American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 40

◗

Tortured Souls

When Ives
becomes
possessed once
again, blood
rains down on
the ball.

more than 100 cast members and
extras, plus 35 dancers - all in bespoke
handmade costumes. During the
sequence, Eva Green's character
becomes possessed, and blood rains
down on the entire ball."
Given the large cast, the
complexity of the period costumes and
the downpour of blood, retakes were
out of the question. "We had 600 to
1,000 gallons of blood ready to go, and
the performers had to dance as if noth40

July 2015

ing was happening," McPolin says.
"We spent weeks and weeks testing
how to make blood rain so that it could
be pumped through the rain towers
with the right viscosity. [During this
process] we also tested various lighting
scenarios to see what [blood color]
would be produced with the different
viscosities, depending on the strength
of backlight and color correction used
on the lamps.
"We also built two sets," he
American Cinematographer

continues. "One fully constructed ballroom, and the other a virtual 'green'
set built in the exact dimensions as
the real dressed set, but this one was
constructed without dressing and
painted in waterproof green and open
at one end for crane access."
The green set was then "tanked,"
McPolin explains. "It had to have a
sealed, watertight floor with 4-inch
edging so that when the blood rained
down on the performers and the set,
the hundreds of gallons of glutinous
blood could be contained, collected
safely and then pumped out of the
stage."
The lighting setup for this
complex sequence was designed to lend
the setting "a richness, an aristocratic
quality," he says. "With the brilliant
planning and skill of rigging gaffer
Kieran Dempsey and lighting gaffer
Noel Cullen, we built a lighting rig
comprising 17 soft boxes, each on its
own dimmer rack and each containing
about 12 Blondes. We could chase
lighting, pool the characters and kill
the lights around them to create these
really soft pools. I was trying to create a
sense that the light was undulating; it



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
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