light film

Some things I noticed after watching Rogue One a second time . . .

When I first watched Rogue One, I was just trying to stay with the plot and falling in love with the characters, so I didn’t go too deep with studying the actual filmmaking that went into it.

I’m a huge film nerd - went to film school, actually - so this time around, I consciously looked at the film through that lens.

Maybe someone else has already noticed this, but here goes:

I was really struck by the Director of Photography’s lighting choices in the scene where the rebellion is basically “recruiting” Jyn.

Lighting is such a cool thing - often used in classic movies to show the moral standing of characters.

Here’s a breakdown of how each major player in the scene is lit and what we can infer:

Mon Mothma - brightly, fully lit (she almost looks angelic); she is clearly the person with the most strict moral code and the most “spotless moral conduct” (reading the novelisation, this really comes through)

Jyn Erso - softly lit with no hard shadows, but clearly dimmer than Mon Mothma; she has a shady criminal past, but she’s got good intentions

General Dodonna and Bail Organa - lit similarly to Jyn; they have good intentions, even if they might be a bit more comfortable with the moral grey areas than Mon Mothma

General Draven - there is a bit of bright lighting on the top of his head, but his face generally stays in shadow; he has fully accepted the “morally questionable” acts he orders others to commit to serve the greater vision of the Rebellion

And now my favourite …

Cassian Andor - his face is half in shadow and half in light (very similar to the way Michael Corleone is lit in The Godfather); it represents how he wrestles with doing things he hates (assassinations, etc) to serve the cause he believes in, because he finds them morally reprehensible - Cassian is, to borrow a phrase from Doctor Who, “halfway out of the dark”

Anyway, I though it was pretty cool. I noticed some other thematic stuff that I might post about later.

Feel free to talk to me about this - I’m a total nerd about it and I love meeting other people who are nerdy about it, too.

Also, I’m total trash for rebelcaptain. If you are, too, we should be friends.