American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 36

◗

Tortured Souls
our producers, said over and over again
to us and to the colorist, Chris
Wallace, to 'Go dark, cave it in, go as
dark as you dare' - to tell the story
visually that we want to tell. 'Don't feel
restricted' - that's the main thing
John wants. He wants the show to feel
foreboding, for the audience to squint
and find the characters in the darkness."
Logan is very clearly the show's
lead creative presence. McPolin
confirms, "It's run by one man, which
gives you a singular vision. If you have
any questions, you go up to John, ask
what he means, and he tells you.
There's no obfuscation or dawdling -
no 'I don't know, so I'll pitch it in the
middle.' The communication is clear
and articulate."
"What's good about a period
piece," Conroy opines, "is that you
don't just turn up and shoot in a car
park; it has to be designed. On a
contemporary film, if the production
needs a location and it happens to be
near unit base, [the crew will] try to
make it work. You can't do that on a
period show."
In the case of Penny Dreadful,
this assertion rings as a considerable
understatement; the show boasts at
least six opulent standing sets and a
back-lot re-creation of Victorian
London - which is already in the
process of being expanded - at the
production's Ardmore Studios base in
County Wicklow, Ireland. Stage power
facilities have also been upgraded to
support Penny Dreadful and the almost
universal application of tungsten light.
"We shot everything tungsten," recalls
McPolin. "It works, it's quiet and
they're reliable units. Many cinematographers would [agree] that the nature
of tungsten lighting tends to be a little
less severe. I used a lot of Maxi-Brutes,
Mini-Brutes, and 12- and 20K tungsten sources that are all on dimmer
racks in the studios - that was a
legacy of Xavi's work. I also use a lot of
[Lowel] Rifa lights - 66s and 88s."
Conroy concurs. "I like using big
lights. I like to use the 20K DeSisti

Top and middle:
Candles provide
practical
illumination as
Ives flirts with
Dorian Gray
(Reeve Carney).
Bottom: McPolin
lines up a shot
inside Gray's
mansion.

36

July 2015

American Cinematographer



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
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