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I'm really interested in the lighting style of Robert Richardson and I have found it very difficult to get a lot of information on his lighting style (light choices etc.)

I really love his work in Hugo (but my favourite film he shot was Snow Falling on Cedars)


My question is about his Key light choices. I love the look of his key lights on faces and the roll of it gives. Just was wondering what he normally uses and if anyone has seen how he lights. post-65277-0-74542500-1410858755_thumb.jpg

And yea I am aware that a large part of his style was par cans and VNSP but I'm more interested in his key lights.


Thanks to anyone who knows!

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I heard that for "Snow Falling on Cedars" he did some extreme soft lighting technique involving bouncing maxi-brutes or Dino's off of muslin frames and then passing that bounce through another muslin frame (what's called a book light). The sets must have gotten pretty warm... Anyway, those shots from "Hugo" look like perhaps muslin was used as a diffuser.

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Guest Stephen Murphy

From the recent AC article on Django Unchained


"Richardson also tapped a soft book light, a 12-light Maxi-Brute or Nine-light Mini bounced off unbleached muslin and back through bleached muslin, using 8'x12' or 12'x20' frames, depending on the size of the room. “We usually had the lights backed off far enough that they were easy to control, but we weren’t afraid to put the grips to work!” says Kincaid. “They put up lots of solid floppies and 20-by-4- foot bottomers and toppers.”

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Very interesting.

So Richardson pretty much uses the same key light as Janusz Kaminski's "7-minute drill" with the variation being that Kaminski uses a 1/2 soft frost for diffusion and an ultra bounce for bounce.

It seems that maxi brutes and fays are very popular for DP's as their key light. Would the same effect be as effective with a different light source?

I mean could you even potentially use LED lights (given they gave out enough) to get the same effect?

Thanks so much for your replys you guys are awesome!

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When you're both bouncing and diffusing the actual fixture becomes mostly irrelevant, it's just a matter of how much output you need and choosing the fixture that will give it to you.

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