Alice in Wonderland used several types of lighting to enhance the viewers experience in watching the film. The 3-point technique is used in filming parts of Alice. This lighting system is based on three different sources of light. A bright key light, a slightly dimmer light and what is called a fill light that shines on the upper left and upper right sides of a camera that is aimed at the subject. This makes a 3 dimensional look and has softer shades and a back light that shines behind the actors in order to separate the actor from the scene. The shots of Alice falling down the rabbit hole used the 3-point lighting. “This style of lighting is based on careful control of shadows by using three main light sources” (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2014).
Tracking shots were used in the scenes that showed Alice and the animals all fleeing the Bandersnatch, as they ran through the forest of giant mushrooms. Tracking is when a camera is placed on a dolly that moves along a track placed to either follow the actors or back up away from them to see them running towards the camera. This allows the audience to better view the action of the actors as they focus in the different scenes.
Parts of Alice in Wonderland, used computer-generated imagery (CGI), in scenes that envisioned the unreal or fantasy characters or scenery. The Bandersnatch, Jabberwackky, the Card Armies, giant mushrooms and the floating heads. The computer generated shots are then blended with the live action which is filmed separately. “An admixture of live action, motion capture, and computer generated imagery (CGI), in Burton’s adaption of Alice utilizes cutting edge, hybridized animation techniques, as well as stereoscopic 3-D technology” (Manning, 2011).
The benefits of the type of lighting used enabled the interaction of the human characters with the fantasy characters. This and the brilliant colors used suited the genre of the film and added excitement.
If different types of lighting had been used the film might not have been so stunning. Looking at the Mad Hatter with his brilliant orange hair and Alice in Blue with all the other blue of the sky lighted to stun the viewer. Fantasy, since it can’t depend on reality for colors needs to have colors that lighting will make stand out.
If for instance grey had been used as a dominant color the lighting would have needed to have been much brighter. If the lighting had been much brighter the scenes wouldn’t have been a effective especially in the parts where the action was frightening and grotesque in the shadows.
Goodykootz, B. & Jacobs, C.P. (2014). Film: From Watching to Seeing, Bridgepoint Education, Inc., San Diego,
Manning, K.M. (2011). That’s the Effect of Living Backwards: Technological changes Lewis Carroll’s Alice
Books and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, Neo-Victorian Studies 4, (2) 154.