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Sean Young light at Blade Runner's Deckard Interview


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#1 Alexandre de Tolan

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 01:18 PM

Reading this article:

 

http://nofilmschool....gh-blade-runner

 

I've came across with Cronenweth's operator stating that Sean Young was lighted with only 2 instruments. A Mole Inkey for the eyes and a Mole Arc Backlight which was bounced by 2 Bead Boards (left and right). To achieve the desired contrast the right one was scrimed down.

 

What I continue not understanding is how Sean Young has that hard hedged light on her right check. It's purely impossible to achieve that with Bead Board bounced light and the chair shows up an even backlight across her both shoulders so I assume the Arc to be really a Back, not a Kicker.

 

I'm not a native English speaker so I couldn't understand what he meant by "stray". Quoting: "the stray light coming form the backlight". Even so, he relates that "stray" to her nose shadow which is very soft. So where's that hard edge light comes from?

 

Any insights appreciated.

 

 

 Sean%20Young%20Blade%20Runner_zpsjr3oewa


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#2 Mark Dunn

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 02:30 PM

OT but it  annoys me every time I see it that on the first CU of her when she walks into Tyrell's office the focus puller missed. Her eye is out. The cheek is sharp. Even my OH notices it and she can't tell the difference between DCP and 35mm.


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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 02:36 PM

I think he means that there was a hard back-edge light behind her right shoulder from the arc, which was bounced back into her face with a beadboard.  The inky for her eyes was that glass gag they did to get the cat's eyes reflection.


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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 02:40 PM

The cat's eye thing is amazingly difficult to do. It needs to be a fairly bright light, but it also needs to be fairly far away to avoid the subject's irises closing up too much (and it's difficult even then), so long lenses are necessary. Even then I've never managed to make it work as well as they did for Blade Runner.

 

P


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#5 Alexandre de Tolan

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 02:41 PM

I think he means that there was a hard back-edge light behind her right shoulder from the arc, which was bounced back into her face with a beadboard.  The inky for her eyes was that glass gag they did to get the cat's eyes reflection.

 

Yes. That's where my question relies. If Cronenweth's operator states that - apart from the Inky - he only used one Arc behind Sean Young, how the hell she appears with that hard edge Kicker?

 

If it was bounced it would never looked like that. A bounce from bead board would create a softer light in comparison.


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#6 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 03:27 PM

The arc light IS the kicker. The key is the bounce return from the kicker.
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#7 Alexandre de Tolan

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 04:03 PM

The arc light IS the kicker. The key is the bounce return from the kicker.

 

Sorry but didn't understood what you meant by "the key is the bounce return". 

 

Cronenweth's operator said that the Arc was a backlight and the chair where Sean Young is seated is clearly showing an even illumination from the back (side to side). If the Arc were a Kicker placed on Young's right side the chair backlight would be uneven, showing a more prominent light outline on that side of the chair and probably no outline whatsoever on the other side.


Edited by Alexandre de Tolan, 18 November 2015 - 04:04 PM.

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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 04:21 PM

The arc light is clearly coming from behind her right shoulder, creating the kicker on her right cheek. It is being bounced back into her face with the beadboard. The arc is far enough back to be hitting the back of the chair evenly even if not a dead backlight, but there is always the chance that another light is creating the edge on the camera right side of the chair, but I don't think it would be necessary (though judging by the faint warm light on the top of her left shoulder, there may have been a warm backlight on the chair besides the arc.)
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#9 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 05:26 PM

The bounce is probably there to make the kicker arc roll into the shadows more gently. Hence how one side of her face is completely dark, gradually getting lighter before the bright, hard edge of the arc. 


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#10 Lance Soltys

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 08:30 PM

I don't know much about these powerful of lights, but couldn't it be that the arc was on the right side of the frame, blasting into a beadboard fairly close to the screen left side of her face to provide that edge. That would explain why the right side of the chair backlight seems brighter than the left. Though it would've had to be flagged off the screen left chair. And then the second beadboard might just be bouncing off the first. I can't remember what the wider shots looked like, though I just saw it not long ago. And if the beadboards were hard to the left and right of her face (have to be for the edge on the screen left) that might also explain(?) the warmer highlight on her screen right shoulder. That shoulder highlight seems a mystery to me if the OP's statement is right that it was only two fixtures.
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#11 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 09:34 PM

Sorry but didn't understood what you meant by "the key is the bounce return". 
 
Cronenweth's operator said that the Arc was a backlight and the chair where Sean Young is seated is clearly showing an even illumination from the back (side to side). If the Arc were a Kicker placed on Young's right side the chair backlight would be uneven, showing a more prominent light outline on that side of the chair and probably no outline whatsoever on the other side.

This is what I think is going on, see if this makes sense:

image.jpeg
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#12 Lance Soltys

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 10:41 PM

Okay, now I'm waiting for someone who knows a lot more than me to tell me shut up, but I'm also getting into the whole mystery of the thing.  I'm going to stick to my guns, arc light coming from screen right, bouncing into something that provides the edge.  Here's why..if the arc light was coming from screen left, presumably up high, as you suggest Satsuki, wouldn't there be a top edge light on the cigarette?  Instead what I see is a strong bounce from basically head level, notice the strong highlight in the curve of her right wrist, as well as the really hot spots on her hair, suggesting that light is coming from slightly below her eye line.  And having this primarily lit from bounce is not so weird, because look at the shallow stop.  This is becoming a totally Kennedy assassination thing (back and to the left) but I think back and to the right.


Edited by Lance Soltys, 18 November 2015 - 10:50 PM.

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#13 Lance Soltys

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 10:44 PM

Oh, and her irises are open, so lots of off center bounced light?


Edited by Lance Soltys, 18 November 2015 - 10:44 PM.

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#14 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 10:55 PM

Okay, now I'm waiting for someone who knows a lot more than me to tell me shut up, but I'm also getting into the whole mystery of the thing.  I'm going to stick to my guns, arc light coming from screen right, bouncing into something that provides the edge.  Here's why..if the arc light was coming from screen left, presumably up high, as you suggest Satsuki, wouldn't there be a top edge light on the cigarette?  Instead what I see is a strong bounce from basically head level, notice the strong highlight in the curve of her right wrist, as well as the really hot spots on her hair, suggesting that light is coming from slightly below her eye line.  And having this primarily light from bounce is not so weird, because look at the shallow stop.  This is becoming a totally Kennedy assassination thing (back and to the left) but I think back and to the right.

 

You are WAY over-thinking this.  The arc light is clearly coming from frame left as a back edge on her cheek direct, not bounced, and then the soft light in her face is this same arc light bouncing off of a white beadboard back into her face.  The fact that the top of her hand is less bright could easily be explained by a flag topping the arc light -- after all, if you look at the side angle, the beam of light is contained top & bottom as if the ND glass that lowered on the windows had cut the light.  I'm not sure why you are so resistant to what everyone here is trying to tell you.

 

The arc is not lower than her eyeline because otherwise it would not be creating that edge on her right shoulder when it clears the shadow of the tall chair.  But it isn't much higher than her head level either.

 

As for the shallow focus, this movie was shot in 35mm anamorphic on 100 ASA film, so you can imagine that almost everything was shot near an f/2.8.


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#15 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 11:00 PM

Okay, now I'm waiting for someone who knows a lot more than me to tell me shut up...


Well, I guess you got what you asked for! :)

*If it makes you feel any better, this whole trick of using an overpowering back edge light and keying with the return bounce is something of a Cronenweth trademark technique (he uses it again in 'Peggy Sue Got Married' and probably for lots of films, commercials, and music videos that I'm not aware of) so those of us in the know probably had a bit of an unfair advantage in guessing this lighting setup. I'm guessing that since Cronenweth used to work for Conrad Hall, maybe he picked up this trick from him? Pretty sure I've seen him use this a few times as well.
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#16 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 11:29 PM

It may be easier to tell what is going on by looking at the looser shot.  You can see that there is a backlight for the smoke behind her left shoulder but it doesn't really hit her, and then there is the kicker from behind her right:

bladerunner1.jpg

In fact, I'd say that the backlight behind her left shoulder is actually not from above but is blocked by the chair from camera.

 

In this moment, you can tell from the shafts of light that the hard kicker is more or less eye level (which explains why the top of the hand and cigarette aren't bright):

bladerunner2.jpg


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#17 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 11:47 PM

The article the OP posted actually doesn't appear to have any input from 'Cronenweth's operator' at all, and in any case, Operators are not always the most reliable source of information about lighting setups, as their attention is usually directed at framing and composition.


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#18 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 01:19 AM

The problem I see with it (other than the inevitable shrieks of "I can't see her face properly!") Is simply that this is a talking-heads closeup. If she had to stand up and walk around (as she does, earlier in the scene) the hard part is to do anything over a large area that looks on any sense consistent with the setups we've seen here.

Anyone can make a talking head look pretty. That's week one of a cinematography degree (or at least, I hope it is). The wide is the trick.

P
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#19 Alexandre de Tolan

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 03:50 AM

The article the OP posted actually doesn't appear to have any input from 'Cronenweth's operator' at all, and in any case, Operators are not always the most reliable source of information about lighting setups, as their attention is usually directed at framing and composition.

 

It's not in the article itself. Is in the discussion bellow. You can scroll down but I'm going to paste it here:

 

"I was Jordan's Operator and 1st Assistant for years until I mover to DP in 79....Jordy used only One light to do everything except the Red Eye FX....The Backlight came from a Mole Richardson Arc burning yellow Cole mounted on a Pony Stand for a 3200 K Color Temp to match the Kodak 5254 Color Balance. You will notice a slight nose shadow on the Right side of Sean's face that came from the stray light coming form the backlight, that was bouncing off a 4X8 Bead Board at the left side of camera.....The shadow side was filled with bounce light coming from the Arc as well, this time it was striking a 4x4 Bead Board that was scrimed down using 4X4 Matthews Doubles to suggest a hint of tone....The Eye Light was a Mole Inkey placed 90 Degrees to the right of camera projected through a 50% partial Mirror on lens Axis....." Thomas Del Ruth ASC

 

 

And all my doubts about that Kicker starts with Del Ruth statement that the ARC is in fact a Backlight (not a Kicker), bounced left and right. And putting the eye FX apart, that that Arc was the only light used.


Edited by Alexandre de Tolan, 19 November 2015 - 03:54 AM.

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#20 Lance Soltys

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 10:32 AM

Well, I guess you got what you asked for! :)

 

Yep.

 

 

 

You are WAY over-thinking this.  

 

Also, yep.  Sorry.  Perhaps posting after a few glasses of wine is not such a good idea.  Truly, I was just trying to wrap my head around what I was seeing.

 

Can any one elaborate on how the cats eye effect is done?  How it's different from a regular eye light?


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