Lighting

Blown-out windows in Jarhead (3 replies and 1 comment)

George
1 month ago
George 1 month ago

Dear Mr. Deakins,

I recently rewatched "Jarhead" and noticed the "blown-out" windows at the beginning of the film, at the marine base.

Then I thought about hardly ever seeing blown-out windows in your films, as far as I can remember.

May I ask you to talk about your choice when to blow out a window and when not? Is it always for storytelling reasons, like creating the feel of very harsh sun outside, like you did in the same film when they are in the desert? Or can it also just be simple practical reasons, like too little budget for a nice backdrop or something like that? Also I wanted to ask if you then threw light against the diffused windows or if you just used the natural daylight, if it has not been shot on a stage.

I´m asking you this because I find myself hardly ever doing it for creative reasons =)

And thank you very much for this forum, it really means a lot to us aspiring cinematographers!

 

 

 

 

https://www.rogerdeakins.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Jarhead_01.jpg
Roger Deakins
1 month ago
Roger Deakins 1 month ago

Interesting that you don't remember so much 'blown out windows' in my work as I do it all the time. In this case we were shooting on a set and, as you suggest, it just felt right that there was nothing in the windows. I did something similar inside the Farmhouse, which opened 'BR2049', although I did have some dirt and wire pattern to soften the totally blown out look.

Much of the time I think what is outside a window can be distracting unless it serves a definite story point. Often I do it do for practical reasons, either to maintain a consistency of light inside a room or because the light through a diffused window is my only source. In such cases I feel it more important to have the light inside the room be the way I want it rather than compromise this light just to see a view outside a window. On a film I shot in NY over the winter I had no alternative than to 'blow' the windows as we started shooting before the sun was fully up and finished our days after it had set.

nithin_sekhar
1 month ago

yes there are a lot of such beautiful shots in The Assassination of Jesse James as well

George
1 week ago
George 1 week ago

Thank you, sir!

Very intersting, I couldn´t remember a lot of scenes where you did it, but as I´ve rewatched some stills I noticed that you´ve indeed done it quite some time. Even better then, I guess.

May I ask how you expose those windows when shooting digital? I guess, you don´t really "blow" them, but expose it just under clipping, to prevent the image from the digital clip, is that right?

George
4 days ago
George 4 days ago

Thank you, sir!

Very intersting, I couldn´t remember a lot of scenes where you did it, but as I´ve rewatched some stills I noticed that you´ve indeed done it quite some time. Even better then, I guess.

May I ask how you expose those windows when shooting digital? I guess, you don´t really "blow" them, but expose it just under clipping, to prevent the image from the digital clip, is that right?

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