Definition December 2020 - Web

PRODUCTION | THE DEV I L ALL THE T IME

LEFT The Arricam ST set up inside the church, one of the film’s most pivotal locations

filling showman and a scoundrel slinking around the edges of the screen. “There’s a scene that springs to mind, with Teagardin’s sermon,” Crawley tells us. “We very much chose to keep him in centre frame with a lower camera position to give him the authority he was commanding. If you compare that to Harry Melling’s earlier sermon with the spilling of the spiders, which was all shot handheld to really convey a sense of unpredictability, there’s a strong contrast there.” He continues: “I’ve always been a fan of just lighting the space, largely in a naturalistic way, and letting the characters or actors inhabit that, as opposed to locking them down too much. Certainly, lighting-wise, I think it’s all about trying to create a complete world. “Of course, some scenes were more carefully planned based on the shot list and choreography, with shots informed by the language of the scene.” Set between the 1940s and 1960s in the rural Midwest, light sources were limited. Naturally, the production had to follow suit, leaving Crawley with the challenge

I don’t want the moonlight to feel Hollywood blue. I want the world to be believable

Before moving too far from the film’s other elements, Crawley takes some time to reflect on the bigger picture. Certainly, The Devil All the Time is a wholly unified film, as many of the best are and as many others strive to be. “I think elements like Emma Potter’s costumes, Craig Lathrop’s production design and my photography do all work very well together,” he explains. “I’d put that down to the simple point that everybody needs a director. Some people have an idea that the director’s role is to direct the actors – and, of course, that is the case – but he or she is also directing everything else and looking at the movie as a whole. I think also, especially early on, their job is to make sure they’ve got a good team and to choose collaborators that they can work well with and that understand the film.” Looking at himself as part of a whole, Crawley surmises: “It’s my job as a cinematographer to offer up ideas in

of using very few on-screen options. Thankfully, it was one he faced head-on. “I really embraced the limitations of the period and it offered me a lot of creative potential,” he enthuses. “I’m a fan of being as bold as possible with the lighting – again, I lean into a certain naturalism. I want things to feel real. I don’t want the moonlight to feel overly Hollywood blue. I want you to see the world and I want it to be believable. “During the scene where we’re introduced to adult Arvin, for example, the room was lit only by the birthday cake candles, a little bit of light coming through the window and a single small light source above the table they’re sat around. I relish these moments of getting to be so bold, especially shooting on film – to be right on the edge of underexposure. “So, period-practical lighting and these single-source lights like oil lamps and candles are a challenge, undoubtedly, but it’s so rewarding when you get it right.”

BELOW Gaffer Jerad Molkenthin created an 8x8ft LED moon box for outdoor night shoots.

08 DEF I N I T ION | DECEMBER 2020

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