The Man Who Wasn’t There – Abundas House
Looking at Lighting
This “Looking at Lighting Page” examines a set from “The Man Who Wasn’t There” which opened in theaters in 2001. This film was released in Black and White a rarity at the time. The film was actually shot on color negative for contractual reasons but printed in Black and White for release. The show prints were made on high contrast B&W title stock (5269) while the general release prints were created off a B&W internegative made from the original footage. A lot of testing took place before shooting to find the way to get the best black & white image without shooting black & white!
I find night exteriors to be a challenge and this scene on the Abundas’ porch was no different. At first I was looking for some kind of practical source that would serve to light the characters but then I though it would be better if the lawyer were sitting out there drinking in the night. Finishing in B/W offered a chance to do something with shadow patterns that can be less successful in colour.
For the closer shots there is softer light wrapping the faces but the scene is otherwise lit with direct light from a distance keeping the shadows sharp and the light quite even with little falloff.