American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 28

Top: Although
the movie studio
spun a story that
Monroe's mother
was dead, Gladys
Mortenson
(Susan Sarandon)
in fact remained
an active and
troubling part of
her daughter's
life. Bottom: The
filmmakers
combined soundstage elements
with a digital
background to
re-create this
famous scene
from The Seven
Year Itch.

Billy Wilder had shot the scene twice -
once in Los Angeles on a soundstage and
again in New York as a publicity stunt. The
original New York location had changed
too much to be usable, and at temperatures
as low as -4°F during the January shoot, a
Toronto exterior was deemed not conducive
to blowing even warm air up Garner's dress.
So, the Marilyn production opted for the
stage, replete with a sidewalk and subway
grate rigged with hidden air hoses. Collyer
28

July 2015

and production designer Rocco Matteo
wanted storefronts that looked like 1950s
New York, but "it was prohibitively expensive to build anything, and it wouldn't have
allowed the production the flexibility we
needed," recalls visual-effects supervisor
Brendan Taylor. Instead, key grip Christian
Drennan suspended a 30'x80' bluescreen,
and the desired background was computergenerated.
To re-create the shoot as it appears in
American Cinematographer

reference photos - with reflections of
Monroe's back, other performers, and the
camera and lights in the windows behind
her - four Canon EOS 5D Mark II DSLRs
were set up on tripods at key positions
behind Garner and in front of the bluescreen. The cameras were masked by foam
core, painted chroma blue, and precise
holes were cut for the Canon EF 16-35mm
(f2.8) lenses. From these rear vantage
points, footage was recorded with a Technicolor CineStyle LUT applied; simultaneously,
the pair of Alexas covered the scene from
the front. The 5D footage was later
composited onto the glass of four CG storefronts modeled by digital artist Dominic
Cheung.
Commenting on the scene's lighting
setup, Manley notes, "You have to see the
sources in the shot, and luckily MoleRichardson heads haven't changed a whole
lot over the years. Even still, it's not really
possible to light the scene with the prop
lights; they have to be dimmed to an
acceptable level on camera, and you want
to put them in the best spot for the composition, which isn't necessarily the best spot
to light the actors.
"We augmented with our own
lights where possible," Manley continues,
adding that for overall ambience, two 20K



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

Contents
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 1
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 2
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - Contents
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 4
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 5
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