Definition June 2021 - Web


smoothly in equal measure. “We had a GF-8 crane by Grip Factory Munich as part of our package, along with an Aero Jib, a Libra head – which was with us every day – and then we had a Mo-Sys head that would sit on the jib arm. It was all about picking the right tool for the job,” she says. “Again, it came back to that subjectivity. We didn’t want a long lens – we wanted a wide lens that was very close, even as characters were running as fast as they could. We used electric cars often, but at times, our poor Steadicam operator was running backwards dodging all sorts of obstacles!” Morgan laughs. Her experience on past productions with very fluid camera movement was part of the reason that director John Krasinski thought she would be well-suited to the job. Her approach was all about “taking it to extremes and lighting to suit”. IN A TIGHT SPOT At the opposite end of the production spectrum, the small-scale scenes posed even more of a challenge, as Morgan explains. “The characters find themselves in an underground room and an old furnace. The former was a set, so we could pull walls to light, only it was very time heavy. We used Astera tubes, which were excellent, either hidden behind pillars or hung from the ceiling.

“The latter, also a set build, was even smaller. The production designer left small, removable panels for lighting, but we could never do it. Our approach was to put the camera in on a head, then push and pull down the length of the furnace to move from actor to actor. This means you would have seen the panels in shot.” The solution involved tiny Litegear LED pads, with Velcro to hide them behind the furnace’s rivets or props. “The difficulty

was, how to light a dark furnace so it looks natural, but with enough light on your actors’ faces – all in that tiny set. Much more than those huge sequences, it was the biggest challenge,” she concludes. But other elements of the shoot were much more straightforward, especially when it came to VFX. “We worked with ILM and Scott Farrar, who designed the creatures,” explains Morgan. “They were amazingly freeing in terms of allowing me to focus more of my attention elsewhere.” The biggest blue screen set-up for the film was featured early on, involving the top of the water tower. For Part I, the whole tower was real. But for the sequel, only part of it was rebuilt on a stage, then the team worked VFX magic on the surroundings. “To capture the creatures’ movements, we often dressed stunt performers in green and tracked them,” says Morgan. “In one sequence, they were speeding across a landscape on motorbikes. Sometimes, you just need something there with the correct pace to achieve natural camera movement. Other times, we gauged the height and ensured we left space in the frame.” Whether or not A Quiet Place Part II can fill the sizeable shoes of its predecessor on other fronts, only time will tell. What’s certain is Morgan has made considerable efforts to create something unusual. A homage that forges its own path. A gripping horror grounded in warm nostalgia. And a visual delight that’s sure to please. WATCH A QUIET PLACE PART II IN UK AND US CINEMAS ON 28 MAY

LEFT The scope of the film is wider than Part I, as the Abbott family leave their farm and venture out into the world

JUNE 202 1 | DEF I N I T ION 17

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