Week 2- Lighting- Love & Basketball

For this week’s blog post I chose the movie Love & Basketball. This movie stars Sanaa Lathan as Monica Wright and Omar Epps as Quincy McCall. The above scene is Kyla Pratt as young Monica and Glenndon Chatman as young Quincy. This film was released in the year 2000 and was written and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood.

This week we are discussing the type of lighting used in film. For this film there were different types of lighting used throughout the film. The scene above uses natural lighting which comes from the sun because it is an outdoor scene (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2014). There are also other parts of the film where the protagonists are competing on the court during their basketball games and the cinematographer chose to use the high key lighting design in order to allow the look and feel of being in the gym or arena where the basketball game is taking place. According to Goodykoontz and Jacobs (2014), high key lighting design” has very bright light over everything, with few shadows and relatively low contrast between the lightest and darkest parts of the scene,”(ch. 6 sect.4, para.1). With Love and Basketball falling into the drama/romantic/sports genres it is expected for the film to use multiple sources of lighting. This trailer provides a look at a few scenes and have perfect examples of the film’s lighting Love & Basketball Trailer.

The benefits of multiple styles of lighting being used is apparent in the film. Using the high key lighting allows the audience to get a good look at the overall games when the sports part of the film is showing and it also allows the viewer to see the character’s feelings during the games. The use of the authentic or natural lighting gives the audience a chance to feel involved with the film because of the feeling of realness the lighting brings. The use of all of the lighting techniques contribute to the theme of the whole film by flowing smoothly between the real life situations all the while giving the audience a peek into the competitive sports world. Love & Basketball

I honestly feel that the right choices were made when choosing the lighting for this film. I don’t think that the film would have turned out as good as it did if the scenes that called for high key lighting had low key lighting and vice versa. The cinematographer did a swell job with this film and it will always be a favorite of mine.


Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2014). Film: From watching to seeing (2nd ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc

IMDb. (2000). Love and Basketball Trailer. Retrieved from: http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi697762073?ref_=ttvi_vi_imdb_1

Nomad. (2011). Love and Basketball You wanna be my girl scene. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0W8QAKf1oYo

Week 2- Lighting- Love & Basketball

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