It was important for us to start this film off with a sense of normalcy. Everything here looks exactly as you would expect it to look in your average therapist's office. It's a very simply covered scene with unimposing lighting.
We get more of the same here as we move into the protagonist's house. Before anything gets too intense with her dreams, the lighting is low in contrast and wraps significantly around her face, leaving few shadowed areas.
This is a dream sequence (actually everything with that guy is a dream sequence) that started to delve deeper into the character. I knew it would help to sell the "dream look" if the lighting appeared to come from absolutely nowhere logical, so I gave the actors these harsh rim lights and then let the rest of their faces go more toward the shadows. The simple fallacy of the lighting was the key for distinguishing reality vs. dream rather than employing any heavy-handed effects in post or using any camera trickery. On this film I worked with a director who always knew what kind of coverage he wanted, and it never involved doing any gimmicks or surreal movements, but rather letting the camera objectively cover the scene while the performances took us out of reality.
This scene was shot in a small kitchen, which presents a challenge when working with soft light. We had to do a fair bit of work to keep the light controlled and get the contrast on the actor's face. Once again I had it come from an illogical source. This time it was super warm, at eye level on the side of the room rather than some overhead fluorescent like every other kitchen in the world. I also added an extra rim light to the foreground character, which does give a little bit more separation but also adds to the lighting motifs already established.
In this climax scene I went with really hard sources because it's only logical that the climax of the film should coincide with the climax of the lighting arc. This is the only time that we light the actors' faces with hard fresnel units and it helps to pay off all the story beats leading up to this point.