Lighting Theory


Lighting Theory


7 Lessons

30 minutes of
instructional video

Access PDF

7 Lessons

30 minutes of
instructional video

Access PDF

The ideal way to understand the theory behind lighting movies

Lighting Theory is a course designed by cinematographer Shane Hurlbut, ASC to dissect the theory behind eight different films and multiple genres that he lensed that include The Rat Pack, The Skulls, Crazy/Beautiful, Drumline, Into the Blue, We Are Marshall, Deadfall, and The Ticket. Lighting is a central component of visual storytelling that could be used to convey emotion, mood, and metaphor.

Shane illustrates how he uses light to form space and how to feel natural and symbolic, when necessary. Prepare to learn how surreal, dark, and mysterious lighting can be accomplished by using just two lights to deliver the emotional impact. Then, discover how to properly research your look and even how to “extend” both dawn and sunset for hours on end.

Course Includes:

Detailed Written Breakdowns

Top-Down Blocking + Lighting Schematics

Script Pages

Side by Side Comparisons


  • How To Light with Emotion: The Rat Pack
  • How To Research Your Look: The Skulls
  • How To Create an Unlit Natural Look: Crazy Beautiful
  • How To Extend Dawn for Hours: Drumline
  • How To Extend Sunset for Hours: Into the Blue
  • How To Light Night Exteriors with Two Lights: We Are Marshall
  • How To Light with Mixed Color Sources: The Ticket

About The Mentor

Director of photography Shane Hurlbut, ASC works at the forefront of cinema as a storyteller, innovator and discerning collaborator, who brings more than three decades of experience to his art. He is a member of the American Society of Cinematographers, the International Cinematographers Guild/Local 600, and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Some of his film credits include: We Are Marshall, Terminator: Salvation, Need for Speed, Act of Valor, Semi-Pro, The Greatest Game Ever Played, Into the Blue, Mr 3000, among many others. 

Access the Course



Billed Annually

Unlimited Access to Courses and Lessons
Enter Our Private Facebook Group 
Access PDF assets

You May Also Like

How To Light High Key Commercials Course - Filmmakers Academy
Replicating Light Sources Beginner with Shane Hurlbut - Filmmakers Academy
On Set Power Distribution with cinematographer Shane Hurlbut, ASC - Filmmakers Academy course
How To Light Green Screens Course - Filmmakers Academy


Become a member and get unlimited access to courses and lessons.

Join now for $37.50/mo.
billed annually

Frequently Asked Questions

Filmmakers Academy offers three memberships: Free, All Access, and All Access + Pro.

The Free account is limited to 30+ lessons and gives you a sneak peek into membership.

All Access includes unlimited access to all of our courses and lessons as well as entry to our Private Facebook Group for Global Referrals + Collaboration, access to PDF assets, and our Career Paths feature that includes Directing, Cinematography, Lighting, G&E, Color Correction, Post-Production, and more!

 All Access + Pro grants you everything in an All Access membership, plus 1 on 1 film mentoring with a mentor of your choice, annually pick 2 Mentor Crafted PDFs (the Holy Grail of Mentor Experience), quarterly exclusive live masterclasses.

If you’re only interested in taking one specific course, we offer many of our courses in the Store.

No, we only offer a select group of courses in our store. Most of our content is member exclusive. Join today to have access to all of our courses.

We do not offer a monthly membership option. Please note that you could pay by PayPal Credit to spread your payments out over 6 months without paying any interest. Please visit PayPal for details on PayPal Credit.

If you wish to cancel your membership:

  1. Log in to your account and click on Dashboard
  2. From the dashboard, click on the option Billing
  3. Then scroll down, locate the Active Plan and click on Change Plan
  4. Click Cancel Membership below your active plan.

Once you’ve completed these steps, the subscription will be officially canceled, and you will not be charged for the subscription in the future.