SEVERANCE PRODUC T I ON .
to be used once in a different way. Also, if there was a light on, it had to serve a purpose, because Mark isn’t the type of character who would set a mood light. Light isn’t a presentation of who he is. If he has one on, it’s only because he wouldn’t see without it.” Back in the Lumon offices, things were rather more complex than a desk lamp. The set consisted of a quarter-mile of stark corridor, the central Macrodata Refinement (MDR) office space and more. The former was extensively lit, to create the pallid aesthetic. “There was definitely an issue with the amount of fixtures,” Gagné recalls. “We started off using Leco LEDs, and seeing how many lights were rigged
Did you know? Severance ’s dolly zoom was first used in Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo . It’s believed to have been invented by cameraman Irmin Roberts.
“Every single ceiling square had an Arri Skypanel, and each had to be flagged off. If they weren’t, any lighting designs or cues would be ruined by the spill across the ceiling. “Early on, there was a question of, ‘Do we really need all the panels to be RGB? Can’t they just be bi-colour?’ But for me, that’s something I hate giving up as a cinematographer. These are the decisions you make right at the beginning of production, and can never be sure it’s the right call. I don’t know if some of the colourful sequences were even written in the script at the start.” This choice undoubtedly benefitted viewers in the long run. Despite being later additions, and with Gagné’s instinctive preference for naturalism, Severance ’s more vibrant points make for some of the best and most surreal moments in an already profoundly strange production. “Mark isn’t the type of character who would set a mood light. If he has one on, it’s only because he wouldn’t see without it”
above the set was pretty intense. At one point, we just ran out. “Our gaffer, Kurt Lennig, started using RGBWA LiteGear LiteRibbons instead. With those, we could drop them in the fixture. Before, with the LEDs hanging from the ceiling above set, you had to control the spill on all of them.” Comparable measures were taken back in the MDR basement, as Gagné explains.
OFF TO WORK WE GO Lighting the interiors could be a claustrophobic affair, with no windows and an exclusively artificial set-up – all the better for expressing the oppressive nature of employment at Lumon Industries
41. MAY 2022
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