American Cinematographer - July 2018 - 62

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Time Independent

This diagram illustrates the lighting in the "time machine room." For an expanded view of this diagram, offering a look at the adjacent sets, visit
ascmag.com/articles/12monkeys_lightingdiagram.

balanced fluorescents through milk glass
that was about a quarter-inch thick.
Starting in Season 2, we replaced those
with bicolor LED strips [set at 6,000K,
the coolest end of the spectrum] from
Moss LED in Toronto.
The time machine itself is riddled
with LED bulbs and lines of light
created by hidden fluorescents; again,
the idea was not really to illuminate
anything, but to define the space. For
the beam of light inside the machine, we
originally used a follow spot, and we had
an electric in there flickering it when it
was time to splinter! In Season 2, we
changed to a Best Boy [4000 Spot
Luminaire from PRG], a great tool. We
could put all kinds of interesting
patterns in the beam and change its
color quite easily at the board. To give
the time machine just a kiss of light, I
put a 20-by-40-foot 'cloud' directly over
it - daylight bulbs gelled with 3⁄4 CTB
and heavily diffused. We had Lighttools
62

July 2018

on the cloud to direct the light toward
the top of the time machine. The source
was very soft, very cool and quite underexposed.
We lit the rest of the space from
the floor, usually with 6-by-6 [Kino Flo]
Blanket-Lites layered with Full Grid
and white duvetyn and often fronted
with another, slightly separate frame of
diffusion. I like soft light close to frame,
and there's lots of movement in the
show, so I put wheels on the BlanketLite, and I'd move the light as the
camera and actors would move through
the space. I've actually used that
approach for a long time. It's a great
light source, and it frees up the camera.
For a similar soft sidelight when
the actors were farther from camera, I
designed something we called a 'Tent.'
We used Kino Flo Flathead 80s on the
ground on a 45-degree angle with
muslin and white duvetyn on it, and
we'd skim Light Grid on one side of it
American Cinematographer

- like one side of a tent - so there was
some separation between the Flathead
80 and the Light Grid.
Once we started using LEDs, we
were more apt to use Arri SkyPanels
with a Chimera to achieve similar
effects. It's great to be able to dial in
color temperature instantly, because
when you add layers of diffusion, a
daylight source in a book light can look
like a tungsten light quite easily [due to
the warming effect of the color of the
bounce material and subsequent diffusion layers].
The first season of a series often
has really long hours because the show
hasn't quite figured out what it is yet,
and that was true for 12 Monkeys as well.
I shot the first five episodes, and then I
asked the producers if we could bring in
another cinematographer with whom I
could alternate. We brought in Tico
Poulakakis, who shot three episodes that
season.


http://www.ascmag.com/articles/12monkeys_lightingdiagram

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

Contents
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American Cinematographer - July 2018 - 1
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