American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 86

◗

A Family's Passion

Top: Troy walks through the neighborhood with his longtime friend, Jim Bono (Stephen
Henderson). Bottom: Christensen checks the frame for an exterior shot.

house right outside. So we lit from above
the windows [with Arri's SkyPanel LED
fixtures], trying to get some angle on it
so it didn't look like top lighting. Every
lamp had to be placed so precisely. It
wasn't like sometimes where you have a
big window and lots of space outside,
and you bounce three 18Ks into a big
20-by-20; this was a light 3 inches to the
left and some black wrap." As carefully
as the lamps were placed, however, they
sometimes had to be moved to accommodate the actors. "With Denzel, the
acting came first, and we had to make
that work," Christensen says. "It's not
like I'll go in and say, 'You can only be in
86

January 2017

that corner.' I have to make the space a
stage. Viola and Denzel needed that
freedom of space, so it was a fine
balance, a constant give-and-take, of
getting the freedom but having to work
in a location that gave us a lot of restrictions.
"These new LEDs are amazing,"
she adds. "They go up to whatever
degrees Kelvin you want. The SkyPanel
is kind of small, but it's punchy and you
can control it. That punch gives it a
daylight feeling." For practical lighting
in the house, she and gaffer Ed Maloney
used covered wagons diffused by
bleached or unbleached muslin, someAmerican Cinematographer

times supplemented with Par cans.
Overall, the cinematographer was
striving for a warm look, even in her
daytime exterior light. "I'm a very oldfashioned girl; I love the blondes, the
Fresnel lights and the tungsten lights,"
Christensen says. "I'll use tungsten lights
for exteriors instead of HMIs; I'll mix it
with daylight." For Fences, which she sees
as a story of love and family, the warmth
seemed particularly appropriate.
Christensen recalls that upon
looking at the lit set, she thought, "'Oh
my God, this is going to be crazy!'
Because we had film and anamorphic
lenses, and by eye it looked very, very lit.
But I think we managed to end up with
a realistic look, which was the aim. The
movie had to look real, but still maintain
the feel of the play. That was a very fine
balance, to not escape the play or throw it
away, but keep it - which means that we
were doing seven- or eight-minute fullroll takes for [the actors] to be able to
play through the whole thing."
Christensen operated the A
camera herself - while David
Thompson operated B camera, often on
Steadicam. Shooting strategies had to be
flexible, because, as the cinematographer
explains, "Denzel wanted to get a feel for
the room on the day, so every day was
like, 'Block the scene and let's find the
shot.'" Scenes often open or cut to wide
shots, and "those wide shots were a little
bit like the stage, where you see all the
people in the frame, head to toe," she
notes. "We always created those for
editor Hughes Winborne to be able to
jump out, and then you can jump into a
close-up. The wide shots could move
very slowly sometimes, and overall the
movement was accomplished with
Steadicam or on a dolly. But it was very
[deliberately determined] when we
moved; we moved to communicate
something."
The cinematographer inserted
handheld moves "in a couple of scenes
where it needed to be fun or loose," she
says. "Or [conversely] a moment with
Viola alone in the kitchen - an honest
moment with her when we went handheld just to support the tone. I pushed a



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
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 57
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 58
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 59
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 60
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 61
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 62
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 63
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 64
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 65
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 66
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 67
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 68
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 69
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 70
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 71
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 72
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 73
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 74
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 75
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 76
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 77
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 78
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 79
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 80
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 81
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 82
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 83
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 84
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 85
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 86
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 87
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 88
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 89
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 90
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 91
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 92
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 93
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 94
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 95
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 96
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 97
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 98
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 99
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 100
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 101
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 102
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 103
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 104
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 105
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 106
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 107
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - 108
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - Cover3
American Cinematographer - January 2017 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0420
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0320
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0220
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ac/ac0120
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