man who wasn't there

Discussions on Lighting

man who wasn't there

Postby octopoli » Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:01 am

I just wanted to say that 'the man who wasn't there' is a film I can watch with no sound over and over. It works for me as two movies. This film if I had a say - would win best Cinematography of this decade. I love the shape of the light and the fact a lot of the time Billy Bob's face is in full or part darkness, I am so happy that the film got made and everyone had enough guts to make it. It must have been so much fun and satisfying to have worked so much with the light and dark like that. I also love the soft light in this scene http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLXW9qpLVic Roger can you explain the set up of that scene? Alos were you using smoke machines a lot on the film?.. I am thinking you didn't use effect filters?
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Re: man who wasn't there

Postby Roger » Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:44 am

Yes, TMWWT is one of my favorites.
I used no lens filtration on 'The Man...' but I did use light smoke in a few scenes - the bar and the jail cell come to mind. The sequence in the passage which follows Ed to the electric chair was lit using the practical lights themselves. We had no location for this long 'passageway' so, as the shot was all about the light on Ed's face and the set was not so important, we used a blacked out stage area and hung the Coolie lights to light the characters and give a feeling of distance. The few flats we had to form the sides of the passageway just fell off into darkness in the background.
The death house set was originally going to be black also but as we talked about it we all came to feel that a white set would have a more surreal 'next world' look. I was thinking about the 'prison' from the film 'THX 1138', which was just a white void. To create as soft a light as I could I lit the set by directing 8 or 10 Red Heads through a double layer of diffusion which was stretched across the ceiling. The white of the walls themselves served to scatter the light and 'fill' the angles between the floor and the wall.
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