Definition June 2023 - web


LOCAL TALENT British acting royalty make up the cast, from The Last Kingdom’s David Dawson (left) to The Whale’s Samantha Morton (right)

McCready isn’t necessarily your typical cinematographer – she chooses projects primarily by the quality of the script, as well as whether it appeals as a viewer. What’s more, she likes a combination of being directed and being given the space to come up with her own ideas. “I work in-between the extremes of being told what to do and being given carte blanche to varying degrees, depending on the director and the people involved,” McCready continues. “I sat down with the director Charles Martin and we went through the script together and talked about the scenes. We broke them down in our prep process and set up what we saw in our mind’s eye, going back and forth quite a lot, designing the shots. Charles had ideas – so did I.” When McCready first began reading the script, she wrote notes about shots. “That’s quite unusual, but it jumped out as a visual script,” she says. “I could see and hear it quickly. So, I came to the party with a lot of ideas. But there’s a process of negotiation, where the two of us discuss any ideas and see if they fit the flow of the script because it’s part of the journey. You’re not just trying to make a bunch of snazzy shots, you want it to flow so the audience is pulled through the story in the right way.” Despite the fact that it’s a creepy horror-thriller shot in modern times, the

“I work in-between the extremes of being told what to do and being given carte blanche to varying degrees, depending on the people involved”

team agreed that virtual production was barely required at all. “We didn’t really use virtual production in the series, but there was some comping and green-screen work,” McCready continues. “We did discuss it, but there was very little need for a virtual shoot. We talked about it for some car material because I’ve used it in two different ways – the classic 3D-generated background version a la The Mandalorian , but also as a poor man’s process replacement where you do driving material, but the LED screen is much better than a rear projection screen, for example. You get better quality shooting someone against the LED volume.” Blue screen versus green screen remains a debate, so McCready explains why one was used over the other. “When we were shooting on film, we were shooting on blue screens. As digital formats came out, we tended to favour green screens for the main reason that in the green channel of the video there is so much more information,” she

KEEPING THINGS STEADY DOP Dale Elena McCready on location filming The Burning Girls in rural England


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