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:
Or the way Marcus is lit from both above and below in the graveyard and see if it reminds you of this:
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.
Development Exec/Stunt Guy/LEBIBJFT (Little Emotional But I’ll Be Just Fine, Thanks)