Music video director shows how lighting can change a person’s face

Emerald Pellot
·2 min read

Most photographers and visual artists know that lighting can make or break an image.

But that point was proven to a mass audience back in 2013, when music video director Nacho Guzman dropped a brief teaser for the song “Sparkles and Wine” by the French band OPALE. The video clip went viral, racking up 4.2 million views on Vimeo, by showcasing the transformative power of thoughtful lighting.

The video shows a woman’s face with direct lighting shifting around her. With each transition, she looked completely different. Sometimes her cheeks were more defined or more full. Sometimes the texture of her skin was smooth or pronounced. In an instant, she went from looking steely and regal to looking warm and exuberant. The cool and warm tones each highlighted different angles of her face, which struck different moods, expressions and features.

According to HuffPost, Guzman used colored LED string lights, the kind on Christmas trees, for color-changes in the music video. The style is a homage to the late French director Henri-Georges Clouzot who used a similar technique for his final unfinished film. However, no one knew how Clouzot implemented the technique so Guzman had to figure it out himself.

He received help from Downton Abbey’s construction department to erect a massive wooden wheel. Guzman then attached the camera and Christmas lights to the structure and spun it to create the OPALE music video. Talk about resourceful!

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