American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 70

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Harmony and Discord
T2.8. For exteriors, he typically shot at
T5.6 and sometimes T8. He eschewed
filtration save for NDs on day exteriors
and polarizers to minimize reflections.
"Occasionally I'd put up a soft grad for
something super-hot, like a sundrenched sidewalk," he adds.
Super 16mm was also used for
the title sequence, which charts the
group's early-'60s ascension and incorporates archival footage of the
California beach scene. The Beach Boys
are shown posing for their first album
cover at Paradise Cove Beach, playing
concerts in their blue and red candystriped shirts before increasingly large
crowds, and appearing at the T.A.M.I
Show, a 1964 filmed concert that also
featured the Rolling Stones and James
Brown. For the concert re-enactments,
Yeoman explains, "we religiously studied
old concert lighting and rented those
same lights. We augmented a little with
our [modern] lighting, but tried to keep
to the period lights as much as possible."
The biggest-scale Beach Boys
concert, captured documentary-style
with four cameras positioned around
the floor and balcony at the Wilshire
Ebell Theatre, shows the group
performing in spotlight; as the band
rocks out, a close-up of Wilson playing
the bass reveals his stage fright. The
crew had three vintage long-throw
Super Troupers illuminating the actors
from the balcony, and Vecchio and
rigging gaffer Kevin Lang also tracked
down old-school R40 RFL mushroomglobe footlights, which Vecchio
describes as providing "a beautiful,
underlit glow."
An evening party scene at
Wilson's sprawling Beverly Hills home
(actually filmed in Bel Air) presented
one of the production's most involved
setups. The camera, mounted on a
Steadicam operated by Chris Haarhoff,
leads Wilson's first wife, Marilyn (Erin
Darke), through the crowded house and
past the pool, stopping at a balcony
overlooking a terrace, where her
husband sits with his brothers Dennis
(Kenny Wormald) and Carl (Brett
Davern) - the Beach Boys' drummer

Top and middle:
After a chance
encounter,
Wilson and
Ledbetter get to
know one
another. Bottom:
A large piece of
muslin diffuses
the light for a
dinner scene.

70

July 2015

American Cinematographer



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Contents
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American Cinematographer - July 2015 - 1
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