Thursday, 21 January 2010

How bright are your lights?

There are different kinds of science fiction. I decide what they are by how brightly they're lit.

If you're looking for something brooding and dangerous then it's darkly-lit corridors all the way. Throw in some slowly rotating giant fans to cast some flickering shadows and maybe throw in a bit of smoke machine haziness and next thing you know you're being chased by inconceivable aliens, discovering an age-old mind-blowing technology or you're chasing a sci-fi drug pusher through a mining station. Hell, throw in a couple of neon lights and it's LA in 2019.

Now turn up the lights. Whitewash the walls. Now you're walking the corridors of a prim and proper Federation starship, or you're in a sterile functional space station on your way to look at a strange artifact on the moon. Of course, once you get to the artifact it all gets dark and moody and there's people standing around with giant fans and smoke machines, or when you find the cyborg entity intent on assimilating your species in your engine room the exact same thing happens. Weird, that.

The science fiction mood, even the genre, is decided by it's lighting. Remember that, you'll know what kind of film you're in for.