Definition August 2021 - Web


particularly the scenes in the caverns. The characters are in a compromising, scary position, and we didn’t want to change the perception of that. We were seeking full, immersive terror. “We kept it dark, but needed to see characters’ expressions. It’s Ed and Lorraine – they’re the heart and soul of the movie! “Supplementing some of the light by bouncing it off a board allowed us to pick up facial details. Our characters could only believably point the flashlight at the surrounding environment, not themselves, so we’d either hide little bounce surfaces, or get someone to travel with the actors.” There’s another touch of practical movie magic to look out for – one that was very memorable for Burgess. “Before getting a script together, Chaves talked about using moving light in the film. In a scene where Lorraine is walking through the woods, there’s a big lighting transition from day to night. “We did a nice, high, wide shot looking straight down to a small BELOW In narrative scenes short on scares, Burgess created true-to-life naturalism that puts viewers at ease, making the startling moments all the more frightful faded, we dimmed the LEDs, creating a cool, night-time ambience As the artificial sun

RIGHT Franchise heroine, Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga), comes face to face with evil in a hellish maze

much space – perfect for battling the canopy of branches in the woods. It even kept out the way of the camera crane. That element was another of Davis’s choices. He shone brighter than the lights that night!” The final piece of the fear-inducing puzzle is a focus on practical effects. It’s something Burgess values highly – and, as he sees it, audiences too. “One of the best things about The Conjuring universe is the in-camera terror. It allows the actors to really experience what’s happening, holding the viewers right there with them. And it helps to maintain the fourth wall. Audiences are smart these days – they know what’s real and what’s not – so we’ve got to be one step ahead.” Don’t doubt the professionals. You may be in for the fright of your life.

section of the woods that I control to make it feel like daylight. Going too large-scale isn’t feasible – without a colossal budget, anyway. I got one crane for the camera and another 50-footer, with 100ft of track, for a 20K lamp. “Starting 50ft in the air with the sun-effect light, we moved it down to the ground, while pushing the crane 100ft through the forest, dimming as it went. When the light faded, HMIs came up in the background as moonlight. “We needed some light above the scene, so a huge tarp filled with small LEDs was rigged 40ft overhead. It was another controllable source, and we set a daylight colour temperature. As the artificial sun faded, we dimmed the LEDs, creating a cool, night-time ambience. “The tarp was a fantastic choice – it was incredibly thin and didn’t require

10 DEF I N I T ION | AUGUST 2021

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