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How To Achieve This Look? (Steve Jobs Boardroom Scene) (3 replies)

Vincent Vega
2 months ago
Vincent Vega 2 months ago

I love the cinematography in "Steve Jobs" (2015).  In particular, it's use of different cameras to give distinct looks to the three different time periods depicted in the film (e.g., 16mm for 1984, 35mm for 1988, and Alexa XT for 1998 scenes). 

My favorite look from this film is the chiaroscuro-lit boardroom scene with the rain streaking down the windows (and the rain's reflection on ceiling moving in opposite direction!) plus the dramatic effect of lighting only the actor's faces (not their torso, or the background behind them.

Q:  Does anyone know (or have ideas) on how they lit the talent in this scene to only light their faces?  (e.g., inkies [or fresnels] with snoots or black foil?  LEDs hidden underneath the table? ... or just a light with tons of flags around it?)  I've tried in past to exclusively light a talent's face in a dark room but with mixed results (I usually end up lighting their face plus their torso and some of background as well).  I would love to hear your ideas on how to achieve this look.

I appreciate your assistance!

https://www.rogerdeakins.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Steve-Jobs-Scene.jpg
Mike
2 months ago
Mike 2 months ago

Very handy light, ofcourse these lamps are relatively new.

Attached photos of the old ways of doing it with barn doors and home made “snoots”. (Tin or cardboard).

https://www.rogerdeakins.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/001ADAAF-FBF0-4D6E-892A-FAE4971DD98E.jpeg
https://www.rogerdeakins.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/0E08C322-359A-466A-97B6-9C27D7E4C9B0.jpeg
https://www.rogerdeakins.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/CE40490F-D896-4BB8-9A05-5CC61247B327.gif
https://www.rogerdeakins.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/83C1DCFA-9099-45A0-A174-6874D5DC390C.jpeg
https://www.rogerdeakins.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/DDAD174B-2E13-4F71-8E46-EF1E727EB7A4.jpeg
https://www.rogerdeakins.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/514FC7BD-31F9-4D9D-87F8-9FDAFE33561C.jpeg
https://www.rogerdeakins.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/D9F28073-64F5-4066-B525-02A204DB149A.jpeg
The Byre
2 months ago
The Byre 2 months ago
Mike
2 months ago
Mike 2 months ago

Looks like a Tweenie 650 watts or Inbetweenie 350 watts bounced from a head height position on the left. There is spill coming from the table lamp but not enough to light their faces. Flagging will reduce spill. Alternatively, they could have used a ‘snoot’, that will give you similar results without flagging. The intensity of light is much stronger on the nearest actor which may suggest that spill is lighting the furthest actor as the light is much weaker. There are a number of ways you can light this scene, it all depends on the space you have available. Not sure if this scene was on a stage or location but having a dimmer would certainly make it easier.

Interesting scene but fairly common in the Black and White days of the 1940’s and 1950’s where “letterboxes” and “snoots” were standard practice in many films.

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