Blue Hour in Sicario and No Country for Old Men (3 replies and 3 comments)
Dear Roger Deakins,
I really appreciate your reply on my last post it was very helpful. I was wondering if you could answer a few questions on your use of Blue Hour in Sicario & No Country of Old Men.
- What was the preparation process when filming at blue hour?
- Why did you decide to use a blue hour for those films?
- Were there any difficulties when shooting in blue hour other than the time period?
- What lessons have you taken from using natural light in the films you've worked on?
- Does it cost more money to shoot in blue hour and golden hour?
I'm really looking forward to your response and I hope you are having a nice day. I'm really trying to expand my knowledge on the use of natural light in film.
To shoot at dusk or dawn and get that balance of light means you need to be really prepared. In 'Sicario' we had two evenings to shoot the sequence before the tunnel and we were very lucky to get similar evening light on both days. We rehearsed our shots in the afternoon and shot very quickly when the light was right. On 'No Country...' we shot at dawn as well as at dusk. Again we planned every shot and I even made a list of the shots and the exact times of day I wanted to shoot each one. I did this especially for the shots on the river so that I was always facing the light, whether at dawn or dusk. The sequence always bothers me as the sky is so different from shot to shot but our schedule was what it was and I was lucky to get to shoot the way we did.
Why did we decide to shoot at 'magic' hour on these films? Does it cost more money to shoot this way? That really is a script and production question. On 'No Country...' we shot our dusk and dawn work either side of our night shooting so I guess it wasn't that much more expensive than what was already expensive. On 'Sicario' we staggered our call times to accommodate shooting in the evening and I doubt there was much impact on the cost of a day's shooting by doing this.
I learned to use natural light from shooting stills and documentaries so I have taken that experience into my feature work. But one is always learning and always finding ways of doing things in a more 'natural' way.
Wow, that's amazing! thank you!
On all of the shoots that you have used natural light on, what was the preparation like for those shoots?
It takes prep to scout your locations and judge what the best time of day is for each camera angle. That takes time.
Okay cool, thank you.
I was trying to find out what blue hour is used for in film by searching blue hour into google search as well as watching and interpreting different films.
What I have learned is that sometimes it is used as transition shots (from day to night or vice versa) but most times it's used to create a mood for example, in the revenant Tom Hardy kills Leonardo's Son and Leonardo's is dying so he spiritually sees his son. I think that blue hour is used to enhance the emotion of sorrow and mourning. What would you're professional opinion be in this matter?
I was wondering when using blue hour in Sicario and Skyfall what emotion/s were you trying to convey in the scenes?