Illumination, also known as illumination, is the intentional use of light to produce physical results. This covers both chemical and natural lighting. Lamps, skylights, and also the use of windows and light shelves are examples of popular light sources. Lighting is used extensively in the film Titanic to intensify the plot and bring each scene to life. Though the film tells a love tale, light is cleverly used to carry out themes such as love and an impending storm, among many others. It was clear in the film that light can be used to bring out themes, moods, and even place the film in a certain period in history. In the opening scene, lighting is used to bring out the vintage view depicting when the story in the film took place. This would definitely be estimated to be in the early 19th Century as the color quality of films and cameras had not been enhanced as is the case in the current era compared to science fiction movies whose stories are most likely to be futuristic and with lighting even in the streets well enhanced (Goodykoontz, & Jacobs, 28).
Light is also used to bring out the idea of class. The Titanic, just like any other public transport was divided in to classes. The part of the ship where Jack had booked was highly congested and poorly lit make it clear that occupants were of a lower class. This is definitely not the case in the in the first class part of the ship which is very spacious and well lit. The producer made good use of natural light as unlike the low class cubicles, the first class had windows and a central social place that appeared to be a cafeteria. Light was in this case used to bring out the divide between the two classes. This was even more enhanced by the use of golden reflections from significant parts of the ship and other sparkling artifacts used to furnish the first class part of the ship.
It is very clear that a number of lighting techniques were used to give a dramatic but also a more realistic effect. A good example is when the two main characters Jack and Rose are standing at the ship’s stern and Rose pretending like she is flying (Hallam & Roberts, 11). The technique used in this case three-point. Light will in this case vary in terms of intensity, positioning of the back light and the fill to help bring out the mood or simulate the main sources of light in the specific scene. This scene is illuminated by light from the sun giving it a more natural view.
When the ship was sinking, the producer changes the lighting to a dark and more mysterious one. Use of lighting in the movie gave a more understanding of the film. The lighting gave the scenes more mystery and appeal while at the same time depicting the mood. After the ship had sunk, the mood was a sad one (Heyer, 16). Alongside the background song, the lighting became darker depicting the sad scene.
The main theme in the movie was love between Jack and Rose in a tragic scene. The lighting was properly used to bring this out especially when they were standing at the stern of the ship and you could tell they were in love. The lighting was also used to depict the doom that Jack could not avoid. The use of light in the film “Titanic” proved the importance of light and how it can be used to enhance the mood, themes and even give a timeline as to when the story in the film took place.
Goodykoontz, B. & Jacobs, C. P. Film: From Watching To Seeing. Cinematography. San Diego: Bridge point Education, 2011.
Hallam, Julia., & Roberts, Les. Locating the Moving Image: New Approaches to Film and Place. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2014.
Heyer, Paul. Titanic Century: Media, Myth, and the Making of a Cultural Icon. Santa Barbara, California: Praeger, 2012.