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The Art Of The DP Back to Reports & survey Listing

Mark Patten
Prometheus David 8 viral, 10 Minute Tales, Metro last night,  Darkroom

Once the location of a shoot is set, I like to get a feel for how the set should be lit. I light the set so it doesn’t detract the viewer from the narrative but complements the actors and allows the director to shoot the scene without the complexities that might hinder or distract from the scene in any way. To this end, I feel it’s important to light the scene as simply as possible, so as not to distract the viewer with a crane move or dolly track that doesn’t need to be there for cinematic punctuation and only leads the viewer away from the storyline. I like to leave establishing the look of the lighting until the technical recce; the moments of discovery on a recce often set the tone to where the lighting will end up. The advances that continue to be made in motion image capture never cease to amaze me. It has become increasingly cost prohibitive to shoot on film on many commercials projects, but many feature films still embrace 35mm negative as well as 70mm film. Even so, films such as Gravity have totally used the advances in digital cinematography to produce excellent results.

The DP’s collaboration between both production and the director’s vision may sometimes lead to friction, but what must never be lost is the collaborative process filmmaking adheres to. This is what leads to a successful production, as well as securing future projects. Diplomacy between all departments must be of utmost importance; the creative ego can be a fickle creature.

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