Musings by Snehal aka Fearless, a filmmaker with a hankering for technology and science.  

Learning from the Masters of Cinematography

A great part about working with Arri is that I get to participate in some amazing education.  We support a number of workshops including Master Classes like the ones at Mole Richardson.  In one session, we got to hear Masters of Cinematography like ASC members Vilmos Zsigmond, Ueli Steiger and Jacek Laskus talk about how they light different types of sets.  

It's one thing to understand the technical behind how someone is lighting a set, but it's another to hear first-hand the tricks these guys used to make it happen.  We're talking about films like Close Encounters, Bonfire of the Vanities, Deliverance, Austin Powers, The Day After Tomorrow and others.  Did you know that Ueli Steiger had reams of silk material died a certain type of blue for the flood scenes in "The Day After Tomorrow?"  These long pieces of material were sewed together and put on a lighting grid in order to make the light from huge 5K tungsten sources come out that soft blue tone.  This setup was used in a huge studio where the NY street scenes were built so they could be flooded on demand.  

BTW, all three of these guys like the Alexa.  Vilmos said it's the only digital cinema camera he would use.  Awesome!