Is there a lot of behind the scenes on the DVD's that goes into the lighting, etc.. ?
I don't have the series on DVD so I cannot say one way or the other. YouTube has outtakes from the show and some interviews but none I've seen with the crew.
Saw it when it ran originally and re-runs diring the summers back then. I do remember reading an article describing some of the lighting "tricks". One was their use of these powerful flashlights (for the key) for scenes whenever the actors entered dark unlit buildings. The grips held bounce cards just of out camera range to reflect that hard light from the lanterns onto the actors faces.
Sounds simple but again, up until that time, you never saw that done on TV... at least I never did. Up until that show it always appeared there was this TV network law that said you had to have so much (a minimum amount) of light in a scene regardless of the nature of the shot to meet viewing standards. The X Files was the first show to completely break that rule. Low light and even no light if that's what the scene called for to make it work.
The other thing X Files did was offer up exceptional camera work that you just did not get....or rather were not getting... in shows during that era. We used to see some of it back in the 1960's with shows like Perry Mason, Outer Limits and Twilight Zone are good examples. That deep cinematography look the "old masters" were fond of using. Back then (the '60's) cameras were so bulky... the old BNC's with their huge blimps... moving the camera during a shot was a three person job. But they did it and it made the shot that much more interesting. The X Files built upon that tradition and took it many steps forward. Framing shots to take into account both foreground and background elements. They did these intricate shots with their crane that I had never seen before or since. Certainly not in a TV show. It's not easy to do, takes much more time and requires the crew work that much harder.
I remember reading an article about another TV show on about the same time. I will not say which one it was. It was very popular and ran for several years. They asked the DP about his style for the show and his response was "This is a meat and potatoes show. We don't get into any of that fancy stuff". To me that just sounds lazy. Sort of a "crank 'em out and let's move on" attitude.
The X Files gave us a little bit of caviar each week and, for a time, it was fantastic
Edited by George Odell, 17 May 2013 - 09:48 AM.