Definition December 2020 - Web

GAFFER ' S CORNER | JERAD MOLKENTH I N

LIGHTING THE DEVIL Our inaugural Gaffer’s Corner with Jerad Molkenthin, who reveals a labour of love lighting The Devil All the Time

WORDS CHELSEA FEARNLEY

T he Devil All the Time has five key time periods: the late 1940s, the year 1950, the year 1957, the spring of 1965 and the summer of 1965. When gaffer Jerad Molkenthin first read the script, he noted these different time periods and looked at how practical fixtures would play a part. “This was going to be my first period piece, and also one set in a very rural setting, so I knew that we would often be supplementing anything from gas lanterns, to incandescent and fluorescent fixtures. Since Lol [Crawley, the DOP] had chosen to shoot on film, as he had on our first collaboration together [ Vox Lux ], I knew that we would be doing a fair amount of lighting for not only the night exteriors, but for the day exteriors as well. After discussions with Lol about

the look that he and the director, Antonio Campos, wanted to create, with the artwork of Andrew Wyeth and his use of tone and texture as inspiration, Lol and I decided on a complement of Arri M-Series HMI fixtures, Arri Skypanels, Litepanel 1x1 LED units and traditional tungsten fresnels.” To keep the natural look desired for the film, day interiors were mostly lit from outside through windows using the larger HMI units. Occasionally, a Skypanel or Litepanel 1x1 would be used inside as a ceiling bounce for a little fill. “Night interiors generally called for tungsten units, for the quality that only they can achieve, and were sometimes mixed with a Chimera Pancake Lantern. We filmed some night interiors day-for-night and,

in those instances, Lol had the grips attach thick ND frames – plus CTO gel for colour correction – to the outside of the windows, so that the interior would be darkened and colour corrected for the film stock used, but details outside could still be seen. Then, we would punch an Arrimax through the window as our motivated ‘moonlight’,” explains Molkenthin. For large night exteriors, an 8x8 Sourcemaker LED bicolour blanket light was rigged inside a softbox that the grips built on to a condor and skinned with a quarter grid. “This set-up makes for a broad and even ‘moonlight’ source that is easily powered with one 110V extension and one piece of DMX that runs up the arm of the condor. Adjustments both Keeping the lighting consistent was a daily challenge, as we were constantly chasing cloud cover or full sun. I did a lot of cloud watching

LEFT Jerad Molkenthin in the process trailer on set of The Devil All the Time. Photo courtesy of Kali Riley

12 DEF I N I T ION | DECEMBER 2020

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