A late night prison meeting between Tim Olyphant’s Raylan Givens and his old flame Ava Crowder, as played by Joelle Carter…
The directive for the look was off-hours, subdued, low key – the antithesis of the usual fluorescent-lit prison environment. I chose to use a soft single source for the key with lots of wrap-around potential. Since we were working in a large room but would only be seeing a small portion of it, the mechanics came about easily.
I used a Mole Richardson 10K fresnel on the off-lens side of the room. This ensured that the shadow on the actors’ faces would fall toward the camera; this angle always appeals to me as opposed to the other way around. It was placed on a low stand and fired into white reflective material (sheets of bleached muslin and 4’x8′ pieces of foam core). This bounce light was then further softened by securing a full silk behind the lamp from floor to ceiling.
Soft light looks great in most applications but is notoriously hard to control. So as to reign in the spill on the set walls, 4’x4′ black floppy solids were strategically placed just out of frame.
The only additional light in the main room came in the form of a 1′ KinoFlo tube used for an eyelight in the close ups of Joelle. Tim Olyphant did without this treatment.
In the background, a Mole Richardson 650W Tweenie was placed on the floor behind the wall and shot straight up to catch the pattern of the wire grid behind Joelle. A sheet of Plus Green gel was also added to the 4′ KinoFlo tube taped to the ceiling in the vestibule she passes through between the visiting area and actual prison. I thought a touch of this sickly color would work nicely in the context of where we were.
The overall effect is quite pleasing. The mood is appropriate for the scene and the actors had the freedom to move about without being limited due to the lighting.
Once again, mission accomplished! On to the next…