On a “lighter” note…

Sorry for the radio silence, folks.  We had agreed to let all the great bloggers who have been covering us have some time in the sun to be THE source of news on this production.  So I was muffled for a bit, but I’m back now.  Hello?  Hello?  Anyone left?  :-)

So today I wanted to talk a little bit about a guy named Geoffrey Hall.  Never heard of him?  I hadn’t either before this, to be honest.  He’s an Aussie and probably his most well-known movie before this was a film called “Chopper” starring a guy named Eric Bana (who was one of the few disappointing parts of Star Trek).  If you haven’t seen it, check it out.

Geoff is our cinematographer on this film, otherwise known as the DP or Director of Photography.  If you don’t know what that means, don’t be ashamed.  It took me years to actually understand it all, as the DP always just seemed the guy walking around holding a light meter next to your face and not really looking at you.  Maybe, once in a while, he would actually get behind the camera, but there were a lot of other guys who usually handled that.

To explain it better, I’ll step back a bit.  Usually the way it works is that the director takes the script and works with a storyboard artist to create the storyboards, essentially stick figure drawings of what shots he wants in a particular scene.  It’s the DP’s job to make those come to life when we’re actually filming.  He has to find the right angle with each camera, how the camera is going to move (is it going to pan left to right or right to left?), what part of the scene is the primary focus (even down to whether it’s an actor’s nose or their eyes in focus), and (most importantly in this case, I think) how a scene is going to be lit.

And Geoff is one of the best I’ve ever seen with that last part.  He sat with Kevin when he was first hired and they poured over the original black and white comics, deciding how best to translate the feel of the series on film.  Dylan Dog’s artists have always done an amazing job of conveying the damp, dark streets of London as Dylan walks through them, on the tail of the latest nightmare, while at the same time letting the lighter moments (mostly with Groucho) to be lighter and happier.  (On a personal note, it’s how great they are at this that always makes me gravitate more to the black and white issues than to the color versions that are offered in the Giants.  You can just feel it better.)  Geoff and Kevin wanted to let the way things are lit in the movie reflect that same thing the artists had captured for years and have consistently referred back to comics almost every day to make sure they’re getting it right.

Take another look at the pictures I’ve linked to in previous posts and judge for yourself if they’re doing it right.  Look in particular at the way each shot is lit.  Notice the way the light is falling on only half of Dylan’s face in the shot with the monocle and see if it reminds you of this:  dylan2

Or the way Marcus is lit from both above and below in the graveyard and see if it reminds you of this:

dylan3

I was lucky enough to see a few of the dailies (rushed developed shots that are shipped to a lab and shipped back for the director to see) the other day and I have to say, hopefully without being too self serving, that the way Geoff is shooting this, it’s creating an amazingly beautiful movie, and hopefully one that will do justice to the amazingly beautiful source material.

Jeez.  I’m starting to sound like a commercial, aren’t I?  Don’t mean to, I’m just finding myself surrounded by some amazingly talented people and I’m a bit in awe at the amount of love and dedication everyone is putting into this.  I feel really fortunate to be a small part of it all.

-Dan Forcey

Development Exec/Stunt Guy/LEBIBJFT (Little Emotional But I’ll Be Just Fine, Thanks)

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16 Responses to “On a “lighter” note…”

  1. Vgerland Says:

    Once again a very informative post. I am enjoying all the backstage stuff. Stuff I would have never even thought of about filming a movie. I find it all rather interesting. I guess most of us movie goers just go and enjoy a film. We just take everything for granted never questioning what went into making it come out the way it did.

    Thanks for sharing. I look forward to whatever you share next.

    Now I need to go look at those pics again to see what you were referring to.

  2. deadofnightmovie Says:

    Happy to provide you with an excuse to look at the pictures again, Vger. :-)

  3. Stargazer Says:

    “I’m back now. Hello? Hello? Anyone left?”

    Yes, I’m still here! :P lol’ Glad you are still with us, Dan. I saw Star Trek and loved it, but yes, Bana sucked! haha

    Very interesting post, btw. I’m glad to hear that you guys are paying so much attention to all the details. This movie needs to be awesome on many levels. ;) Is 2010 already? Can’t wait for the movie!

    I also wanted to ask about the score. You guys know what type is it going to be? I love movie scores. Hope it rocks.

  4. Say Dan, how small of a part do you play in this movie, as a Development Executive and Stunt Coordinator?

    It sounds like you are a producer here, or is that just coming from the title of this blog?

    Thanks for clarifying the DP and cinematographer as one and the same.

    — Still unclear on the job titles in the credits

  5. Octoberist Says:

    Did you like Star Trek? I loved it. Eric Bana didn’t do a bad job per say but they need more scenes with him. However, he did a good job with what he had. Otherwise, it’s a fantastic movie!

  6. deadofnightmovie Says:

    I did like the movie a lot, Octoberist, and didn’t think he did a bad job, more that they didn’t really develop him very well.

    @El Gabacho I’m not the stunt coordinator on this. That job is being handled by a gentleman named Eric Norris. I’m also not one of the producers on this. (I think they were afraid such a title would’ve gone straight to my head, causing me to stomp around the set, demanding people kiss my rings and marvel at how powerful I am. It would’ve been ugly, trust me.) No, I’m a small cog in the wheel on this one. What’s pretty unique about my dual positions is that they’ve allowed me contact with everyone in the production, from the PA’s to the Executive Producers.

    @Stargazer I haven’t been involved with the score discussions as of yet, but usually that’s handled almost entirely after the movie is edited. You get a better match between music and scene if you do so, I think, as many scenes may turn out differently than they read on a page.

  7. Indigatore dell´ incubo [Kobisnica] Says:

    I am still here, too! :)
    Dan, you are great: you picked up two of my favorite covers, #26 & #1! Yeah!

  8. Just wanna say that I’m a huge fan of the Italian comics–Dylan Dog is how I keep myself from forgetting that language entirely. And I am thrilled about this movie, especially after reading how careful you’re being to keep the look of the original works. Sorry I can’t say anything too original, I’m just incredibly excited about this.

  9. Interesting………..I didn’t knew the meaning of “cinematographer” before reading this article.
    So i thought… what Dylan’s album were publish in USA? Because i’m Italian…

  10. Vgerland Says:

    Dan, you posted to twitter a short time ago: “Nearing the end of shooting. Two more stunt days to go.”

    How close is all the shooting to being finished? I take it there is still non-stunt filming to be completed.

    I certainly hope this blog continues. You have been doing such a great job. Since you have other duties besides stunt work will you still be the ‘blog guy’? :)

  11. Dan, once again, you have done a masterful job of relaying the intricacies and nuances of an incredibly difficult task in such a colorful masterful way. Geoff is a brilliant DP and you have articulated his efforts in an equally beautiful way. He gets the big bucks to make a difficult job look so easy and you get kudos for translating that to our readers and fans.

    Also, you sell yourself way too short (even for a tall guy). Everyone reading these posts should know the lengths to which you have gone to make sure this movie is fantastic. You have been involved in many iterations of the production, through creative choices made on the key talent, to many iterations on the script, to overseeing elements of the stunt budget, selection of the stunt coordinator, laying out the stunt scenes, training the actors in physical movements, dealing with the various personnel on set, massaging difficult conversations and going above and beyond what anyone would ask of a production executive. And let’s not forget your posting all of this great information here on this blog.

    Dan is a treasure. He’s a phenomenal creative exec, honest, faithful, loyal and is the moral compass of our company. He is passionate about staying true to the creative vision to honor comic fans, he is faithful to creating a positive environment for comic creators from start to finish and he is a huge fan of movies, television, actors, comics, and the overall creative process. Keep up the great stuff, Dan. For those of us who work with you daily, it is OUR honor to be involved with YOU.

  12. Stargazer Says:

    @tph,
    “So i thought… what Dylan’s album were publish in USA? Because i’m Italian…”

    It’s called, “The Dylan Dog Case Files,” and contains 7 stories and more than 600 pages. I bought it. It’s great.

    Link:

  13. Stargazer Says:

    And I agree, Mr Dan Forcey has done a fabulous job with this blog. Love his sense of humor! :)

  14. I love that you’re so excited about this! It gives me such hope for the results, knowing that the team seem as enamoured of Dylan and his stories as the rest of us ^__^

  15. deadofnightmovie Says:

    Thank, Brian and Stargazer. I’m just doing my best and trying to communicate my own excitement about such a great project as this. And my excitement and passion for this film is completely eclipsed by what guys like Brandon, Kevina and Gil are doing for it. I’ve been involved in a lot of films over the years and this is the first that I’ve ever been able to say is a true passion project for everyone involved. It’s been an absolute joy to step on set every day and see people giving 110% on the 30+ shooting days, the same way they were giving 110% on the first day. Oh, and for those that asked, our official last day will be next week and I’ll do my best to keep updating this blog even after the actual shooting is done, so stick around. The post process can be grueling but I think the wait will be worth every second of it in the long run.

  16. Ahh I saw Geoff when I was there, and watched him work when I could. It’s really cool seeing someone talk about a person and actually know who they are. Heh.

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