American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 72

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Star-Crossed Love

Top: Sabine
converses with
Le Notre amid
her garden
creation. Bottom:
Kuras and
Rickman discuss
a scene while
the crew readies
a camera vehicle.

Can you describe the film's
visual style?
Kuras: Our main reference, in
terms of lighting, was the Dutch master
Vermeer. When we scouted the real
Versailles during preproduction, the
light was very much like a Vermeer
painting: a very strong sidelight, a strong
key light. I didn't always have the luxury
of making it happen, but that's the spirit
72

April 2015

we were looking for.
As for film references, we
watched The Remains of the Day, and I
suggested Alan take a look at The
Libertine, which has a really strong look
and is quite a dark film. He was reticent
about going that far, favoring a more
balanced, naturalistic look. He definitely
didn't want the look to overwhelm the
acting, nor to distract viewers from what
American Cinematographer

was happening in the story. Although
everything was authentic to the period
- there were no anachronistic elements
- Alan didn't want the film to feel like
a rarefied period piece with no relevance
to contemporary life. He wanted it to
feel like a story that could happen just as
easily today as in the 17th century.
I was very happy with the Cooke
[S4s]; we filtered the Optimo zooms
with 1⁄4 and 1⁄8 [Tiffen] Ultra Cons to
match them. I always use Ultra Cons; I
don't like filtering with fogs and I never
use Pro-Mist, which affects the appearance of sharpness. I used almost no
filtration on the primes, other than an
81EF and an occasional 1⁄8 or 1⁄4
Schneider Classic Soft. I opted for the
81EF because I didn't want the skin
tones to have that kind of reddish hue
that comes with using full correction.
The 81EF is biased toward the cool
side.
Often when shooting period
films, cinematographers will put
massive amounts of diffusion in front of
the lens to give it that kind of period
look and feel. I made a conscious decision not to do that. I did experiment



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - April 2015

Contents
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - Intro
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 1
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 2
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - Contents
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 4
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 5
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 6
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 7
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 8
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 9
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American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 21
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American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 28
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American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 64
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - I1
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - I2
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - I3
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - I4
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - I5
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - I6
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - I7
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - I8
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American Cinematographer - April 2015 - 67
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American Cinematographer - April 2015 - Cover3
American Cinematographer - April 2015 - Cover4
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