What Dreams May Come Lighting

Written By: Richard Matheson

Screenplay By: Ronald Bass

Director: Vincent Ward

Staring: Robin Williams, Cuba Gooding Jr., Annabella Sciorra and Max von Sydow

Release Year: 1998

In the movie, “What Dreams May Come” there are a number of different ways that lighting is use to give many different effects. Through out the movie the director uses many different styles in which to use lighting to give cause, effect and emotions.  We see how the lighting is bright, bold and vivid near the beginning of the movie because the main characters are happy with what they are doing.  If the lighting in this area would have been darker then it would have given off a feeling that may have been more of a depressed feel when Annie says that she is having a melt down about some paintings that did make it in.

(Ward, 1998)

Another area where we see the director using lighting as an emotion is when Chris begins to yell at Albert about the feelings and love that he has for his wife.  Albert tells him that his wife killed herself and said that there was no way to get her out of Hell.  As Chris’ emotions began to enrage you begin to see a massive thunderstorm build in the background.  The storm lasts for the time that Chris is angry or upset with Albert.  Most of the time when there is a thunderstorm the light from the sun usually gets blocked out thus turning the area dark.  If this scene had been lighter then it would have made it appear to be more of a sun storm and the emotions would not have fit the environment as well and the flashing of the lights would not have shown the effects as well either.

(Ward, 1998)

Finally the last scene that I will discuss is from the boat ride that Chris, Albert and The Tracker are on when they seek out to find Annie in Hell.  They start off in the boat going down, what appears to be, a dark tunnel.  As the tunnel fades away they begin to find themselves in a large storm.  Again the director is using the storm as a sort of feeling frame but is also using it to show conflict.  Again, as it is on the porch scene, you see a dark sky with lightning in the background.  As the light flashes you see the size of the waves and how it shows the only thing out there is a small sail boat.  If the boat had not had the red sail on it then all a viewer would have seen is just the waves.  Because the lightning was flashing and the red sail was the only thing in the water that drew your attention to the size and the detail of how large the waves were and how small the boat was.

(Ward, 1998)

The storms are the representations of struggle.  It shows the constant battle between right and wrong as well as good and evil.  When you think of evil or something that is wrong you always thing of a punishment that you will/are going to receive.  You see something dark coming at you and I feel that it’s mostly how we were raised.  We constitute bright and bold with emotions such as love, joy, fun, excitement and so on.  When we see darkness we see emotions such as hate, sorrow, depression, and death.

Works Cited

Ward, V. (Director). (1998). What Dreams May Come [Motion Picture].


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