Definition October 2021 - Web



Unapologetically daft, Bridgerton luxuriates in playing with the form and conventions of costume drama. It instils the genre with a modern sensibility and the sort of overblown production design last seen in Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette . The direction was not to be too precious about the look. DOP Jeffrey Jur explains, “We referenced many high-end period TV and film productions that came before. All beautiful, but we were after something contemporary, current and ‘now’. Director Julie Anne Robinson mentioned at one point that it should be ‘bonkers’, which rattled around in my head throughout the shoot. It was a license to free up the style – I didn’t want a veil over the visuals. It needed to feel like it could have happened yesterday, as opposed to watching a faraway piece of art or distant memory.” Bridgerton carefully balances the audience’s gaze on the male and female “The ‘female gaze’ was key to this project, and unique to film and TV in general”

body, equally. It is rare to find on-screen depictions of sex where the men are as unclothed as the women, but here, there are more male tops off than the 1994 Take That European tour. “The ‘female gaze’ was key to this project, and unique to film and TV in general. We were very careful about our POV with camera placement, always remembering who was looking at whom,” explains Jur. “It was important to keep the two primary families – the Bridgertons and Featheringtons – visually distinct. The upper-class world of those families had a clean, precise look. The Featheringtons had bold, even garish colours; the Bridgertons a cool, blue, Wedgwood tone. When the show visited the working-class villages, rougher parts of London and Will in his boxing world, we often shot handheld with a looser feel Because of Netflix’s requirement for 4K, Jur needed a high-resolution camera for the job. “I have a friend who worked with the Sony Venice and recommended it. So, I tested it and fell in love with its interface, ability to shoot high resolutions and filmic quality. The show should feel big and expansive; I wanted all the glorious detail and richness of locations, sets, production design, costumes, makeup and hairstyles to come through with vibrancy and clarity – but not pushed too far, or to be artificial in any way,” he explains. “I tested lenses, looking for a clean, sharp image quality, but the bokeh of – and lit with more grit.” TECHNICAL TOUCH

WORLDWIDE SENSATION Bridgerton was an enormous hit for Netflix, becoming their most-watched scripted series ever – and plans are already afoot for a further three seasons

candlelight was very important. The Arri Signature Primes gave the most perfect, round circle from the soft, out-of-focus candle flames.” To achieve the intended look, Jur worked with his trusty colourist, Pankaj Bajpai from Technicolor. “He’s truly a genius in his field. I can’t express enough what he brings to that stage of production. He worked with me on Carnivàle and Bessie for HBO, as well as others. We talked about bringing a unique look to Bridgerton , something rich and alive to avoid the monochromatic, diffused tone of period dramas. ‘Lifted’ became our catchword, and Bajpai had some secret sauce in his board to devise this,” he explains. “Colour was going to be strong in our set design and costumes, so it was important to represent that accurately, but honour the mood of each scene. Lighting was soft, natural and always motivated by something real. I am a film guy from way back, so I believe it’s important to get the look in camera and not rely on post to create it from scratch. Having said that, what post can do is amplify the ideas and intent I put on the camera sensor.”


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