Definition November 2021 - Web


influenced by them, in a way. There’s a lot of top and directional light in the film – it may not be hard light like you would expect, but it’s directional. There’s also a lot of chiaroscuro, with an interplay of shadow and light. “We were also influenced by the lighting of the original show,” Morgenthau continues. “It has something minimalist about it that doesn’t distract from the characters. So, I stayed true to the logical directions of naturalism. “A lot of times, that meant single- source lighting, such as coming in through a window with a giant soft source – a real Vermeer influence – or utilising practical lights in the set. “When we’d take a scene with two characters and key light from the side, I wouldn’t flip anything between shots for the sake of glamour. I left the light static in relation to the characters, as it would be in the real world.” Ironically, the crew’s conviction to create a convincing period piece required the use of thoroughly modern tools. Morgenthau lists control, colour, intensity and speed as the main draws of LED. “We used a lot of Arri SkyPanels, as well as Fresnel-style L5-C, L7-C and L10-C lamps when we needed something more directional. Those were often diffused through very dense magic cloth. With the

“A part of that period look meant emulating film stocks from the time – through lighting, lens choice, colouring and the broader production design. Two of the LUTs designed for the movie were Kodachrome and Ektachrome film emulations. Then, at the DI stage, Live Grain added diffusion, softening effects, grain and also gate weave. Some of those details are barely perceptible, but they are present!” Still, the lighting of the ‘gangster flick’ is too strong to be overlooked entirely. But how did Morgenthau manage to pay fitting tribute within the confines of a late Summer of Love setting? “I think the Godfather films are, with lighting by Gordon Willis, the holy grail of all modern mob films. We were very

SETTING THE SCENE Director Alan Taylor and writer/ producer David Chase on location of the film’s pivotal riot scenes. Many lighting fixtures were built into storefronts by Bob Shaw’s production design team

A TROPE YOU CAN’T REFUSE There’s an almost delicate beauty to The Many Saints of Newark ’s visuals. The warm, film-like atmosphere is a far cry from the harshness found in other iconic titles within the genre. This stands in fierce juxtaposition with the familiar bouts of violence. It’s a pleasant turn from heavily stylised, often suppressive convention. “We wanted the film to have a period feeling, with a genuine naturalism, and a certain expressionist quality. I didn’t want it to feel lit,” Morgenthau muses.

Just desserts Made famous by The Sopranos ’ infamous ending, Holsten’s Brookdale Confectionary makes another appearance in TMSON .


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