American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 54

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Dark Hospitality

Top: Alicia (Elle Fanning) studies herself in a mirror. Bottom: Le Sourd frames the shot.

very sharp in the center of the lens,
with the bokeh swimming around the
frame [in the Petzval design's characteristic swirl pattern]. I told Panavision
that I loved the idea of the swimming
bokeh, and they gave me this circular
matte with a hole in the middle to put
in front of the lens when I was outside.
It could give me some vignetting and at
the same time change the bokeh - but
this matte also made it very complicated
for my focus puller, Hector Rodriguez.
It's not only the lens you use that
54

August 2017

changes the effect; it's your distance
from the subject - and the effect was
more accurate [when the aperture was]
wide open. If you do a medium shot or
a close-up, the bokeh will be completely
different. Even in the wide shots, there
was something impressionistic about its
character, which made it more like a
painting.
Had you worked in New
Orleans before?
Le Sourd: I'd never shot in New
Orleans, and I'd never seen a mansion of
American Cinematographer

this kind in person. I'd never been on a
plantation - I'd only seen them in
movies.
Did you use a local crew?
Le Sourd: First AC Hector
Rodriguez was the only person I
brought from Los Angeles. Gaffer Bob
Bates, key grip Nick Leon, and both of
their teams were from New Orleans.
Was it a challenge to film in a
new place? Did it open up any new
perspectives?
Le Sourd: It's not the place that's
a challenge. Working with a new director or with a new talent and story, and
trying to figure out what kind of
photography you can bring to the story,
and to make sure that it doesn't distract
- that's the challenge.
What's your working relationship with Coppola like?
Le Sourd: Every creative decision was a discussion between Sofia,
production designer Anne Ross,
costume designer Stacey Battat and I.
Of course as the director she always has
the final decision. She doesn't use a
monitor and we don't have playback on
the set; we have a small monitor for the
script [supervisor], and most of the time
Sofia is looking at the actor. I operated
the camera, so there's a trust to framing,
composition and performance.
Was collaborating on a feature
any different than working with her on
a commercial?
Le Sourd: In a feature you're
telling a story, so you have to ask yourself how you cut a scene, how you frame
a character - what is the emotion? We
had six women and one man in small
sets on a real location, and 25 days to
shoot the film. You have to figure out
what is most important, and what you
want to see and hear in the end. You
have to question yourself on everything.
On this film we never worked with
storyboards - compared to commercials, which are storyboarded. We just
brought the actors on set to find where
to place them and how to frame them
in the scene.
You mentioned production
designer Anne Ross and costume



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - August 2017

Contents
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - Intro
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 1
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 2
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - Contents
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 4
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 5
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 6
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 7
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 8
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 9
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 10
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 11
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 12
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 13
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 14
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 15
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 16
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 17
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 18
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 19
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 20
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 21
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 22
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 23
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 24
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 25
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 26
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 27
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 28
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 29
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 30
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 31
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 32
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 32a
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 32b
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 32c
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 32d
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 33
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 34
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 35
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 36
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 37
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 38
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 39
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 40
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 41
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 42
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 43
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 44
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 45
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 46
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 47
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 48
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 49
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 50
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 51
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 52
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 53
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 54
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 55
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 56
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 57
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American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 60
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American Cinematographer - August 2017 - 80
American Cinematographer - August 2017 - Cover3
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