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mad men lighting


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#1 andrewshulkind

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Posted 13 September 2008 - 03:37 PM

anyone else watching MAN MEN on AMC? now in its 2nd season, its the most beautifully lit television I have ever seen. it is period 1960s and with sumptuous production design and wardrobe.

but the quality of light, the way they wrap around faces is stunning. somehow (deliberately?) there are hardly any images of the lighting. not in the season 1 featurette, AMC behind the scenes, or stills. anyone from the show or otherwise have comments on the diffusion or special rigging? or seen any clips?
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#2 Matti Poutanen

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 06:47 AM

There's a good article in the AC magazine (March 2008), and it's available online, too:

http://www.ascmag.co...ision/page1.php

-matti
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#3 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 03:15 AM

The show looks terrible on AMC. It's free On Demand in HD, which is how I watch it. In the most recent episode I compared the first scene in HD and the version that aired on AMC and the difference is staggering. The AMC version is SO dark it's hard to see (must be three stops darker than the HD version), and it's a day exterior scene of a woman riding a horse! The HD version looked great. I don't know what they're doing to this show before they air it, but whatever it is must be pissing off the DP (Chris Manley I believe). It's a real shame for such a nice looking show to be ruined like this.
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#4 K Borowski

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 08:41 AM

Wow, the entire set is lit by one large set of fluorescent practicals?

Talk about really embracing early '60s postmodern simplicity!
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#5 Jon Rosenbloom

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 09:37 PM

Phil Abraham got the '08 emmy for this.

Don't know what he's doing in LA, but on the Mad Men pilot, and that other show he shot, he didn't use any special, secret lights. Everyone has pretty much the same tools on the trucks. It's up to the individual's eye how they get used.

Congrats, Phil.

Edited by Jon Rosenbloom, 28 September 2008 - 09:37 PM.

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#6 Chris Keth

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Posted 30 September 2008 - 10:58 PM

According to that AC article cited above, the lighting approach is very, very simple. In general, the wides are pretty much all done with just the ceiling practicals. On closer shots they'll turn off the immediate overhead fluoros and bring kinos in. The fluoros not immediately overhead still work the background.
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