[ 00:00:19 ] Well it’s a multifaceted approach. Let’s start with that. I think you know looking at the original intellectual property. You know there’s so much value in not to kind of take off from coming in and trying to do a live action version is you have to start from kind of like you know a position you want to honor the original but also move it forward and do something that’s appropriate to live action. So I think that was kind of the intention was you know to kind of see past selves and the richness of this intellectual property which is not just ghost in the shell but in essence the second movie two TV series and two large mangas and kind of circle out. And then you see where we could take it in terms of like our own desires as filmmakers and the needs of the narrative in the script that we given .
[ 00:01:15 ] I mean the interesting thing was I did manage to get involved quite early which is you know for a cinematographer a great advantage and you know I managed to get out to Hong Kong quite early and do a scout. I took my stills camera took a lot of pictures you know I spent some time with the doctor you know the film is so based on Hong Kong and 2029 anime. And you know you see frames in the anime that relate to specific locations in Hong Kong.
[ 00:01:40 ] So we really got to know you know that city specific environmental qualities and the quality of life in that city the architecture you know the character of the city which is a very important character in the movies. I think that was the sort of stop and then it was kind of you know how can we really build this. This look you know to me building look is a multifaceted approach it’s not going to find the key with any one elements. I was you know it was lighting it was camera it was lenses and it was composition camera movement all of those things had to be addressed and they were all addressed in and in time.
[ 00:02:21 ] Some of the things we did were construct custom lenses which were built by dan to sasaki at Panavision to sort of perfectly complement the qualities of the 65 millimeter.
[ 00:02:33 ] Yeah I mean I started testing the Alexa 65 quite early knowing that I might use it in the film where you know I was looking for camera systems that I thought would be appropriate for the film. And it seemed like an obvious choice but you know when I first got it out you know I was getting great results out of that but I knew I wanted to buy particular texture to the images and it was it was certainly not a brittle digital texture that I was looking for. I was looking for you know really something that I’ve never quite seen before that kind of in time some of the quality of the atomize some of that softness that kind of very particular color palette that control of colour those beautiful secondary sophisticated and subtle colors that you see and animate it because they have so much time and so much expertise that being able to build that color palette you know every frame is kind of like a painting a water color. And so on. You know it’s a tax should turn to that material that I was very interested in and I wanted to kind of get something you know the honored that and so the camera in itself was a great starting point but I needed to build on that with lenses and lighting. I started talking to Don quite early about the project. He was very excited and we started talking about lenses that I liked and what the qualities were that I wanted to see in these particular lenses. And we ended up you know basically constructing a site.
[ 00:03:51 ] In fact two full sets one for mine and one for all splinter second unit of Prime lenses ranging from 24 to 180 in the 65 more for Nairo. First though it’s not another set of lenses quite like them but then they have been the starting point for a whole generation of lenses which is not produce father movies wasn’t scared at all because they were my friends.
[ 00:04:25 ] You know along with Panavision you know I’d you know we’d we’d created this lens full lighting on that camera you know.
[ 00:04:32 ] So by the time I actually used them that I was very happy with the way they were performing and any of them that weren’t happy just went straight back to Don and he’d adjust them or they’d go and be reconstructed some of them.
[ 00:04:47 ] So you know we had there was there was a bit of back and forth but essentially pretty much you know executed a very very very good job of villains as you know I was very happy with what I was saying from day one.
[ 00:05:07 ] Yeah I studied in general which you know I was a big fan of anyway. But I went back and revisited all that stuff.
[ 00:05:15 ] I also use my photographic research in Hong Kong extensively. There was a combination of the sort of intersection of those two things you know I was like are the. One of the colors found in my like.
[ 00:05:26 ] What colors do you see appearing again and again and Olomide you know that coming out of this Japanese culture you know that very much sort of evolves into this very sophisticated color palette but that it was like well was that coming from well actually in the Ghost in the Shell maybe is it really a lot of it comes from Hong Kong and the lighting that’s very specific to Hong Kong which comes out of the nail in the alley do you like this on the street then kind of gets trapped in this atmosphere particles in the because of the microclimate and that creates a kind of overall sort of my utmost kind of time. You know what continent Hall would call room tone but it’s a it’s a sky wife of room time that is basically trapped in a neon light and the atmospheric particles of the of the sky which creates this kind of Goliath. So that was something that was very specific to a quality that I was trying to capture and I think you know Mike talked a little bit about my process of doing that with the smart the atmosphere are already smart and the very fine levels to which that was manipulated to trap this light. But then there was also the specifics of Viale the lights and how we program bought that colour information into a series of idealise across a range of manufacturers and built custom versions of lights as well to do specific things build them into sets supplement costume’s Well that’s definitely a quality of of Hong Kong as a city thing.
[ 00:06:57 ] I think you see a certain amount of that also and the eye when you look at that it is they did capture that. And so you know I was basically using coloured light on the set amount of atmosphere to kind of recreate a very particular type of lighting. So yeah we designed a 28 color palette coming from the stills influenced by the end of my. And that was then programmed across all the different units all the different manufacturers and controlled bar lighting desks at any point I could pull up any one of my 28 colours on any light on sight and therefore I had very quick flexibility to actually react and respond to potential choices that I might call the direct might might but also could go in with a way like there but what kind of colours I want to see in that suit and then all that information was able to be passed on. You know for that matter Deiter of the desk through the visual effects so they’d know that if there was supposed to be a window with a street outside you know and I was putting a certain color palette through they could build that solid grounds and lighting interactive lighting outside of the same colour. So it was all about kind of juggling the photography and the visual effects as well.
[ 00:08:15 ] Well I think all of this technology was kind of out you know to a certain extent it’s a case of like you know taking it that stage further and kind of customer it mining it for your own needs and I think the great thing is that with so many creative people in this industry and so many talented people manufacture stuff that when you go to them with an idea I’ve found people to be very receptive and actually be willing to kind of prototype products and test products and evolve products and that’s why we were able to do that in this film because partly because of the time that we had. But also I think because we had such a specific vision and I reported on the concept design as the walk to night and give the visual effects supervisor you know John when he came in you know we’re very unified in what we’re trying to achieve and so we didn’t kind of get on a lot of car rides it was all pretty much leading in one direction and we kind of evolved and streamlined that technology to sort of Puppis that stuff.
[ 00:09:13 ] Actually shooting a Lyca rangefinder digital camera. Well I’m actually no really just because that’s the camera I’ve always used.
[ 00:09:25 ] So I come out of the veil like a user and sex and then I’ve kind of moved into that is just like a camera but I’ve got my light like cold lenses which I like.
[ 00:09:33 ] So it’s also a very small camera that if you’re running around like somewhere like Hong Kong you know you can kind of be a little bit incognito in a little of what I was doing was what the street photography was just meant. You know calm rummaging around and digging around so that we could find. So you’re able to operate which is while the fighting journalist sees that camera and you know back in the Macklem days it was the official coming out of them the Magnum official photo of commerce.
[ 00:09:57 ] You know they like it because you look at an artist it’s kind of discreet and quite to be specific we only had one law.
[ 00:10:11 ] I mean I’ve sort of my philosophy is a little like less variables you have the more control you have as the caller. And for us my question in somewise and that comes back from a sort of film training where I buy it you know we print one lights and you know you’d know that if you know if you were using a particular set of Prince lights and you’ll print dailies if anything was off you know you’d know because your print lives would change or you know the printer would say to you if I print these lights you’re going to be a bit out. Or you could say you know what when I kind of set up the flow for the film for Ghost in the shell. I was really I was interested in that level of control. You know my idea to do it was really to monitor everything and P3 color space for monitoring and send them off space to start with. And then every night project dieties and a fair trial in P3 color space. So I was able to dig on what it meant was that I would be lighting on site and quite an interactive whitewash on my desk.
[ 00:11:13 ] I mean I would go with a specific idea of where I wanted but then the shot might evolve and I might see you know for example Scala walking through the room and I’d say well I need to kind of bring up that bank of lights Harris you stopped part of the room and there’s a lot of interactive lighting going on anyway so I could do that kind of a live mix but I’d always be going through the single lot that cut the color palette and controls very even that meant that everybody was looking up effectively kind of a rendition of what I wanted to say and I was having that confirmed every night for myself and the first one I would see there was all of the guys walk and white pies to you know walking with us and you say the marbles to turn around the dieties really fast so I could actually see the morning’s work that evening.
[ 00:11:57 ] It just meant we knew exactly why we were putting things in and then obviously as Mike explained you know you can’t deny certain things promise to change a little bit but you still effectively people have been looking up you know one version of the film is called from from inception to completion well I say of got to stay calm and surround yourself with the best technicians you can got to support them.
[ 00:12:30 ] And I think you know I mean the thing about using all this kind of approach is it’s a very detailed approach.
[ 00:12:35 ] But I think ultimately you’re still you know one of your primary jobs is obviously to kind of tell a story until you know you know to tell the narrative and to kind of you know my doctor is comfortable and to support the doctor and to plan sequences. I think the thing is if you deal with this kind of work in advance it in a way it liberates you to then when you’re on set to kind of make instinctive choices and make you know you know do the kind of real job as a cinematographer which is you know to tell a story.
[ 00:13:11 ] Well I think you know I think the thing is the tools are getting more sophisticated. And the thing is you actually you know you’re not doing any of this stuff blind you know when you’re shooting film it’s in your imaginations.
[ 00:13:22 ] You know it really you have to visualize how the emulsion is going to translate your lighting this environment into a negative.
[ 00:13:32 ] I think with digital cinematography you know if you design the correct water flow you can see the evidence of the wall image on a screen you know in real time and that’s you know very empowering in a sense.
[ 00:13:44 ] Otherwise you could say well why does your imagination play into that.
[ 00:13:48 ] You know you I mean is becoming less less powerful because they’re not driven so directly by your imagination and will by an image in front of us you know some people might say a lot but I think certainly in terms of like all the technology that’s going on on your site you know you are able to view an image and see what’s happening. So you know if you’ve got a palace that’s flickering on your phone you’re going to snap and you can see it on a white form and so these are just technical details that you have to keep on all.
Thought Gallery Channel:
Backstage Conversation Season: 2017