Roger Deakins

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  • in reply to: ‘EMPIRE OF LIGHT’ Lighting Set-Up #189958
    Roger Deakins
    Keymaster

      I am going to post something in the lighting section, although I don’t have that many specific diagrams.

      All the fireworks were real. No CGI. We built a false skylight for the roof and used an array of small par bulbs to bounce light off its base, as if it were coming from the floor below.

      The street outside was basically lit by the festoon we rigged along the seafront. It was frustrating that, because of a delay in getting permits and an OK on cost, the rig was only finished on the night we first shot an exterior of the Cinema and I had no time to fully balance the levels as I would have wished. The buildings beyond are lit simply with open face 2K Blondes set on turtles and aimed as a wash on the facades. Mostly, these carried a light diffusion on the barn doors. I could have used LEDs, and that would have been my preference as I was using LEDs almost everywhere else, but cost prohibited this.

      in reply to: ‘Empire of Light’ questions #189774
      Roger Deakins
      Keymaster

        Whoops! I did mean to write north east.

        in reply to: Printer Lights and Digital #189193
        Roger Deakins
        Keymaster

          True, but you still need to have a consistent exposure of your negative. If you have a lab give you lights from an analysis of the negative on a Haseltine you will know where your exposures lie.

          in reply to: Once upon a time in the west multiple coverages #189187
          Roger Deakins
          Keymaster

            Yes, its ‘operatic’ and the camera seems in sync with the score. I think Leone had the score before he began shooting.

            in reply to: ‘Empire of Light’ questions #189185
            Roger Deakins
            Keymaster

              I used and HMI rig for the Doctor’s office and also for bounce light into the Lobby set. Otherwise, for Hilary’s flat and for the upstairs corridor of the cinema I used an array of 1′ x 2′ Gemini panels.

              The lobby set was facing north west so I only had direct sunlight on the doors for the very start of the day. However, I tried as much as possible within our schedule, to shoot the lobby on cloudy days. I would control the daylight coming into the lobby with nets, when I wasn’t looking at the windows, and also, but less often, with diffusion frames.

              For my floor package I chose to use five Fiilex lamp, which could be used as a Freanel or an open face with a front diffusion box attached.

              Otherwise, I used a lot of LED tube lights, Astera as well as Double Rainbow, and Astera bulbs.

              in reply to: Printer Lights and Digital #187602
              Roger Deakins
              Keymaster

                If you are shooting 16mm film and the lab is making a work print then you will be given printer lights reflecting the density of the negative. You could also ask them to time the negative without actually going to the expense of making a print. As David says, a mid light was supposedly 25 – 25 – 25 but each lab varied in its development and printing. I used a NY lab, DuArt, and my regular timing light was more likely to be something like 29 – 31 – 29 as I liked a heavy negative. Some cinematographers, such as Chris Menges or Richard Kline, would give the lab the light they wanted to print at but I could never be that precise. I am told that Conrad Hall, on the other hand, would print his negative anywhere from an 18 to a 60 light. I like the point system on the Resolve, which does seem more precise than the wheel, but I am still never quite sure if my base exposure is in the ‘middle’.

                in reply to: Once upon a time in the west multiple coverages #187599
                Roger Deakins
                Keymaster

                  I am not quite sure what you are referring to. I could suggest a number of films with grandiose shots that serve no purpose other than as ‘eye candy’, but they should be obvious and I am not going to get specific here.

                  Leone would use both long held wide shots or a rapid series of cuts, depending on the scene and the emotion he was trying to create. I don’t know if he used ‘multiple coverages’, if by that you mean multiple cameras, but I suspect he was pretty sure what he needed before he rolled a camera.

                  in reply to: Light schemes & staging/shot-list #187594
                  Roger Deakins
                  Keymaster

                    I agree that that most contemporary big budget movies are quite boring. I would not challenge that statement at all. But its not the equipment or the size of the crew that makes them boring. Nor is the supposed ‘democratization of film’ leading to more interesting films now than there were in the 1960s and 70s. While it is true that in some European countries government subsidies allow for a little more creative freedom it would be wrong to say that there is not an equivalent independent film community in the US. But there are interesting films being made in all extremes of production, ‘The Quiet Girl’, ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’ or ‘The Batman’, but, sadly, these are few and far between.

                    in reply to: Printer Lights and Digital #187477
                    Roger Deakins
                    Keymaster

                      In the digital world it is hard to understand just how ‘well’ the image has been exposed. I do believe that a well exposed image makes a difference and printer lights were a simple way to reflect the true exposure of that image. I like to translate the lab. 7 point scale of exposure to DI timing.

                      in reply to: exposure and details #187473
                      Roger Deakins
                      Keymaster

                        I think too much detail in the sky would have been distracting as well as inappropriate for the look of ‘1917’. Besides, I do not do much timing on a shot and I don’t specifically target a sky to add detail or enhance a cloud formation as I feel that will almost always look like what it is. As with many still photographs, there is all too much ‘enhancement’ of an image which might start off looking real only to become artificial. The skies in ‘Sicario’ are often quite dramatic and that is because they were quite dramatic. Nothing is ‘painted’ or created in post.

                        in reply to: Arri Trinity advantages and disadvantages #187431
                        Roger Deakins
                        Keymaster

                          The Trinity is useful if you want to jib up and down. Otherwise it works in the same way as a Steadicam.

                          in reply to: Light schemes & staging/shot-list #187429
                          Roger Deakins
                          Keymaster

                            Firstly, I like prep but that is not to say anything that is imagined during prep has to be what is shot. That is certainly not the case. In my opinion, little can be decided before the director has rehearsed with the actors. Therefore, any lighting I plan out, or indeed rig, prior to seeing a blocking rehearsal will not compromise the possibilities available to the actors and director. Naturally, during location scouting the director and I might decide what will be the preferred angle to shoot in and also what might constitute the widest view, but there is always a possibility of change on the day of the shoot.

                            I too tend to prefer European cinema, and especially Eastern European cinema, but I am not aware that these films, or ‘The Rider’ for that matter, are made with different equipment. We recently talked with Andrey Zvyagintsev and his cameraman, Michael Krichman, for our podcast and delved into how they shot “Loveless’, ‘Leviathan’ and ‘Elena’. None of the equipment they used was any different to that available to any ‘Hollywood’ production. To say that the ‘big studio ways’ of shooting a film are dead is to miss the point. Was the film ‘In Cold Blood’ dead? Was ‘The Wild Bunch’ or ‘Once Upon a Time in the West’ or ‘Dr. Strangelove’ dead? While you can easily dismiss the big budget films that are presently being made as, to put it mildly, unexciting, it would be wrong to erase film history altogether. It is not the technology that will change the films that are being made but the mind set of the film makers. Consider Godard. He didn’t work with one of today’s lightweight digital cameras and his greatest films, ‘Alphaville’, ‘Band of Outsiders’, Pierrot le Fou’ , “Breathless’ etc. etc., were made well before Steadicam and stabilized heads. And what about the work of Peter Watkins? What about his ‘War Game’ or ‘Culloden’. For an extreme contrast, consider also John Huston’s ‘Red Badge of Courage’, a film that is made up of extended tracking shots. Look behind the scenes of this production and see the size of the camera and the technological challenges of making those kinds of shots. Limitations can be overcome if the film maker has a vision and a passion.

                            in reply to: Asking for Living Abroad Advice #183184
                            Roger Deakins
                            Keymaster

                              Glasgow is a wonderful city and there are so many interesting places nearby. For me, experiencing new places and meeting new people is invigorating and part of the life of a film maker.

                              in reply to: Focal length on Blade Runner 2049 shot? #183173
                              Roger Deakins
                              Keymaster

                                That was probably a 50mm Master Prime. Maybe a 40mm.

                                in reply to: ‘Without Limits’ focal length #183164
                                Roger Deakins
                                Keymaster

                                  I have used long lenses and also a zoom on a few occasions. I am not a fan of keeping a zoom on the camera as a standard lens but I wouldn’t say I am not a fan of long lenses. i don’t see how that follows. It makes sense why Conrad used long lenses for ‘Without Limits’. If a project came along that felt like a ‘long lens’ film and that was the effect the director was after, then I don’t see why I would say no.

                                Viewing 15 replies - 196 through 210 (of 316 total)