Lighting for video is as much art as it is science. This video tutorial outlines how “lighting on the upstage side of the camera” – meaning the side away from the camera – can help add depth and dimension to your images. You can achieve this look with minimal lights and minimal cost. This is a great technique for independent filmmakers who are looking to add production value to their films or documentaries without spending a lot of money on lighting kits. If you are looking for an online film school, visit Lights Film School for programs in filmmaking and music video.
Three-point lighting is a standard method used in visual media such as theatre, video, film, still photography and computer-generated imagery. By using three separate positions, the photographer can illuminate the shot’s subject (such as a person) however desired, while also controlling (or eliminating entirely) the shading and shadows produced by direct lighting.
The key light, as the name suggests, shines directly upon the subject and serves as its principal illuminator; more than anything else, the strength, color and angle of the key determines the shot’s overall lighting design.
In indoor shots, the key is commonly a specialized lamp, or a camera’s flash. In outdoor daytime shots, the Sun often serves as the key light. In this case, of course, the photographer cannot set the light in the exact position he or she wants, so instead arranges it to best capture the sunlight, perhaps after waiting for the sun to position itself just right. More about three point lighting on Wikipedia, and a great reference for definitions of lighting and filmmaking terms with links to more information about each.