In filmmaking, the term “magic hour” refers to the gorgeous moments just after sunrise or before sunset when the light becomes soft and dreamy. In movies, magic hour is used to create stunning images and subtly evoke emotion: depending on context, it can be used to express characters’ emotions or imbue the mundane world with a sense of wonder, mystery, or romance.
According to film producer Philip Hobbs, it’s “that delightful time of the day when you’re all exhausted and the lighting is perfect.”
Fandor recently created a supercut of magic hour shots in popular movies, ranging from independent films like Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (2013), and Richard Linklater’s Boyhood (2014) and Before Midnight (2013), to blockbuster hits like The Karate Kid (1984) and World War Z (2013). The video, simply entitled “Magic Hour,” is a beautiful ode to the cinematic technique, and a great illustration of the way filmmakers use natural lighting to manipulate emotion.
Banner Image Credit: Fandor Keyframe, Vimeo