The more I shoot these days, the more realize how each and every department contribute so much to the finished product of a film or commercial. Learning how to light, shoot and grade is one thing but without careful consideration to your actors clothes, the space they occupy and colours that surround them, the end result will never be as good as it could be. Does that even make sense? I guess I'm trying to make the cliche point that you are only as good as your team...make-up included.
A couple of years ago I shot "Saving The Bacon", an awesome short written and directed by Ryan Thomas, produced by Joel Buncle. We had one location, and how perfect it was. The stale cream walls and the ghastly yellow hallway...I still remember the smell of the carpet too.....shuddder......BUT, it was perfect for the film and made my job so much easier.
If you Google "complimentary colours" or "colour contrast" you'll hopefully see where I'm going with this post. Your job as a DoP is to bring the director's vision to life (among other things) but how much easier that is when you're environment is already half way there. If you take a look at the frame grabs accompanying this article you'll notice two dominant colours - Blue and Yellow. You could almost compare them to the classic Hollywood "Teal and Orange" look that we see in so many blockbusters these days. The yellow tie, the yellow wall....complimented by the cool shadows and dark jacket. And when talented John McCollouch looks ahead, his blue eyes really shine. Good makeup also plays a huge role, thanks to Emma-Ray Stewart for the excellent work you see here :)
I made some minor tweaks to the saturation and contrast but the look you see here was almost entirely created on set and captured that way in camera.
I got news today that the film is now on-line after its festival run :) Here it is below:
I'm really looking forward to working with Ryan again on his next film, he is a genius!