American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 47

outside the Endurance. "We tested
cutouts, models and TransLites, if for no
other reason than it would be difficult to
composite something behind the dirty
spaceship windows," says the cinematographer. After visual-effects
embellishment, some of these experiments even made it into the film.
In one scene, the Endurance does
a flyby of a massive black hole, which,
according to van Hoytema's research
with executive producer and theoretical
physicist Kip Thorne, should resemble a
bright ring of light. "We built a blackhole practical for our actors to react to,"
says van Hoytema, describing the black
metal disc that was mounted in front of

"We wanted all of the
effects shots to feel
as if Hoyte just filmed
what you're seeing on
the screen."
one of the 20Ks. "We wanted to capture
the physicality of the light and the way
it refracted through the spaceship
windows."
Light from the practical gags
tended to reveal imperfections along the
surface of the spacecraft windows,
making it extremely difficult for the
filmmakers to obtain clean background
composites through the glass. However,
while making Inception (AC July '10),
Nolan had raised the possibility of front
projection as an alternative to digital
compositing, and by the time Interstellar
started filming, visual-effects supervisor
Paul Franklin felt that the technology
had advanced to the point where projection on a large scale was possible.
To cover all of the windows on
the Endurance's main set, the filmmakers
needed an 80'x300' cyclorama of white-

painted muslin. Los Angeles-based
Background Images operated two
Barco 2K xenon projectors, which were
mounted to a pan-and-tilt head on a
large forklift 30' to 50' away from the
screen. A software suite called
Watchout controlled both projectors,
simultaneously feeding dual or separate
image streams from a timeline of multiple sequences. Franklin and co-supervisor Andrew Lockley delivered content

from a workstation tucked beneath the
Endurance set. Within minutes of that
content's arrival from the visual-effects
artists at the London facility Double
Negative, new digital elements were up
on the screen for Nolan's approval.
"We wanted it to look like the
video footage from the International
Space Station, with the Earth in full,
unfiltered sunlight," says Franklin. "We
didn't want that beautiful but very


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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
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 8
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 9
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 10
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 11
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 12
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 13
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 14
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 15
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 16
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 17
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 18
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 19
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 20
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 21
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 22
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 23
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 24
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 25
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 26
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 27
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 28
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 29
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 30
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 31
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 32
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 33
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 34
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 35
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 36
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 37
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 38
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 39
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 40
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 41
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 42
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 43
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 44
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 45
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 46
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 47
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 48
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 49
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 50
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 51
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 52
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 53
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 54
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 55
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 56
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 57
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 58
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 59
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 60
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 61
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 62
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 63
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 64
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 65
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 66
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 67
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 68
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 69
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 70
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 71
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 72
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 73
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 74
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 75
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 76
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 77
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 78
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 79
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 80
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 81
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 82
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 83
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 84
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 85
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 86
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 87
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 88
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 89
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 90
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 91
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 92
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 93
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 94
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 95
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 96
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 97
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 98
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 99
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 100
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 101
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American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 103
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 104
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 105
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 106
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 107
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 108
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 109
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 110
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 111
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - 112
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - Cover3
American Cinematographer - December 2014 - Cover4
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