DEFINITION April 2022 - Newsletter


a viewer, you get the sense that Adam, Shruti and other staff members on the ward are always working. This is one of the primary messages of the series – to communicate the plight of staff in the NHS. It’s reiterated constantly; we see how it affects Adam’s relationships with his friends and boyfriend – but the lighting reinforces it in a way that’s intuitively received by the audience. In the interest of welcoming further messiness, the team took the opportunity to control the various incidental lights one would find on a ward. “We had every piece of medical apparatus fitted with RGB ribbons, giving us absolute control over almost every single light on-set.” Spence describes how he would use these for the purposes of naturalism – it would add alternative colours and temperatures to the scenes that would make them look less pristine, but more true to life. FRAMING THE ACTION The set-up, utilising practical lights, had the added benefit of keeping the floor clear of equipment. That isn’t an important factor on all sets, but for this shoot, the camera is on the move for

“We had every piece of medical apparatus fitted with RGB ribbons, giving us absolute control”

an overwhelming proportion of time. This, in part, is why the series was shot on the Arri Alexa Mini LF – due to its lightweight body and small size. “About 98% of the show is handheld. We had a few iterations. Sometimes it was on my shoulder, an easy rig or riding a rickshaw – but still handheld.” They even developed a bespoke rig, where any removable part of the camera was transferred onto a plate on a backpack. “We made the camera very small – not much bigger than the sensor, the lens and a handgrip. That was useful, to get really close in there when things were fraught.” Space was at such a premium because Spence wanted the camera to be a proxy for the audience. They could experience the hustle and bustle of the ward, along with Adam. “We wanted the viewer to be right there with him.” Scenes are often are crowded with lots of staff or equipment, and all the while we are centred in the action. The resultant impression makes

BEAM ME UP Overhead fluorescent lighting is prevalent, to evoke the specific ambience of a hospital setting


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