Definition August 2024 - Web


can only be a good thing, diversifying our teams and our stories allows for a range of perspectives to be shown,” she reflects. “Especially for Queenie , where our main actor was going through a carousel of emotions and intimate scenes, having a strong female presence on-set helped her feel safe.” IN HARMONY Pitters found her way into the project through her relationship with director Joelle Mae David, who she’d previously worked with on the BBC series Dreaming Whilst Black . Following a successful interview, she was selected as DOP on the second half of the series, with Rachel Clark lensing the opening block. The two cinematographers knew each other already, which helped foster a close collaboration throughout production. “Being able to harness that relationship was really useful,” muses Pitters. “And Rachel was so generous, inviting me to her lens test – not everyone does that. She was block one and set the look, but I was so thankful to her for including me. I had access to her rushes and every week there’d be an assembly put in so we could discuss things like how she was approaching night scenes and close-ups. It meant I could understand the direction they wanted me to go in, which was helpful when I came to shoot.” In defining the look for the show, Clark and the show’s colourist, Jateen Patel from Harbor Picture Company, set a series of

IT MEANT I COULD UNDERSTAND THE direction they wanted me to go in, WHICH WAS VERY HELPFUL”

LUTs: one warm, one cool and a ‘trauma LUT’, which was a couple of stops down and had a darker, grungier aesthetic. Also running throughout the series is a sound motif, a tinnitus-like ringing, which amps up as Queenie’s anxiety rises. “There was a clear visual language for that: centre frame Queenie on the Canon Dream and slowly push in a few feet,” shares Pitters. “The storyline was very different in my block,” she continues. “Block one deals a lot with the consequences of Queenie’s trauma: she breaks up with her boyfriend and has a downward spiral of drinking a lot, sleeping around and making quite bad choices. Then, in my block, we see Queenie facing the trauma head-on in therapy, and starting the journey towards healing and beginning to feel okay. It felt like block one’s journey was going down, and block two’s journey was going back up – so we had to have quite a different visual language to describe that.” As well as the Canon Dreams, the DOPs used Canon SKs for the bulk of filming and Todd AOs for the flashback scenes,

with these vintage anamorphic lenses providing a look well suited to the period aesthetic as the show jumps back in time. The camera of choice, the Sony VENICE, impressed Pitters with its dual native ISO capability, crucial for maintaining detail in both highlights and shadows across various lighting conditions. “I wanted to retain details in the highlights for the day scenes and in the shadows for the night scenes, so I settled on ISO 1250 for both – for the day scenes, that meant going at a base of 500 and setting the camera to 1250, and for night scenes I set the base to 2500 and set the camera to 1250,” she explains. Close collaboration with the DIT ensured they achieved this without introducing unwanted noise. On the lighting front, Pitters is most pleased with a scene in episode 6: a flashback taking place in house of Roy, Queenie’s mother’s abusive boyfriend. “We had some really interesting locations," she recalls. “There was this old house where we used one room for Roy’s house

TAG TEAM Pitters (above) worked closely with Clark, the DOP for the first few episodes



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