This is the second FRAMES post about Uncut Gems by the Safdie brothers with cinematography by Darius Khondji, ASC, AFC. The idea of this new FRAMES series is to present frame grabs with comments by the filmmakers. In addition to Darius, I will include comments by colorist Damien Van Der Cruyssen, gaffer Andrew Day and first AC Chris Silano.
The first post covered anamorphic bokeh and shooting a car interior. This post focuses on the night interiors and exteriors.
The daytime scenes and all the footage in the Show Room in Uncut Gems were shot with Arricams and 5219 negative, but Darius chose to shoot the night scenes with an Alexa Mini rated at ISO 1600. Both day and night were shot with Panavision anamorphic C and Es, and three zooms.
Location Lighting Package
Gaffer Andrew Day shares the location lighting list, with a mix of Tungsten, HMI and LED fixtures.
New York Seder
And you would never had that cityscape on film
And that’s why I started going to Alexa
we’ll have more freedom shooting nights with Alexa
-- You don’t see the difference
-- grain exaggerated, great texture
digital grain wasn’t as nice
-- it’s a ghost of the film stock
Damien Van Der Cruyssen:
-- making film and digital look the same was the biggest challenge. we did a lot of tests; first to see what ISO would work with the film, Darius wanted to push process the film 1 stop; then we tested the Alexa, at different ISOs, it started to feel like a good match at 1600.
Then adding the real film grain sampled over the Alexa helped a lot
Sparklers set the exposure Completely
And then I added the scene in the night club. Because when we scouted it was very dark, and they also wanted to do black light
There was really zero light
And I said, we’re going to have to add lights. Let’s give ourselves the freedom to shoot it as it is.
That’s what I wanted for this film was freedom.
I’ve never put as many black light fixtures in one space. The entire ceiling was full of lines of black lights. And it was still very dark. And I shot at 1600 ASA wide open. But then they wanted to use a zoom. I wanted to give them that freedom. To do a technocrane move with the zoom.
And then I saw this orange sweat shirt in the crowd, and it was an explosion of light
he’s my source
Shot with no permits
I added a ball on a streetlight
Then everything else was lit with a light on a boom
I had Andy Day with LED
It’s like what we add on chimera
I use it in 4x4 8x8 20x20
Always the same
I put different sources behind it
-- Sometimes doubled?
There it was doubled
Because I need very little light in digital
-- so you don’t see
Digital Sputnik DS6 and DS1
night exterior parking outside school
with lights added to street light
cross light with mercury vapor
lit as little as possible so as to have a lot of black in the image
I like that it’s like blades of light
With green in it
I love to add green to nights
Everything was done with LEDs
I use Sputnicks S1 and S6
-- change the led color
I always tell my gaffer and colorist that I want silvery. It’s not really blue. It’s metallic
tiffen.com: Black ProMist Filter