Making the case for lighting MALUMA x THE WEEKND

A few frames.

The breakout collaboration between musical worlds (POP x LATIN) isn’t new. What is new is the concept of big set ideas converging. What do we mean? Most music videos today by the early 2000’s are simple and pretty low bar in terms of production value. This is really due to the uptick in new content, and technology being more and more accessible. Every so often, big budget sets come along and really make a case for combining today’s creative powerhouses with that cutting edge tech, and voilà – a bit of magic appears. This Hawaii video from Maluma & The Weeknd, once you pick it apart, is a bit of a masterpiece in lighting, below are the footnotes we took on a first pass watch once it premiered.

The glow.

From the first scene in the video, the glow carries throughout. That blue light washing over the lead heroine makes a point – this song is about a bit of pain, and they want you to feel it every time you see her.

Neon, Neon & more Neon.

Tube accent lighting can be practically anything, and as such is often called practical lighting. But it’s not often you build a room worth of lighting using this as source light (key light) on your subject. Frame by frame as you watch the video, you can see the glow on both Maluma and the Weeknd. This all makes for a dystopian future feel, fueled by technology. To build space that can easily push the periphery of your eyes, you would need studio space like our SOUND STAGE, which we wrote about in an earlier piece on set design.


To further emphasize the importance of the woman, and her isolation, a few camera tricks are used, but the lighting is really what is shaping her in every frame. Take the neon carousel fan shape on the right of your screen. Its shape is meant to be the opposite of her rigid pose, as if  accentuate the world’s ease is in juxtaposition to her anguish and anger.

In summary.

If you continue through, and pay attention based on the subtle observations above, you might see past the actual song and throw it on mute, just for a moment, to really see how much emotion color, shape and ultimately lighting, in its entirety, is really the star of the entire video.



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