I watched the film “Stranger Than Fiction” an found these examples of changing light levels in a scene:
Action motivates change: Harold reaches for the light and turns it off.
The source is shown in the shot: The garage door lifts and floods the space with light.
Represents an emotional or abstract state: As Karen Eiffel writes the final scene in which Harold supposedly dies in a traffic accident, the camera pans right to the window and the scene fades to white.
Use of Colour
I found these examples of the use of colour representing :
- change of atmosphere between scenes
- emotion of a character
- general mood or atmosphere of the film as a whole
- a range of feelings, emotions or atmospheres such as love, fear power or joy
From the Film “Sphere”
Set in an underwater habitat the colour blue showed the general mood and atmosphere, a cold inhospitable environment,
while red showed fear and danger.
From the film “Atonement” there was a change of atmosphere between scenes, cold blue lighting is used as Bryony is left to contemplate the consequences of her lie. In the following scene Robbie is arrested and she runs to the window. The anticipation is that she may tell the truth and the change of lighting reflects this change of mood but she remains silent with the voice of Robbie’s mother screaming “liar” echoing in her head.
The emotion of the character is shown (sadness, anxiety) here in blue light as Cecilia waits for Robbie’s return from France on the beach in Sussex.
I’ve watched two films and not been able to come up with all four of the examples. No doubt they exist in various manifestations. I’ll note then in my log as I come across them.