The camera is tightly focused on a set of eyes. It slowly pulls out to reveal the disembodied head of the narrator, suspended in the darkness, ominously setting the stage for tonight's tale of horror or the supernatural. The narrator declares, "Lights out!", blows out a candle, and the story begins. This creepy anthology series began in 1934 on Chicago radio station WENR, the creation of writer Wyllis Cooper. Arch Oboler, however, is more closely associated as the series' writer/director, taking over after a couple of years when Cooper moved on to other projects. Lights Out was a pioneering television effort, with Fred Coe producing four episodes on WNBT-TV in New York during 1946. Once network television began in earnest in the late forties, the series was an early success, airing on NBC from 1949-1952.
Runtime: 30 minutes
Lights Out - Lights Out (2016 film) - Netflix
Lights Out is a 2016 American supernatural horror film directed by David F. Sandberg in his directorial debut, produced by Lawrence Grey, James Wan, and Eric Heisserer and written by Heisserer. It stars Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Alexander DiPersia, Billy Burke, and Maria Bello. It is based on Sandberg's 2013 short film of the same name and features Lotta Losten, who starred in the short. The film had its world premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival on June 8, 2016, and was released in the United States and Canada on July 22, 2016, by Warner Bros. The film received positive reviews and was a box office success, grossing $148 million against a budget of $4.9 million.
Lights Out - Production - Netflix
Sandberg, along with his wife Lotta Losten, created the initial short film for a film competition. Although the film did not win the competition, the short soon went viral, leading to Sandberg to be contacted by several agents, to the point where he had to develop a spreadsheet to keep track of them all. One of the contacts was Lawrence Grey who wanted to collaborate with James Wan in order to produce a feature-length version. Although Wan enjoyed the short, he was hesitant that it could be turned into a feature until Sandberg produced a treatment for the feature-length version. The move to Hollywood was somewhat hectic for the couple, requiring that Losten quit her day job in order to do so. Once in Hollywood the two were unable to get an apartment due to a lack of credit, forcing them to rent Airbnb on a monthly basis. The casting of Gabriel Bateman and Teresa Palmer was announced in June 2015; which was the same month that principal photography had begun. Sandberg had not worked with a film crew or visited a film set before directing Lights Out; he had to ask the first assistant director, “So when do I say action?” Filming wrapped on August 5, 2015. Special effects of having the ghost appear and disappear were mostly done by using a split-screen technique as also used in the short. Sandberg said “Whenever she’s in frame with another character, it’s basically just a split screen. So you shoot it with her and without her. You turn the camera on with her, you turn it off and she walks off, and then you turn it on again. It’s super simple, actually.” Sandberg also made a list of what he called the “light gags”, or different ways to create light sources from flashlights to cell phones and gunfire. In the scene when Diana appears in Rebecca's room, James Wan suggested replacing passing car headlights in an early treatment with the flashing neon sign that appears in the final film. Sandberg originally based the character of Rebecca a real girl that he knew who was going through depression and being a cutter which is why Rebecca has scars on her arms, but the development of the film made it less of her depression, and more of a ghost story in which Diana would have been the real person who died and became a ghost. Wan came up with the idea of making Diana the ghost. Rebecca's boyfriend was also given a twist of being a rocker, but is actually committed and responsible, even driving a safe car like a Volvo. Another twist Sandberg liked was making the imaginary friend for the mother rather than the trope of having the friend be for the child.
Lights Out - References - Netflix