American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 44

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Worlds Apart
For scenes
depicting the
priests conducting
religious services
inside huts,
Prieto took
inspiration from
the lighting in
classic paintings
by Georges de
La Tour.

truss with an 8-by-8 square of truss
attached beneath it. To create a cyan
moonlight, we cabled [more than 360]
compact fluorescents to it and gelled
them with ¼ CTO and ¼ Minus
Green. We made two UFOs, and when
we put them high up on cranes, they
sent even light in every direction. When
we wanted the source to be more directional, we'd just turn off one side of it. It
was a beautiful and effective tool.
Did you switch out the bulbs to
use it for ambience on big firelit exteriors?
Prieto: Yes. One example is a
pivotal moment at the end of the movie
that's lit by fire and torches. The set
dressing included period-correct
torchieres, basically iron bowls on sticks,
to justify the lighting. For general ambient fill, we put 60-watt, 75-watt and
100-watt incandescent bulbs in the
UFOs and wired them to dimmers so
we could flicker them. For sidelight and
a little contrast, we bounced 5Ks or
[2K] Blondes, some gelled Full CTO
and some gelled Half CTO, into 12-by12 frames of silver Mylar and shook the
frames to create a fire effect on the
actors' faces. We also asked special
effects for some fire sources off camera.
I shot that with the Alexa at 1,600
ASA. It was all meant to look like a
44

January 2017

American Cinematographer



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American Cinematographer - January 2017 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 1
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American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 48a
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