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Filmmaking Tutorial: Create a Film Noir Look

Caleb Ward

Nothing drips with atmosphere quite like film noir. Learn how to create a stark low-key film noir look in this helpful video tutorial.

Identified by high contrast and emotional dialogue, film noir is an iconic style that can be used to add a level of retro-drama to your project. However, the style is very different from what one might call modern three-point film lighting.

Filmmaking Tutorial: Film Noir ExampleInstead of soft lighting, Film Noir is characterized by very direct harsh lighting. In the following tutorial, filmmaker Tom Antos will show us how to create a film noir effect using a single light source. The tutorial covers:

  • One-Point Lighting
  • Creating Cookies
  • Flagging Lights
  • Desaturating Footage in Post
  • Selective Color Effects

In this filmmaking tutorial, Mr. Antos uses Premiere Pro to achieve his film noir style effect. However, you can use any popular NLE to get a similar look.

This video was first shared by Tom Antos. Thanks for sharing, Tom!

Want to learn more about lighting your film? Check out a few of the following posts:

  1. Add Drama to Your Lighting Setup with Negative Fill
  2. Softer than Softboxes: How to Create Book Lighting
  3. Lighting Tips for Film Noir

Have any tips for creating a moody film noir style effect? Share in the comments below.