Operator "chips" Michael Slovis
• Operator "chips" Michael Slovis
Just in December I asked for advice on the choice of suitable series for viewing and an absolute record for the number of councils was the American television series "Breaking Bad" (Breaking Bad). This weekend I finished watching the last series of the final season, and it was incredibly cool!
The fact is that in addition to the great game of actors, cool script, and other factors that allow us to say that the film came to like it, I literally crush on operator solutions that have been used in "all serious". The credit for this major series operator - Michael Slovis. Unfortunately, we do the work of the cameraman is not particularly appreciated about him materials in RuNet there is little, but he states, of course, is better known and something that I was able to find. From various interviews, journal articles and other sources, I pulled out everything that concerns the "chips" that were used in the filming of the series, and to the best of their own literary abilities and using gugloperevodchika, moved the case to the Russian language.
Michael Slovis (Michael Slovis) started taking pictures as a teenager, and one day become a winner in the small-town photo contest "New Jersey State Teen Arts Festival". The win gave him the opportunity for further training fotoremeslu known program of the Rochester Institute of Technology. Slovis later studied filmmaking at New York University and started an apprenticeship illuminator on the set of the movie, as well as a variety of advertising and television commercials.
Since 1995 Slovis (already as the main operator) takes off as an independent film and television projects and theatrical films. After returning from Europe after the injury, which occurred in 2001, Michael decided to find a job closer to home and family. And he was lucky to get a series of shooting for Paramount / NBC. Two and a half years of the series, Michael has been the operator of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation." For this work, in 2006 he received the "Emmy" for his outstanding cinematography, and just a year later was nominated again. With 2008Clovis started to work with the TV channel and the AMC, the second season by becoming the main operator of the series "Breaking Bad," for which he earned two more nominations, "Emmy." By the way, in some episodes, Michael acted and as a director. In 2010 Slovis received an invitation to join the American Society of Cinematographers, from which he could not refuse. Slovis lives in New Jersey with his wife Maria. They have three grown children, the youngest of whom are now in college.
- In last season used are any different from the previous seasons of the series cinematic visualization techniques?
- Vince (Vince Gilligan - writer, director and producer of the show - ed.) And I'm always inclined to shoot in the gloom. And in terms of the full palette we shoot really dark. This does not mean that the viewer can not see anything. This means that we have a lot of black in the picture. This gives frame contrast. One of the advantages of filming the show for five or six years - that we all know who these characters are. Thus, I do not have to cover their faces all the time. If a bald man about six feet tall comes in to the room, you know, it's Walter Uyat. We all know who these people are, so it gives me a lot more freedom than I had at the beginning of filming.
- Over the years, "Breaking Bad" was recognized for its "brand" carrier-chips. . This broad general plans in the desert, unusual camera angles POV (Point of view shot not found a Russian analogue of this cinematic term Simplifying, this is the moment in the movie when you see what is happening through the eyes of the protagonist of many, this technique is familiar for porn films genre gonzo -.. Ca. .), and other techniques. You have a list of what you need this to pay tribute in the final episodes?
- It's a good topic and I could talk about it for hours. The fact is that I do not always find appropriate methods such shooting. I think they work best when they are used sparingly. If they are constantly appearing, you kind of have to expect them to start and the effect of the impact will be much less. But if POV appears in the frame at a time when you least expect it - it's really worth it.
- Why on television nobody makes films such as the level of "Breaking Bad"? - It's not that no one else so can not, rather, it is we are doing it very well. And we are doing so well because of the good scenario. As director of photography is - what I'm interested in. I want people to see the film and said it was really beautiful, but I do not want people to look and say, "Stop, here a beautiful picture dominates sense!" What I love about working on this show - it is his action. Storyline is so strong, so completely designed and made on a solid basis of the drama that it resists even very strong images. And that's why I'm doing it wrong. Sometimes, I worked on the show, where it was necessary to shoot at a very weak script. And it's very boring.
- After five seasons of "Breaking Bad," Can you name the most successful stage and perspective?
- You're asking me to choose a favorite child. I can not do this! Many people have tried, but ... Actually, one of my favorite moments - this is one of the most simple and it does not use anything special with the photographic point of view. It was an episode that we shot close-up Bryan (Bryan Cranston - actor, leading man -. Approx), when he allowed the heroine actress Krysten Ritter (freaky girlfriend Pinkmana - approx.) To die the very moment when he takes this complex decision. I just thought at the time: "This is - a movie. This is all that the film should be. "
- What would you say is the brand foreshortening "Breaking Bad"?
- Very broad general plans, people often referred to as our proprietary chip. Directed by and say, "Let's make a wide angle like" In all serious, "because television is a rare technique. Vince really like to shoot wide general plans, and sometimes I also like these perspectives - it puts the hero of the film at a particular location or scene that tells you something about the character of their own surroundings. Therefore, I look at the big plans as story-telling device. Another technique, which is characteristic for this series when something big is placed in the foreground, at the same time something else is important to put on the back burner. We call such a wide angle and closed. For example, you might see in the foreground of a bundle of money, and our heroes are doing something in the background. Being unable to focus or much less the object in the foreground.
- There are times when you during the filming process so immersed in the game or actors that you forget to pay attention to the technical side of what is happening?
- My job is not only to set the lighting and camera angles, but make sure it's lighting and camera angles reflect the stage the most effective way. If I am moved by what I see, I know that we have done well. I have assistants who manage the cameras and lights. All those people watching the technical details, but I am concerned only storytelling. It's what interests me in my work: an effective and impressive narration.
Anyone who watched "Breaking Bad," certainly paid attention to luxurious desert landscapes in the Indian reservation. They appear in episodes quite often, sometimes in the form taymlapsov. Perhaps even in one film I have not seen so many cool taymlapsov. Actress Anna Gunn, who plays the wife of Walter (. Skyler - approx), grew up in New Mexico and in an interview said: "Every time I come here, I always think that light in New Mexico is different from other places, and Michael Slovis does a great job, taking them to the show. " Michael takes a certain film Kodak, and also uses a set of filters True-Pols from Schneider Optics, to add a special stage, or brown tea color.
- I opened them (filters) for themselves at the very beginning of his career, thanks to this quality of their neutral (ND), and polarizing filters. Polarizers are extremely effective. They do a great job and I would like to add them as much as possible for my personal gain. These filters really help me to convey the beauty of the sky, and if we are lucky to have gorgeous clouds over New Mexico, the filter removes them in all its glory. They give us a great deep blue, which effectively contrasts with the warm tones of brown desert. And when we shoot a scene with coral, tobacco or straw filters, namely filters True-Pols best deepen the color of the sky and isolated actors.
Vince Gilligan about the operators of the series "Breaking Bad": John Toll (John Toll), who directed the pilot series was amazing. Then Villelobos Ray (Ray Villalobos) filmed the first season, and when he left, one of our directors nominated Michael Slovis due to his skill and speed work. Many people say that you can remove, or a good show, or quick, but I think Michael - the exception that proves the rule. He is a true artist and at the same time as quick as lightning.
I told him I did not want to "all serious" standard soft lighting, which was adopted on the television. I do not want to see all see in every corner. Michael asked, "Are you absolutely sure?" I said, "Think of" The Godfather "as a good example - the same shade as there are light." And he said: "It's wonderful."
- After the first footage of me material called bosses of Sony Television: "What have you got going on there? Suddenly, the show has become so dark! "(Laughs). I was ready to pack his bags, thinking that I would be fired, and to return home to his wife. But Vince was on his: "This is what I want. We continue in the same spirit. " A little later, the verdict rendered AMC: "It is beautiful." Finally, a call back from Sony and they said, "Okay, have approved."
Michelle Maklaran, executive producer, director: "I came to orchestrate the episode" Four days "in the second season and it was a great experience for me, we wanted to show was filmed as a modern Western I'm a big fan of Sergio Leone and.. very much like a movie shot with wide-angle lenses yarkovyrazhenny foreground and broad prospect in the background. That episode was shot in the desert, and I wanted to use a 14-millimeter lens. and Michael liked the idea. We immediately found a common language with him. "
Slovis: "I use a lot of broad near-focus lenses We have 14, 24 and 32-millimeter near-focus lens We can remove the drops of water from the tap or a bug or something else in the foreground and see at the same actors in the background We... easy to put the spotlight or car bumper, or even someone's eye in the foreground and let the second-rate motion to be out of focus or, conversely, let the foreground to be out of focus, and the rear - to be harsh We're not doing this just for. to be unusual. Vince and all of us who worked on the seria scrap, confident that this technique we need to be well and accurately tell the story. "
Slovis says: "I like to shoot everything that will match the palette of this story, but AMC wanted to show would be shot on film, Vince loves film, and for me it is absolutely the right way to." Breaking Bad "Textures sensitivity. , contrast range, the manner in which recorded light (highlights). All of this helps a lot of storytelling with this kind of volume. "
In addition, we slightly "fry" (burn) a picture. I have an extensive package of filters that I use to get certain colors. But I do not do broad-spectrum log-c or s-log transfers (could not translate what the treatment processes - approx.). Colorist just a little drawing fine brush, without making a serious color correction for each scene. Footage by 95 percent is ready for viewing without any processing.
McLaren, one of the directors of the series: In the first season, as a director, I wanted to shoot a scene where Walt and Pinkman prepared for cooking in front of his trailer (RV). Shoot had to be at sunset, but we have already missed the light. Michael silently took out the filter, put it on the lens, and get a beautiful picture of a sunset. If you were there at the time, one would have thought that the light was gone and the working day is over. But with its filter we got this magic.
Slovis: Walter White House - we call it the "White House" - was in the movie from the beginning, but I'm trying to take it off the interior in such a way that the viewer could feel that he was under pressure. I always try to add pressure on our heroes visually, and if the scene progresses, you will see this more and more.
Mainly for shooting at home we use a hard light coming from the outside, with a very small amount of fill light. When we shoot close-ups, this is a delicate moment (especially for women), but we have quite normally illuminate Walter only on one side, and the space around light up 4 foot or less just put a very bright light on someone from the chest down and leave the actor's face is almost in the shadows.
- We often put the camera in some unusual places, that has long been a chip series. Sometimes the director comes up with the idea, but after reading the script, and often on the fields and it is written: "And now one of our patented POV."
McLaren: In episode 4.02, I decided to put the camera on a circular robot vacuum cleaner "Roomba". Just imagine - the morning after a big party and you see the Rumba in the foreground, as he tries to get out of the room, circling littering sedated guests. This POV (opinion) of the vacuum cleaner, which may seem strange, but perfectly tells the story of the party and the whole frenzy, which took place here at night. Vince also supported this idea, and Mike was able to persuade the bosses and all realized with his team.
Slovis: In general, "Breaking Bad," I take 35 millimeters, but sometimes we are experimenting with digital cameras. We used a DSLR Canon 5D and 7D. To Rumba we attached Panasonic HVX 200A.
Slovis: Many of these unusual techniques and scenes that have become iconic, require talent and skills of each team member. On one of the episodes that I directed, we put 7D SLR to shovel, and we see in the frame and handle of a shovel Pinkmana back that fits and starts to dig. There is no ready equipment that could be rented for this frame. And no way to tell ready.
If you want to see the bottom, someone breaks Yorshik clogged toilet, design office should make a backup of a 10-feet tall and a floor made of plexiglass. After that you need to make sure that the decorations are securely fastened to the beautiful transparent floor and the toilet is not leaking anywhere. Then effects separated pours water. Meanwhile, I have to make sure that there is no glare or reflections on the Plexiglas. Vince Gilligan about the use of flashbacks and transfer time story that we do not add a sepia tone to historical scenes or blue tone for the transfer in time, because of the different storylines are based more on geography rather than history. For example, a lot of moments in the third season took place south of the border with Mexico, and Michael had the idea of strengthening some flowers. He added a special filter on the camera and thus the Mexican scene have turned to gold or straw color. And it was one of the visual idioms of the series.
McLaren: lighting scenes Michael initially were dark and in many ways became even darker during the series. Michael loves the darkness. He loves silhouettes. Especially, the story itself is becoming more intense and tough, so it makes sense, if the visual range is more emphasize. He made the show even darker as the story itself is becoming increasingly grim. And we all just said, "Do it for him."