Movie sets are very brightly lit, even for scenes that appear dark onscreen. This is because the more light there is, the better the final picture quality is.

Common flashlights are not particularly bright. It would be hard for them to compete with extra-bright movie lights. However, in movies and TV shows the beam of the flashlight is generally visible, and the beam generally illuminates things clearly.

enter image description here

In general, are flashlights in movies modified to increase their light output?


1 Answer 1


Links are mainly to 'educational' refs with background info on each topic, rather than IMDB/wikipedia etc.

You can see the beam because "movie smoke" is used in nearly every shot these days. You often can't really 'see' it in the shot, but it makes lights look good.
Earlier this week, they were actually using 'smoke in a can' which I'd never seen before, to supplement the usual smoke machine. Youtube link to 6 min video on 'smoke in a can'.

Modern cameras can use any old light source, they really don't need anything extra-bright.
Notable recent movies using only natural light include The Witch & of course The Revenant

In earlier times it was only possible by using incredibly wide aperture lenses - famously Kubrick's Barry Lyndon did this.
I have never in my life been anywhere close to a T0.7 lens... they are the stuff of dreams.

Also see Wikipedia - Theatrical smoke & fog

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .