Definition September 2020 - Web


light and expands the shadows – but Killing Eve isn’t in HDR. It’s typical of Court that he did some HDR passes anyway, for his own learning curve. “We felt as a future- proofing thing that it would be sensible to do. But in terms of lighting, or my approach to lighting, I can tell that one of the fundamentals of my personal approach – which is perhaps an ingredient in what you’re seeing – I have a fairly fanatical take on ambience; the ambience of light.” He clarifies: “So, in any given room lit by daylight or lanterns, or whatever it might be lit by, there is an ambient light in the room. If we’re looking at that in an honest way, a real-life way with our eyes, we’ll see the brightness of the source of the light – whether that’s sunlight or street light falling through a window, or it’s just the daylight softly coming through. We won’t see what you sometimes get in cinematography, which is near total darkness on the other side of things. It’s a very common and much-practised, and often very effective for dramatic heightening to sort of exaggerate the contrast of that situation.” One of the things Court really likes to do is use the contrast and shape of the light, but he is more keen to represent a soft, gentle ambience. “Sometimes you realise

“There’s a little bit of filtration on the camera I use, which is part of my craft of having tested, tried and looked at dozens of different products, and tried out many things on many cameras. And, of course, I’m a fan of the craft and what all my peers are doing and wondering why mine aren’t looking as good as theirs. It’s all of those things playing together that leads to a successful piece of work, I suppose. I don’t want this to sound at all big-headed!” he laughs. “I was listening to David Gilmour, the guitarist with Pink Floyd who has auctioned off all of his guitars for charity. Something like 150 guitars. He was asked by a BBC journalist that if he, the journalist, bought the one that Gilmour used on The Dark Side of the Moon , would it sound like that when he plays it? Gilmour gave a wry smile and took it in the right way and just said, ‘Well, some of it’s in the fingers.’ But that’s part of it, I’ve been doing the job a long time and its my craft. I knew what I wanted to achieve, I’ve learned from watching other people who are brilliant at it and I’m putting all that together with what I want to achieve, and using the technology and the talent around me and hoping it comes out well.” WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? If you see something different in a film or episodic, something better than you’ve seen before, and if you’re in the industry, it does intrigue you. As a cinematographer, you would want to either copy or at least learn about it as a technique. It could be HDR, of course, as mastering that heightens specular

ABOVE Jodie Comer as the fashionably dressed assassin Villanelle, with Harriet Walter (top left) as Dasha Duzran, Villanelle’s mentor

I can tell that one of the fundamentals of my personal approach is that I have a fairly fanatical take on ambience; the ambience of light


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