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The Killing Season 2


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#1 Gregory Middleton

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 05:20 AM

Last week we had our season 2 premiere.
I've become keenly aware that this will be one of the last tv shows shot with film on television. Some other AMC shows are but all new shows are not.
Happy to answer any questions about the show.
GM
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#2 KH Martin

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 02:32 PM

Saw the first 2hrs of season 2 on iTunes and it looks like you guys really went daring with such a dark look. It almost reminded me of LOST HIGHWAY. AMC doesn't give you hassles about bringing it up? Your show and MAD MEN are the only domestic programs I buy up as soon as they become available online.

Have you talked to any mags about the show yet? I freelance for ICG and HD Video Pro (which still does film coverage now and then; I just did AMERICAN HORROR STORY for them), and used to write for AC and Cinefex. I don't think I've seen anything on THE KILLING in terms of BTS stuff yet.
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#3 Gregory Middleton

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 07:45 PM

Saw the first 2hrs of season 2 on iTunes and it looks like you guys really went daring with such a dark look. It almost reminded me of LOST HIGHWAY. AMC doesn't give you hassles about bringing it up? Your show and MAD MEN are the only domestic programs I buy up as soon as they become available online.

Have you talked to any mags about the show yet? I freelance for ICG and HD Video Pro (which still does film coverage now and then; I just did AMERICAN HORROR STORY for them), and used to write for AC and Cinefex. I don't think I've seen anything on THE KILLING in terms of BTS stuff yet.


The Killing is a mystery and the showrunner certainly encourages darkness and obscurity. Some dailies at the start of week one, were a bit too bright as we were still finding the levels with the new film stock ( last years 5229 was discontinued ). I have yet to receive a note that a scene was too dark, so I'm really given a lot of freedom there. FOX produces the show, but I think they take pride in the difference compared to other shows.

I haven't spoken to AC or anyone else about this season. There was an AC article last year on Peter Wunstorf asc who shot the pilot and season 1. I'd be happy to though, its certainly the end of an era.
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#4 James Compton

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 09:33 PM

Last week we had our season 2 premiere.
I've become keenly aware that this will be one of the last tv shows shot with film on television. Some other AMC shows are but all new shows are not.
Happy to answer any questions about the show.
GM


I really enjoyed the first two episodes this season. What film stocks are you using now that 5229 is no longer available? Speaking to new shows shot on film, there is definitely an agenda to force digital acquisition on everyone, but I see the exception being the producer
having enough influence to greenlight a film show. HBO and AMC are the only networks that I know of shooting new TV shows on film.
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#5 Gregory Middleton

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 02:56 AM

I really enjoyed the first two episodes this season. What film stocks are you using now that 5229 is no longer available? Speaking to new shows shot on film, there is definitely an agenda to force digital acquisition on everyone, but I see the exception being the producer
having enough influence to greenlight a film show. HBO and AMC are the only networks that I know of shooting new TV shows on film.


We are using 5219. It took a bit of testing and work in telecine to imitate the contrast and saturation of the 5229. The grain structure is much tighter though and we can't really change that. Pushing is also a tool which no longer works as 5219 gains much contrast and not much speed, where 5229 pushed very well with a big gain in speed.
As far as producers having control, ours was very pro film and really enjoying the look of season 1. She had enough influence to make them accept it. Its also a kind of look thats particularly hard to recreate with digital.
Seeing as the story is basically continuous, a good match was mandatory.
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#6 James Compton

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 09:33 AM

We are using 5219. It took a bit of testing and work in telecine to imitate the contrast and saturation of the 5229. The grain structure is much tighter though and we can't really change that. Pushing is also a tool which no longer works as 5219 gains much contrast and not much speed, where 5229 pushed very well with a big gain in speed.
As far as producers having control, ours was very pro film and really enjoying the look of season 1. She had enough influence to make them accept it. Its also a kind of look thats particularly hard to recreate with digital.
Seeing as the story is basically continuous, a good match was mandatory.


AMERICAN HORROR STORY on FX shot by Michael Goi and John Aronson would be another new film based TV show. Regarding the testing involved with 5219 and emulating the feel of 5229, did you test pull processing? KODAK 500T 5230 seems to be midway between 5219 and 5218. Were you able to test that filmstock, if so what is your opinion regarding its shadow detail? Regarding the change from shooting '29 to '19, were the lighting setups changed very much? Whenever I watch that show, those overcast Vancouver skies puts me back in the early seasons of the THE X-FILES. Many thanks for your valuable insight.
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#7 Jay Stewart

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 02:53 PM

So happy you decided to stick with film - The Killing is such a beautifully shot series, and without the fantastic cinematography, I'm afraid I'd personally have not much of an investment in who exactly killed Rosie. ;) I'm curious about the decision to shoot in Vancouver vs. Seattle - Vancouver keeps popping up in a lot of scenes. Are the incentives to shoot in Canada that much greater? - proximity-wise, they're so close to eachother, and I love that Seattle was chosen as the back drop.
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#8 Gregory Middleton

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 12:41 AM

AMERICAN HORROR STORY on FX shot by Michael Goi and John Aronson would be another new film based TV show. Regarding the testing involved with 5219 and emulating the feel of 5229, did you test pull processing? KODAK 500T 5230 seems to be midway between 5219 and 5218. Were you able to test that filmstock, if so what is your opinion regarding its shadow detail? Regarding the change from shooting '29 to '19, were the lighting setups changed very much? Whenever I watch that show, those overcast Vancouver skies puts me back in the early seasons of the THE X-FILES. Many thanks for your valuable insight.

Roger Reid the kodak rep and I discounted 5230 pretty early on and decided not to test it. A few factors, availability and not as low contrast as the 29, an even older emulsion design more similar to the 5296. Thats too much contrast for what we were after.
Pull processing is an interesting tool, but not possible for The Killing as we work with very low light levels, so the trade off in sensitivity wasn't possible. We shoot in a dark time of year, so I'm constantly stretching the film to its limit at the end of our days and in our night work want to bring out as much natural background light as possible. 5219 has great range which really helps when we need it.
For example, the night driving scene at the beginning of Ep201 with Holder had basic fill from a single Kino tube on low output with Tracing paper on the fixture at a distance of about 9 ft. Not much light!
Lighting setups are a bit different from last year as I'm a different cinematographer. We do use a lot of the same mix of tools, gels, diffusion etc. I've tried hard to keep it consistent with last year, but still let the show grow as the story develops more.
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#9 Gregory Middleton

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 06:26 PM

We finished shooting last week. This will be the final 35mm film gate check in Vancouver for me most likely. Deluxe/Technicolor recently announced they will be closing their joint owned Film Lab after the Percy Jackson sequel finishes filming in a few weeks.
Truly the end of an era.
Below is 1st AC with that last gate.

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#10 James Compton

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 04:30 PM

We finished shooting last week. This will be the final 35mm film gate check in Vancouver for me most likely. Deluxe/Technicolor recently announced they will be closing their joint owned Film Lab after the Percy Jackson sequel finishes filming in a few weeks.
Truly the end of an era.
Below is 1st AC with that last gate.


Until The Killing Season 3 begins shooting. Then you'll be shooting 35mm again. Are the driving scenes shot on a process trailer or in a studio? Which locations are sets? I was wondering about the Darren Richmond's hospital room scenes. Is that in a studio with a Translite outside the windows? Thanks!

Edited by James Compton, 07 May 2012 - 04:31 PM.

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#11 Gregory Middleton

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 06:44 PM

Until The Killing Season 3 begins shooting. Then you'll be shooting 35mm again. Are the driving scenes shot on a process trailer or in a studio? Which locations are sets? I was wondering about the Darren Richmond's hospital room scenes. Is that in a studio with a Translite outside the windows? Thanks!

If there is a season 3, I doubt very much it will be film. A tv show shipping negative to be processed seems very unlikely. FOX pretty much mandates digital capture on all their shows. With no working Lab in Vancouver it would be a tough fight.
Switching for season 3 has been discussed already.
Almost all of our driving scenes are process trailer. We have shot a few in true PMP style, but only brief ones. With our short schedules thats the best way, even though process work is anything but fast. It allows for some scheduling flexibility on our location days. We have become pretty good at the set ups the more we do them. Typically A Camera is on the side shot on a 4 or 6 ft linear slider with B camera through the front windshield. We almost always shoot through the windows and there is nothing like real reflections for realism or to reinforce the mysterious nature of the show.

The hospital was a new set for this year. It is a translight. Its certainly not the best we have. It was purchased kind of 'off the rack' and not made for us or to specifics of our set/location. The City Hall office set has an impressive translight which when handled carefully really works well. Just wish it was a bit farther away!

Other regular sets include the Larsen House/Garage, the Seattle Police dept and a swing stage for a few things you'll see still coming up this season.

thanks for watching
Greg
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#12 Freya Black

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 05:10 AM

having enough influence to greenlight a film show. HBO and AMC are the only networks that I know of shooting new TV shows on film.


Because they are both aiming to be high quality premium channels.

Here in the uk we are a bit ahead of the U.S. in tv. We switched to video years ago in TV drama and at the moment there is a lot more tv shows being shot on film once again in an attempt to seperate themselves.

I think Americans are in for a shock. You guys are soon going to be swimming in cheaply made reality shows and shiny floor shows etc. Cheap, Cheap, Cheap.

Then if the internet tv thing suddenly happens it will be carnage I expect.

It remains to be seen if film will make it through that period at all. If not then things will really get interesting.

love

Freya
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#13 Freya Black

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 05:24 AM

If there is a season 3, I doubt very much it will be film. A tv show shipping negative to be processed seems very unlikely. FOX pretty much mandates digital capture on all their shows. With no working Lab in Vancouver it would be a tough fight.
Switching for season 3 has been discussed already.


I guess it would depend on if the danes make a season 3? Or would you guys branch off in your own direction?

The hospital was a new set for this year. It is a translight. Its certainly not the best we have. It was purchased kind of 'off the rack' and not made for us or to specifics of our set/location. The City Hall office set has an impressive translight which when handled carefully really works well. Just wish it was a bit farther away!


What do you mean by off the rack? Do you mean it's second hand, or is it a translight that gets rented out to a lot of studios? Is there a market there in re-using translights? This is all facinating stuff. You have made me want to watch it now! Havn't even got around to watching the danish version yet tho.

So the city hall office was not off the shelf but designed for this show? It can't be further away due to the size of the set?

love

Freya
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#14 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 08:11 AM

I guess it would depend on if the danes make a season 3? Or would you guys branch off in your own direction?


I believe the Danes have done a series 3 of "The Killing".
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#15 Freya Black

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 10:43 AM

I believe the Danes have done a series 3 of "The Killing".



Wow Brian! You are right!

Heres what wiki says:

The third series, Forbrydelsen III, is currently in production, with co-star Nikolaj Lie Kaas and is due to be aired in Denmark late September 2012.[27] The final series of Forbrydelsen will explore the global financial crisis as the ostensibly random murder of a sailor leads Sarah Lund through the financial community.

Have you been following the killing closely or do you have inside knowledge?

love

Freya
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#16 KH Martin

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 07:32 PM

I guess it would depend on if the danes make a season 3? Or would you guys branch off in your own direction?



What do you mean by off the rack? Do you mean it's second hand, or is it a translight that gets rented out to a lot of studios? Is there a market there in re-using translights?


I'd imagine there is a pretty good market for it, just like scenic backings. There was this huge backing painted for TOWERING INFERNO that circled most of the stage for the upper floor party, and nearly a decade later Paramount rented a sliver of it for the view outside of Admiral Kirk's SF apartment in WRATH OF KHAN. They just threw a couple of small made-out-of-leftover-pieces-from-StarTrek1 constructs up between the apartment set and the backing to give the impression of a couple of nearby futuristic buildings (look kind of like gussied up sunglass racks, but hey, that's the future for you!), and voila, instant 23rd century on the cheap.

Edited by KH Martin, 08 May 2012 - 07:33 PM.

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#17 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 03:58 AM

Wow Brian! You are right!

Heres what wiki says:

The third series, Forbrydelsen III, is currently in production, with co-star Nikolaj Lie Kaas and is due to be aired in Denmark late September 2012.[27] The final series of Forbrydelsen will explore the global financial crisis as the ostensibly random murder of a sailor leads Sarah Lund through the financial community.

Have you been following the killing closely or do you have inside knowledge?

love

Freya


Not that closely, although I do know some big fans of the Danish series and they enjoy breaking it down. Rather interestingly they don't always cross over to the US series.

Certainly it's well worth studying and comparing to UK crime dramas.
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#18 Gregory Middleton

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 12:49 PM

I guess it would depend on if the danes make a season 3? Or would you guys branch off in your own direction?



What do you mean by off the rack? Do you mean it's second hand, or is it a translight that gets rented out to a lot of studios? Is there a market there in re-using translights? This is all facinating stuff. You have made me want to watch it now! Havn't even got around to watching the danish version yet tho.

So the city hall office was not off the shelf but designed for this show? It can't be further away due to the size of the set?

love

Freya


The american series certainly does diverge from the Danish. We do solve the murder at the end of season 2 but its different from the Danish. I have an idea where we might go in Season 3, but I've not been told much.

As for the translights, yes, the hospital set one was rented from a company. Its been used before, so when i said 'off the rack' I mean more like retail sales out of a catalogue. You look at pictures and try and find a good match for our set, Michael Bolton our production designer had to modify his design a bit to make the rather limited length of the translight work. 10ft longer would have been much better.

The City Hall translight was indeed specially made for us. I know the designer had won an Emmy for his technique of scaling the film grain in the image to the estimated ideal shooting distance. The bigger the more expensive, and the more you have to raise the set. Its always a compromise, but I think this one works well. One flaw with the distance we have is shooting from outside the windows with the reflected city is that the reflection ends up being very close to the distance to a subject in the middle of the room. Its always nice to have the reflection more out of focus, especially at night. I ended up shooting most of those shots at T 1.9 to help blur as much as possible.
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#19 Freya Black

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 06:55 AM

As for the translights, yes, the hospital set one was rented from a company. Its been used before, so when i said 'off the rack' I mean more like retail sales out of a catalogue. You look at pictures and try and find a good match for our set, Michael Bolton our production designer had to modify his design a bit to make the rather limited length of the translight work. 10ft longer would have been much better.

The City Hall translight was indeed specially made for us. I know the designer had won an Emmy for his technique of scaling the film grain in the image to the estimated ideal shooting distance. The bigger the more expensive, and the more you have to raise the set. Its always a compromise, but I think this one works well. One flaw with the distance we have is shooting from outside the windows with the reflected city is that the reflection ends up being very close to the distance to a subject in the middle of the room. Its always nice to have the reflection more out of focus, especially at night. I ended up shooting most of those shots at T 1.9 to help blur as much as possible.


Thanks for your reply!

I'm really interested in translights actually. Have been ever since I saw a BTS video for the dune tv series lensed by some guy called Vittorio Storaro who made extensive use of them. Okay there were a few shots where I felt it didn't work but overall it was a great effect!

I like the idea of re-cycling translights! :)
The only thing that would worry me about that, is how much you can get an idea of what the quality is like from some small pictures.

It seems to me it's easier to use translights for cityscapes and stuff outside a window in the distance, where worst comes to worst you could throw that into shallow dof. I'm guessing for the hospital set, it had to look like a hospital? Was that difficult to pull off with a translight?

Have you got any tips for working with them, even basic ones? I know so little about the subject.
Must try and get to see the series so I can check out the hospital and city hall!

Thanks again for getting back to me!

love

Freya

Edited by Freya Black, 11 May 2012 - 06:56 AM.

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#20 Francesco Glavina

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 06:44 PM

Gregory. You did a great great job in this 2nd season. I'm impressed.
A characteristic that impresses me ever is the ability to manage the exposure in this natural way. You never feel the "lighting" in this show. Faces appear ever as when you look with your real eyes. It's natural.
How you manage this overall underexposure and leaving so much details in the image? In the day's externals, for example, do you use fills ?

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