the camera motor without necessarily starting the matching electronics and motor. This procedure is what brought about the name Motor only Shot (MOS).




Ever wondered the purpose of sound in film?

Despite the baffling nature, the place of sound in a film is often overlooked. We view the film as a visual medium but what we forget is that it takes sound to bring out the mood and convey the message of the story. Imagine pressing the mute button, what happens to the film? It loses its meaning just like tasteless salt.

Sound helps us achieve the following when it comes to movies:

  • Intensifying the mood
  • Providing info about the location of the scene; if it’s at sea
  • Advance plot of the story
  • Tells more about the characters in the film

Sound is categories into two:

  • Diegetic: These are all fictitious audio elements that come from sources inside the movie. They include dialogue or footsteps.
  • Non-Diegetic: these are audios that come from outside of the fictional world.


The good old golden day, from the likes of Charlie Chaplin films, sound was not embraced that much as it is today. Silent movies where the boom back in the day; a simple guitar or piano playing in the background was considered enough especially in stage performance. From a multi-piece pit orchestra for openings to a solitary piano, was found to be sufficient for entertainment in film. Thanks to advanced technology meet, the film industry has evolved its involvement of music in the movies. Sound is no longer a presider (introductory and ending clause) but an accompaniment of motion in film.

Significance in film set

  1. Simulating Reality

Just from the sound you can tell where the plot of a movie is taking place even without looking. The whole point of music in a film is to give you the illusion that you are in the real world. Sound has been able to achieve this effect by simulating real life situations. Most often, the sound effects heard in different scenes are often not the sounds that were recorded during production. Most sound effects, such as general ambient noise, footsteps, car horns, and gunshots are reinvented and added by the sound editorial team. To get the job done, it requires hours of going through music libraries or creating sounds down from the ground, to bring the realistic feel to you the viewer.

2. Manipulating Emotion and Mood

An excellent film producer knows how to manipulate your emotions and mood in the film with different sound techniques. Ever watch a movie with a sad storyline and find yourself breaking down in tears without you noticing? Well, all this is the work of sound motions. The perfect soundtrack can bring out the picture the author of the film was trying to convey even if the pictures are not that captivating. This applies in particular to horrors and romantic movies.



Sync in films goes way back to the discovery of sound in film. Sync in film refers to the sound recorded during the filming process. It is also known as synchronization of sound in film. This is matching a scene with a particular sound that fits the situation. For example, if an actor is playing piano, the sound you expect to hear is that of a piano.

Music has always played second base to motion pictures when it comes to television and cinema. However, this is not the case these days; sound is entirely equal to picture when it comes to conveying the story line.


Music or sound always accompany narration. It could be in the form of drum beats (if you have a red India heritage) or playing of guitars (if you are from the deep west). Sound has always played a significant role in conveying the message of the film.

The first synchronization of sound was a rotational recording device marked with a white spot. The camera operator hand cranked the camera to keep it in sync with the recording, as the white spot rotated, This method is then repeated for playback while with the projectionist is reeling the film projector.

Today, all this work is being done by digital sound recorders and digital video cameras. Synchronizing electronically, they are being used for video production.

Significance in film set

If we reflect on the importance of music, it is one of the most unique conventions in movies. You do not question whether music should be a part of film. Maybe this is because we’ve embraced the idea that, in a film, we should have music in the background. Of course, in reality soundtrack do not accompany real life events. However, when it comes to movies, we demand music.

Well, here are a few reasons as to why:

  • Guide the emotion response of your audience: For some effect, music is used to bring effect. Sound gives you a clue of              what to expect from the filmmaker when it comes to a particular scene. A good example is when people are about to kiss, a                    romantic song starts to play in the background.
  • Foreshadow upcoming events: In some cases, film directors use music to foretell future scenes. Like in horror movies when          one is about to be attacked, a special sync music plays alerting you on what’s about to happen.
  • Gambit for movie: Music can also provide introduction to a film as the background for the curtain raisers. Like a dramatic                orchestra music in a thrilling film.

We can never do without sound in film.


Camera History

Photography is a word that is derived from a combination of two Greek words photos which means light and graphein which means to draw. The word photography was first used by Sir John F.W Herschel, a renowned scientist, in 1839. It simply means recording images using light or radiation on a sensitive material.

Camera Obscura

The prehistoric Greeks and the Chinese used an optical gadget known as the camera obscura to project a picture of the surroundings on to a screen. It was the first invention that led to the development of cameras and photography. The Camera obscura also known as the pinhole camera was invented by Alhazen.

Early Images

The first images were upside down. The first photograph was made by Nicephore Niepce in 1827 using a tiny camera which he developed. The camera was covered by a silver chloride paper. The paper was used to darken the areas that were exposed to light. Unfortunately the images captured were never permanent. After a few minutes the images would be darkened by light making it hard to view the images.

Daguerreotypes and Calotypes

Nicephore partnered with Louis Daguerre to continue developing his idea. And after the death of Niepce in 183, Louis continued with experiments and in 1837 he created the first practical photographic process and named it the daguerreotype which was unveiled to the public in 1839.

The Kodak Camera

In 1885, George Eastman pioneered the use of photographic film. He named his first camera Kodak and offered it for sale in 1888. The camera was fixed-focused lens box camera which had a single shutter speed. The Kodak camera was preloaded with a film that could allow up to 100 exposures. Unfortunately, this film was to be sent back to the factory to be processed for one to view the images. This could only happen when the entire roll was finished.

Later in 1900, George Eastman, introduced the Brownie, which was a simple and affordable box camera which brought in the snapshot concept. This camera was very popular and remained on the market until the 1960s.

TLRs and SLRs

In 1928, the first reflex camera the Frankie and Heidecke Rolleiflex TLR was introduced. Although these cameras were bulky, they gained popularity because they were available as high end cameras as well as low end camera.

Instant Cameras

A new type of camera (the instant picture camera) was introduced into the market in the 1948. The Polaroid Model 95 Land camera was the first instant camera to be released to the market for sale. It was developed by Edwin Land. It used copyright protected chemical process to produce positive prints from the exposed negatives in less than a minute.

Digital Cameras

Willard S Boyle in partnership with George E Smith made the first ever successful imaging technology using a digital sensor in 1969. However, despite the technology being in existence since 1969, the first commercial digital single lens reflex (DSLR) was launched in 1991 by Kodak. The use of digital cameras increased in 2000s as the technology improved and everyone embraced the use of digital cameras.


How I ended up Being Script supervisor

Just like many other young girls, I had set out to become an actress when I came to Hollywood. It is usually the dream of many girls to become actresses in Hollywood. The nationwide popularity that actresses get is what pushes many young girls to this profession. But even so, there are other jobs in Hollywood that are actually more interesting than acting. Of course, you will never get to know about this until you get there.

How was the Script supervisor Idea Developed?

Given the number of many applicants in an acting career, it was clear that I had to wait for quite some time before I could get my first acting role. Luckily, for me, I had some experience stage managing and running a theater in a college. This is how the idea of getting a job in script writing developed. I had to look for a job as a crew member and realized that my experience in theater will help me secure a role as script supervisor. I secured that job and started off an exciting career in the film industry.

My Experience in Script supervision

Though I had not come to Hollywood seeking a career in scriptwriting, I found myself glued to this interesting role in the film industry. I think it is fate that directed me here for things are now working better than I had initially thought. I am having quite a nice experience in this role.

What are the Benefits of Scriptsupervisor in the Film Industry?

As an aspiring actress who found herself locked in script writing. I have realized that scriptwriting is very beneficial in advancing my quest to become whatever I want in this lucrative film industry. Here are some of the benefits I get as a script supervisor.

  • Direct Contact with Great Directors and Producers 

In this role, I get direct contact with Hollywood great producers and directors. This helps me to learn from them how to make great films. 

  • Practical Experience

As a script supervisor, I get practical experience in filmmaking. The kind of experience that I get here cannot be gotten in school. This is what players in the film industry need in order to sharpen their skills. It is like am getting paid to be trained since I get experience in acting while I work as a script supervisor.

  • Vast Knowledge of the Film Industry

While working here, I get vast knowledge of the American film industry, Hollywood. This kind of knowledge will be useful later on if I want to seek another job, probably in acting.

It is very clear that all these benefits gotten from my role can help me shape my career in the films in whichever direction I choose. Furthermore, it is a well paying career that one would find it hard to quit.

The History of Film

The history of film started in 1890s, when the first motion picture cameras were invented. Unfortunately due to the technological limits, films were under a minute long and they were produced without sound until 1927. The first ten years of motion pictures saw the move from newness to large scale entertainment industry. The first rotating camera was built in 1897. This led to the building of the first film studios in the same year.

The first use of animations in films was done in 1899. In 1906 the first multi-reel film, an Australian production was introduced. The Nickelodeon was the first successful permanent theatre. By 1910, actors started receiving screen credits for their successful roles.
The first movie cameras were tied to the head of their tripod with simple leveling gadget provided. The first rotating camera was built in 1897 by Robert Paul and was used for taking panning shots. He used the camera to shoot the procession of Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee.

In 1897, Georges Melies built among the first few film studios. The studio had a glass roof and 3 glass walls. The studio was fitted with thin pieces of cotton cloths that were used to diffuse direct rays of the sun especially during sunny days. Georges produced, distributed and sold over 500 short films.

Towards the end of the 19th century, the first films that consisted of more than a single shot begun to emerge. A good example is the French film Jesus Christ. Film continuity that involved action moving from one sequence to another was first illustrated in the British film come along that was made in 1898 produced by Robert W Paul. More and more development on action continuity in films continued later in 1899 in England.

The use of animation in films started in 1899 with a short film that was meant to encourage viewers to contribute matches that would later be sent to the British army fighting in the Boer War in South Africa.

Today, the movie industry is one of the biggest and fastest growing industries ever. Almost every country including African countries are producing and shooting their own movies. Numerous companies have taken up the role of shooting, producing, directing and marketing movies. Countries like Germany, France and the United States joined Britain in serious film production. A good example is in Italy where Turin was the first and biggest film center. In the United States of America, Hollywood is the main film center. Numerous movies have been produced since the introduction of motion pictures and today movies are being shot in High Definition.

Lawrence Chick

As a production sound mixer residing in Malaysia, Lawrence Chick has traveled the world to be part of the film industry. Various projects have taken him to the Middle Eastern countries of Dubai and Yemen; South Asia to Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia and Brunei; Australia and London England. A few examples of shows he’s worked on include the reality series Survivor South Africa and Blackhat, a feature film by Michael Mann.

What exactly does Lawrence do? The best description is that, for a film and television production, while the camera department films the visuals, he records the sound portion of the visual. It may be dialogue, sound effects or ambiance. This way, the viewer gets to experience both the audio and the visual. In the film industry this is called location sound recording.

While sound mixing wasn’t his first choice for a career, it became his passion. At first an unknown field to him, studio work was something Lawrence wanted to try after graduating with an Engineering degree. He built a small recording studio in his spare time, attempting to create his own music; this lead to sound editing and sound effect work. He landed a gig recording for a corporate video and knew then that this is what he wanted to do. That first gig was also his biggest challenge as he realized he didn’t fully understand all that was involved.

Lawrence found that by being able to work in the area of his passion was a blessing as well. Every project is different, unique, in its own way. He considers meeting, and talking to, new people a bonus as it broadens his knowledge of how diverse many of them are. He can’t see himself doing anything else with his life these days.

Being one step ahead of the game has helped Lawrence in so many ways. Improvising and quick thinking through problems has saved him and films he has worked on.

Lawrence gets inspiration from big budget Hollywood movies in cinemas because sound is a part of the cinematic experience. He listens to the varied ways directors evoke the audience sound experience.

As for books and music – in general Lawrence doesn’t have a single favorite book or genre. He reads many books and magazines related to sound and music technology; often finding more information within the vast range of the internet. Jazz is a love of his mainly due to the song and it’s sound.

You can check out his Facebook page for more information at

How to Stay on Top of Competition in the Film Industry

One of the most competitive industries in the world is the film industry. It is a competitive industry owing to the huge number of entrants into this market. In Hollywood alone, hundreds of thousands of people come to this most popular film industry in search of employment every year. This kind of competition calls for a change of tactic while seeking a job in this industry. Here are some of the most important tips of beating competition in the film industry.

Tips to Beat Competition in the Film Industry

  • Educate Yourself

The film industry is fast evolving and thus the need to educate yourself on all the changes that are taking place in this industry. You will need into get to a film college if need be just to sharpen your knowledge of the emerging issues surrounding the film industry and how to approach them professionally. If you exhibit your earned knowledge for a potential employer, you will definitely beat your competition.

  • Find a Mentor

Another way of staying on top of your competition is finding a good and reliable mentor who will guide you on how to become a better artist in the film industry. It is important to find mentors who are already experienced in the industry to guide you with knowledge of industry’s expectations.

  • Deliver more than Expected

If you get a chance in the film industry, you should be willing to deliver more than it is expected of you. Key industry players such as top directors and producers will always notice such active work and thus work to lift you above your competition.

  • Go the Extra Mile

You should be willing to work the extra hours to keep up with the demand in the industry. The extra hours might seem to be tiring but will go a long way into making you a competitive artist in the film industry.

  • Accept Low Pay

Many people do not want to hear anything about low pay in the film industry. Yes, it may not sound as a true reflection of what is expected in the film industry but definitely a perfect way to start off a career in the industry. Just accept the low pay at least while you are still gaining experience to bargain for a better pay in the future.

The moment you feel you have enough experience, feel free to demand for a better pay. However, this should only happen when you are sure that you have relevant skills.

Strict adherence to the above mentioned tips will ensure that you rise against your competition in the film industry and make a good name out of your career!