Opening Shot of True Grit

Discussions on Lighting

Opening Shot of True Grit

Postby Stuart Brereton » Wed Dec 01, 2010 10:58 pm

I was lucky enough to see True Grit tonight at the DGA theatre in LA. Fantastic looking movie, so many great moments.

I'd like to ask about the opening shot, the defocused track into the porch. It looks as if there is a stop pull at the top of the shot, then slowly the focus resolves to reveal the porch and the body of Mattie's father. Was the porch lit with just the two practical lamps, or were there more lights involved? I also love the colour of the light. It looks like some grade of CTS, or did you create the look in the DI?

Many thanks as always, Roger, and congratulations on yet another fine looking film!
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Re: Opening Shot of True Grit

Postby Roger » Sat Dec 04, 2010 2:00 pm

The Boarding House was motivated by the practicals we set to the side of the doorway but there was an additional bounce light coming through the door. This was a gold bounce source with something like 4 x 2Ks, which had a half CTO and were also dimmed to create the colour you see. There was no way we could get the distance from the Boarding House that you see at the beginning of the shot, as there was a bank across the street, so it has been digitally extended and the snow added in front of the out of focus image. Most of the snow in the later part of the shot is in camera but some has been enhanced.
Interestingly we intended the shot to be from one side of the Boarding House with the rider going away from camera and we did shoot a version that way at dawn. I struggled to make the angle work at night with some atmosphere, to silhouette the horse, but it proved impossible and so we did the shot at dawn. The version in the film was a shot we made in the middle of the night when we had some downtime as we waited for the dawn.
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Re: Opening Shot of True Grit

Postby JonCoy » Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:02 am

I was so enthralled and delighted by True Grit last night at a midnight showing. Every element of the film was exactly what I had hoped it would be!

Anyway, just wanted to say that I found the opening shot incredibly moving and gorgeous to look at. What a terrific way to start the tale! :D
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