American Cinematographer - July 2018 - 32

◗

Portrait of a Scoundrel
Right: Aboard
the yacht of
Crimson Dawn
crime boss
Dryden Vos,
Han reunites
with Qi'Ra
(Emilia Clarke)
years after
they were
separated
while trying to
escape Corellia
together.
Below: Howard
watches the
scene unfold.

about digital is that during shooting I
could pretty much see things as they'd
look right on set. Darren would then
give me notes, such as that he'd warmed
up a scene a bit more [according] to my
original intention. I would take his word
for it because he, Joe and I worked
everything out in preproduction to
make sure we were all on the same page
regarding palette, color and intent.
"After the first few weeks, I tend
to disconnect [from dailies] and just be
present on set," the cinematographer
continues. "I think it's good to see what
you're doing, but for me it can also
snowball, and I can start questioning
what I'm doing. Ron is the same way; he
says digital has freed him from always
spending that extra hour at the end of
the day checking dailies."

32

July 2018

***
Solo opens with glimpses of Han's
youth on the mean streets of his home
planet, Corellia. In an early action scene,
Solo and Qi'Ra flee local gang leader
Moloch (Harley Durst) in a hot-rodded
landspeeder through rainy alleys. The
crew captured the stunt-filled exterior
sequence on location at the defunct
Fawley Power Station on the western
side of Southampton Water in
England, with close-ups captured back
onstage at Pinewood.
"There are a surprising number
of shots in the chase where both Han's
and Moloch's speeders are practical,"
says visual-effects supervisor Rob
Bredow - who, at press time, had just
been named senior vice president, executive creative director and head of
Industrial Light & Magic after having
American Cinematographer

previously served as Lucasfilm CTO.
"The easy shots are where we just had to
paint out the practical stunt car wheels
and extend the background a little bit.
The stunt team, the second-unit director and I went out and did some testing
on a runway pretty early in the schedule
with these multiple ton, 550-horsepower practical vehicles. The secondunit team shot some incredible practical
stunts with either the Alexa Mini or
Alexa 65, depending on the requirements of the mount. It reads as a real
scene because all of those stunts are real
- with a massive amount of digital
enhancement."
"We did our coverage with the
main unit against bluescreen on stage,"
says Young, who approached such
stage-bound action - which is meant
to appear as though it's taking place
outdoors - with caution. "I wanted the
cinematography to feel grounded and
real even though it's a film about people
in outer space and on other planets.
"One thing that scares me is
trying to re-create direct sunlight on a
stage, because my heart and my gut
never really believe in it," the cinematographer continues. "So we made a
decision early on that the two biggest
daylight-set visual-effects sequences in
the film - the speeder chase and the
train heist - wouldn't be set in direct
sunlight. The speeder chase would be in
total cloud cover, and the train heist
would be in cloudy, early morning light.
Then we could use softer, bigger sources



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - July 2018

Contents
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