American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 54

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Worlds Apart

A night-for-day lighting setup in the village location
for Silence.

54

also rimmed the water with a line of
hybrid LED strip lights through Milk
Plex so the pool would have a glow all
around the perimeter.
How did you create the interactive lighting in the forward observation deck when Jim and Aurora watch
the red dwarf pass close to the ship?
Prieto: Interactive lighting was a
very important part of my work on
Passengers and the focus of most of my
collaboration with the visual-effects
supervisor, Erik Nordby. For the scene
you mention, I explored using something similar to a Jumbotron to create
the effect of the passing sun. When the
sun is that close, it's actually a soft
source; you can't just put a hard source
up and move it around. VER provided
us with a Flex Mesh 50, basically a video
wall that's about 40 feet long and 12 feet
tall. The LEDs are about 3 inches apart,
and from a distance it looks like a single
image. We asked visual effects to give us
the sun they planned to create for this

scene so we could use it to feed the Flex
Mesh, and they delivered - that sun is
what's actually lighting the actors and
the set. It reflects on the shiny surfaces
beautifully and helps blend the final
effect with the original camera photography.
When I needed interactive lighting with more throw in other sets, I
combined the Flex Mesh with VER's
Power 120, which uses the same
concept but features much larger LED
bulbs that are farther apart. The Power
120 projects the video feed with much
more intensity than the Flex Mesh, so
we used it when we needed more intensity and throw.
Another example of interactive
visual-effects lighting is the scene where
Jim learns more about the ship's journey.
He enters a room and it transforms into
an information center. The lighting
dims, and he asks, 'Where is Earth?' and
a hologram of Earth appears. Then he
asks, 'Where is Homestead Two?' and


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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
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American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 48a
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