American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 38

◗

Tortured Souls
cacy of this genuine period location,
which featured authentic Victorian
arches. "We couldn't drill into them,
and we couldn't hang anything," he
notes. "We had to light from the floor.
It was a completely dark environment,
and it was vast, with 20 or 30 arches.
We had to populate it with 100 to 150
extras."
McPolin lit the scene with "up to
100 China balls, colored with our Steel
Green and Half Blue. It was directionless; that was our base light and we
punctuated it with firelight, so we got a
lovely color separation between the
orange fire, the bricks, and the Steel
Green. It was so dark in there that the
actors couldn't find their way around!"
Conroy is quick to credit his crew
for their creativity. For a scene between
Frankenstein and his Creature in their
living quarters, Conroy "lit the space as
if the only light was coming from the
fire," he says. The crew prepared "six
light boxes made up with 16 golf-ball
bulbs, warmed up with Quarter Orange
and diffused. We were able to place
them wherever the action took place, so
it always felt as if the light was coming
from the fire." These custom-made
devices saw service again in a scene shot
at Dublin Castle, depicting a tabletennis tournament. Again, the production could not rig from the historic
building, but, Conroy says, "the art
department came up trumps. They
made something like snooker-table
light boxes above the tables. We could
move each of them up and down to
allow for the perspective."
Penny Dreadful is shot with the
Arri Alexa XT Plus, with three camera
bodies usually on hand to ensure that
the two-camera main unit is adequately
equipped. Only during explicitly
designed crossover periods are two full
units at work. Lenses are Cooke S4s,
with some use of Clairmont's Swing
and Shift lenses (which Conroy found
particularly handy for a sequence in
which Vanessa has a nightmare). In
terms of filtration, Conroy says, "we all
decided whether we wanted to net or
not. I don't think Owen used nets, but

Top: Madame Kali
(Helen McCrory)
is a witch in
Satan's service.
Middle: The crew
preps a scene
featuring Kali
and her fellow
Nightcomers.
Bottom: Ives
crosses a bloodprotected
threshold that
keeps the witches
at bay.

38

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
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - Contents
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 4
American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 5
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