American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 41

Top: Father
Rodrigues travels
to villages in
Japan in search of
his mentor.
Bottom: Prieto
lines up an
exterior shot
employing natural
lighting.

screens from that era as visual inspiration; the overall color shifts into a more
golden hue that is present in most
screens from the Edo period.
Was there much of a debate
about shooting film?
Prieto: From the beginning,
Marty and I agreed we'd shoot film and
anamorphic. Film negative has a color
depth that no digital camera has yet
been able to reproduce, and Silence takes
place in the natural world, so color
nuance was important. I used three
Kodak Vision3 stocks: [200T] 5213,
[250D] 5207 and [500T] 5219. I used
5213 mostly in the opening day-exterior
scenes, when the priests have clarity of
vision. When the situation starts unraveling, I switched to 5207, and for some
especially harrowing daytime scenes, I
used 5219 pushed 1 stop to enhance the
grain and contrast.
After testing, we chose the Arri
Master Anamorphics. They have much
less distortion, and the edges of the
frame are sharp, even at T1.9; we felt
this harder-edged, less 'magical' look
was better for Silence. The novel, which
Marty referenced frequently, emphasizes how the priests experience the
heat, the smells, the tactile qualities of

this foreign place, and we wanted the
viewer to feel that, too.
Because the priests are in hiding,
darkness is important to the story, and
we did use digital capture for most of
our low-light work, including candlelit
interiors, night exteriors and dusk
scenes. I used the Alexa Studio, rating it
at 1,600 for two reasons: exposure and
noise. In testing, I found shooting at
1,600 gave me more information [for
the grade] than shooting at 800 ASA
www.theasc.com

and lifting it in post. And I felt the noise
helped the image blend better with the
film negative.
How did you approach scenes
showing the priests conducting religious services in the villagers' huts by
candlelight?
Prieto: We built those interiors
on stage. In her research, [set decorator]
Francesca Lo Schiavo found that at the
time, the Japanese used plates of oil with
a small wick rather than candles. I tested
January 2017

41

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

Contents
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 1
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 2
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - Contents
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 4
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 5
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 6
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 7
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 8
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 9
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 10
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 11
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 12
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 13
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 14
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 15
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 16
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 17
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 18
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 19
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 20
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 21
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 22
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 23
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 24
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 25
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 26
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 27
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 28
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 29
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 30
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 31
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 32
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 33
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 34
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 35
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 36
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 37
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 38
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 39
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 40
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 41
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 42
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 43
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 44
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 45
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 46
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 47
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 48
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 48a
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 48b
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 49
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 50
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 51
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 52
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 53
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 54
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 55
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 56
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American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 100
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 101
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American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 103
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 104
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 105
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American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 108
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - Cover3
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - Cover4
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