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Robbie Fatt

Kingdom of Heaven Forest Scene

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I am interested in a few things from the forest scenes in "Kingdom of Heaven".


First how did Mathieson achieve the "blue" look. I heard he used tungsten stock without correcting. But did he use any filters or anything during the film processing stage?



Secondly, how does he achieve such a beautiful visual presence of the snow in all his shots from the forest scenes? It seems like he put his shutter speed out quite a lot in the fighting scenes but I'm more interested in the dialogue scenes. The snow floats beautifully within the frame.


Any information would be great.



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I'm not sure what you mean by adding filters to the processing stage...


The blue cast comes from shooting on tungsten balanced film in daylight with no correction.


Shorter shutter times will make raindrops and snowflakes a bit crisper as they move across the frame. Scott sometimes uses chopped up feathers blown by fans for snowflakes floating through a shot.

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Thanks David.


I wonder if you could get a similar effect on digital cameras? Because I've heard a lot of talk of DP's preferring tungsten stock (and correcting) over daylight stock.


But for digital you manually set the WB. I haven't really seen a film shot digitally at 3200K during daylight scenes. Perhaps you know of any which emulated a similar look to "Kingdom of Heaven" effectively?


And yea I thought that the "blue look" from Kingdom of Heaven could have been created in the film processing stage but I have hardly any knowledge of film processing being only 21 years old!

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And yea sorry I meant to say "But did he use any filters or [do] anything [unique] during the film processing stage?"

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Processing was normal -- your choices are normal, push or pull to adjust density. In rarer cases, there is something like skip bleach processing which leaves black silver in the film that is normally removed in processing. There isn't a processing technique that adds blue to the image.


Sure, you can set a digital camera near 3200K and get a blue cast in daylight, works the same as with film. Because sensors are naturally balanced for near daylight (they prefer more blue wavelengths being less sensitive to blue) you can pick up a little more noise in a 3200K setting though this only becomes a problem if you are using high ISO settings. But a few people will use blue filters instead of setting the color balance to 3200K to get a blue look in the daytime on a digital camera. It's less common now that digital cameras have gotten better.


"Skyfall" was shot on the Alexa and the later scenes at the Skyfall farmhouse in Scotland get bluer and bluer as the story goes from day into night. I'm sure there is probably some blue-ish day scenes somewhere in the Hobbit movies, shot on the Red Epic camera.


Blue dusky scenes are not uncommon.


If you go outside and shoot a test with your digital still camera set to 3200K, I would try some shots that are exposed darker than normal. The same blue cast can look pale and washed out if the exposure is bright but deep blue if the shot is dark.

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