Definition May 2021 - Web


To gain control, the crew created a sunlight effect, with an Arrimax 18K on a Genie boom, plus a rig of less powerful HMIs on a truss on the house’s garden side. “David’s office was a set build, including a translight to mimic the space outside the windows, space lights for ambient daylight and a 24K tungsten sunlight equivalent. At the institute, we just made the most of the rare Scottish sunlight, and having the characters all in white gave the perception of a brighter image. There was also a lot of vibrant green that was absent at the London locations,” Wiedemann explains. “Editing and sound design went a long way in communicating much of what the visuals left ambiguous, such as jumps in time in the case of the institute here, or mood elsewhere. Then, of course, there were elements of cinematography that we did use in those more traditional thriller- genre ways, such as camera movement.” BUILDING DREAMSCAPES Strewn among these many placid scenes – as far as looks go, at least – were a number of stylised moments. Unsurprisingly, these raised specific challenges. One such choice was a recurring voyeuristic angle, used less subtly as episodes went by and its significance was revealed. but how do you communicate that effectively? You can’t give it away too early, so it’s almost subconscious. It couldn’t be too jarring, but it couldn’t be lost on much of the audience, either,” Wiedemann says. “There was a lot of testing, but we settled on this high-angle shot that could move through the space when needed, “The script read ‘someone is watching’, zooming in on details of interest. We used a crane in a few cases, but mostly it was a dolly built up with pods. I was up there at about ceiling height and the key

“Just because the camera has a high pixel count, doesn’t necessarily mean it looks displeasingly sharp. It felt like a really true, lifelike representation and a way to draw the audience in. We used many wide frames and they were so packed with detail, the gaze could really wander. In the close-ups, they revealed so much in the characters’ eyes.” Throughout the series, lighting was also largely naturalistic – often jarringly so, given the genre convention. The practicalities of ensuring this varied across location interiors, exteriors and built sets. “Lighting was influenced by what we’d naturally expect from the location, light sources and time of day,” he says. “David and Adele’s home, for example, looks like a catalogue – which forms a nice juxtaposition thematically with what’s going on beneath the surface. That came down to allowing the windows to play and not stifling them.”

case, though, we had a stronger desire to leave the viewers free to draw their own conclusions about everything – where they are in the story and even genre, their character allegiances, their perspective on who’s manipulating who and beyond,” Wiedemann continues. “Erik Richter Strand, the director, was also enthusiastic about allowing the drama element of the series to play out. The emotional beats are just as real as the thrilling ones, so we didn’t want to create some sort of barrier between the audience and the characters with the look.” A large part of this clarity came down to thoroughly modern tools. Wiedemann put the Arri Alexa LF and Cooke S7/i lenses to work in an enjoyable combination. “Using most of that sizeable sensor in 1.85:1 aspect ratio, with the spherical lenses and their full-frame coverage, really played its part in helping us achieve exactly what we wanted.

BELOW In some of the recurring

nightmare sequences, Wiedemann washed Louise (Simona Brown) in stark, red light. Some snippets were captured using a Phantom camera at 1000fps.

MAY 202 1 | DEF I N I T ION 07

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