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Guest Stephen Murphy

Dariusz Wolski ASC Document

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Fantastic as usual, Stephen. I'm collecting all of your documents on my iPad for whenever I need some inspiration...

 

I got to meet Wolski on Tuesday at the ASC Master Class workshop he was doing, it was great. I asked him how he got the look of the way AC discharge street lamps flicker when out of sync with the camera for the transitions in "Dark City" when the aliens are changing reality... and basically he said that he lit the street sets with actual sodium fixtures and threw the generator out of sync to get them to flicker.

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Guest Stephen Murphy

Fantastic as usual, Stephen. I'm collecting all of your documents on my iPad for whenever I need some inspiration...

 

I got to meet Wolski on Tuesday at the ASC Master Class workshop he was doing, it was great. I asked him how he got the look of the way AC discharge street lamps flicker when out of sync with the camera for the transitions in "Dark City" when the aliens are changing reality... and basically he said that he lit the street sets with actual sodium fixtures and threw the generator out of sync to get them to flicker.

 

Yeah my copies live on my iPad as well. It's the best place for them!

 

I read an interview with him several years ago where he said on one film - Crimson Tide? - he spent so much time cutting holes in the set to squeeze in lights that he made a present of a small chainsaw to the Art director. That was a revelation to me at the time. If I could find that interview I'd have used the quote in the document:-)

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I assume that dark green bathroom was built to order, though. That sort of thing isn't a model for most of us because the costs are obviously staggering. It's courageous to light it with a single overhead light fixture but, to take nothing away from Wolski, a lot of that is in the production design. For the rest of us it's "here's a white bathroom in my friend's apartment, can you make it look spooky please!"

 

Er... no.

 

P

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I assume that dark green bathroom was built to order, though. That sort of thing isn't a model for most of us because the costs are obviously staggering. It's courageous to light it with a single overhead light fixture but, to take nothing away from Wolski, a lot of that is in the production design. For the rest of us it's "here's a white bathroom in my friend's apartment, can you make it look spooky please!"

 

Er... no.

 

P

 

I think that was what both David and Stephen were implying, that it looks the way it does because it really is that way! :)

 

Having said that I think I could easily make the white bathroom spooky, especially if the lighting didn't have to be motivated or anything.

I mean that green bathroom isn't very realistic either.

 

Also don't forget that sound design can help make things more spooky.

Heres a kinda spooky scene set it a white bathroom or at least an scene with a very unsettling feeling created by the camera angles but also the use of light in relation to the shower curtain etc:

 

 

The problem is more about having the time to get something like that right but if you can skimp on scenes that are less challenging...

 

Freya

Edited by Freya Black

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Stephen,

I am starting out as a DP and I have to say that your profiles of these guys have have been inspirational as well as educational. The format is clean and allows the power to straight to the frames that these guys create. I am sure it takes quite a bit of work to genereate each one.

Thank you for doing this, please keep it up.

With great appreciation,

Darrell

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