American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 26

Top: Bahari
was often
blindfolded when
interrogated by
Rosewater (Kim
Bodnia). Bottom:
Bahari was
accused of being
a spy; his playful
interview on The
Daily Show With
Jon Stewart likely
contributed to
his arrest.

lens; this room is telling me that's the source
of lighting coming in through that window
there.'" In the end, the sets were indeed
built on a stage, adjacent to each other.
The set for Bahari's cell was still
cramped, but it had wild walls for maximum
flexibility. It was a high-ceilinged set, with
one small window, built on a 4'-high platform to facilitate low-angle shooting. "Jon
kept talking about wanting to see the
window, but the window was so high up
that if you had an eye-height lens and
26

December 2014

you're seeing Gael, you're not seeing the
window," Bukowski explains. "The only
way you see both in the frame is if you bring
the camera very low. [Bernal's] also on the
floor a lot, and we didn't want to have to
constantly shoot down on him." 1K tungsten Pars with medium lenses outside the
window provided daytime light, while a
fluorescent tube on the ceiling keyed nighttime shots.
The interrogation room was somewhat bigger and allowed for more modeled
American Cinematographer

lighting. "We designed the room with a
window in the far corner opposite the door,
and that's where the interrogator sat," says
the cinematographer. Outside this window,
"we were using bigger tungsten lights, 5Ks
and 10Ks to get more power, and some
nine-light Fays to bounce some light into
the set." During much of the interrogation,
Bahari is blindfolded, with his back to the
interrogator and far away from this light.
"Jon talked about how the interrogator had
the luxury of sitting in the light, looking out
the window and experiencing life going on,
whereas Maziar is forced to be on the other
side of the room, deprived of that light." In
the beginning, Bukowski adds, wide lenses
- 18-25mm - caught Bahari in the foreground of the frame and the interrogator in
the background, with a "chasm" between
them. As the relationship shifts, Bukowski
started employing lenses in the 35, 40 and
50mm range, so "Maziar starts to occupy a
space that's more present with the interrogator, and to share the frame more
equally than before."
The production also shot scenes in
an actual Amman prison. "They cleared one
hallway and let us work," the cinematographer says. "We had to load in and out every
day, and every time we checked in, the
process was quite arduous, because every



American Cinematographer - December 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - December 2014

Contents
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 1
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 2
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - Contents
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 4
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 5
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 6
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 7
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