American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 26

Berger and Jolie
Pitt discuss a
scene. "It is
always important
for me to create
the famous 'safe
space' for actors
and directors, and
to keep the
technical dictate
as small as
possible," the
cinematographer
notes.

Settings included a practical hotel location
and seaside town sets devised by production designer Jon Hutman, who had
worked with Jolie Pitt on her two previous
directorial efforts, In the Land of Blood and
Honey (shot by Dean Semler, ASC, ACS)
and Unbroken (shot by Roger Deakins, ASC,
BSC; AC Jan. '15).
The most complex lighting situation
the film presented was the hotel, which
overlooks a scenic bay and sits precariously
on the edge of a rocky cliff high above the
azure waterline. Here, much of the action
would play out in the couples' respective
rooms and balconies, requiring Berger to
produce a variety of daylight and nighttime
looks - often shooting either night-for-day
or day-for-night in order to meet the
modest production's tight schedule. (For
night-for-night scenes, Berger and his crew
created moonlit seascapes over the entire
bay area by using only a few 1.2K HMI CRLS
parallel beams with reflectors to modulate
the light's shape and diffusion.)
Due to restrictions that prevented
rigging on the hotel itself, or on the abrupt
drop-off below the structure's façade facing
the bay, gaffer Jakob Ballinger designed a
large, freestanding lighting truss over the
entire building. The truss incorporated four
12x6x2m overhead grid frames that could
26

December 2015

be independently extended or retracted by
motor drive; this simulated the position of
the sun as it passed overhead each day. On
these sections, Ballinger's team also
mounted a series of 1x1m and 50x50cm
CRLS reflectors on articulated arms, as well
as separate sunlight-blocking sails.
On the narrow ledge of ground
between the hotel and the cliff edge, 10m
below the grid frames, a line of 10 CRLS
parallel lampheads were pointed up into the
reflectors, which redirected the modified
light to illuminate the hotel interior. "While
the CRLS parallel beams remained almost
stationary, the angle and intensity of my
light could be quickly altered and fine-tuned
by adjusting the lightweight reflectors," says
Berger. "We could modulate from soft to
hard light or change the light distribution
within a room."
This overall setup also meant "we
could always maintain a completely free
view of the sea or the rocky hills through our
hotel windows," Berger explains. "There
were no stands or cables to dodge or hide.
This was essential, as Angie wanted to
constantly feel the location and have the sea
and landscape visible beyond our foreground. It is always important for me to
create the famous 'safe space' for actors
and directors, and to keep the technical
American Cinematographer

dictate as small as possible."
In their room, Vanessa and Roland
grapple with their shared grief, commitment to one another, and the later stages of
married love, and their emotions often
contrast with those of their amorous neighbors. "They spend a lot of time watching
the other couple in an unconventional
manner, which was not naturally cinematic," Berger notes. "It was a quite static
situation, but never boring."
Through the careful staging of the
action - and with actors Laurent and
Poupaud often almost out of frame,
partially seen in a mirror, or positioned in
extreme foreground and background -
the voyeuristic effect remains interesting
and believable. Berger used a 27mm lens to
shoot these scenes, resulting in a consistent
point-of-view effect that would have been
undermined by the use of different focal
lengths.
For a scene in which Roland and
Vanessa drive from a nearby restaurant
after a late night of dinner and dancing,
Berger went absolutely minimal for a headon two-shot of the couple. He simply
mounted sets of 30x30cm CRLS reflectors
to the process trailer, on which the couple's
Citroën convertible rode. The reflectors redirected the sodium-vapor streetlights from a



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - December 2015

Contents
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 1
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 2
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - Contents
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 4
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 5
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 6
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 7
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 8
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 9
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 10
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 11
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 12
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 13
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 14
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 15
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 16
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 17
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 18
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 19
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 20
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 21
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 22
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 23
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 24
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 25
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 26
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 27
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 28
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 29
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 30
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 31
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 32
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 33
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 34
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 35
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 36
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 37
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 38
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 39
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 40
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 41
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 42
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 43
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 44
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 45
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 46
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 47
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 48
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 49
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 50
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 51
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 52
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 53
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 54
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 55
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 56
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 57
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 58
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 59
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 60
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 61
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 62
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 63
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 64
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 65
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 66
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 67
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 68
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 69
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 70
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 71
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 72
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 73
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 74
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 75
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 76
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 77
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 78
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 79
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 80
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 81
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 82
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 83
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 84
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 85
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 86
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 87
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 88
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 89
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 90
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 91
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 92
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 93
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 94
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 95
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 96
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 97
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 98
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 99
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 100
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 101
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 102
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 103
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 104
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 105
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 106
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 107
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 108
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 109
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 110
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 111
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 112
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - Cover3
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1219
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1119
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1019
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0919
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0819
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0719
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0619
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0519
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0419
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0319
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0219_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0219
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0119_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0119
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1218
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1118
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1018
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0918
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0818
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0718
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0618
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0518
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0418
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0318
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0218
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0118
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1217
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1117
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1017
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0917
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0817
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0717
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0617
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0517
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0417
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0317
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0217
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0117
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1216
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1116
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1016
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0916
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0816
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0716
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0616
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0516
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0416
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0316
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0216
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0116
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1215
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1115
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac1015
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0915
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0815
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0715
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0615
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0515
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0415
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0315
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0215
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0115
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com