Day\exterior on a city street as a car pulls up and the characters exchange some dialogue…
The scene is simple enough and hardly worth further comment. What makes it notable is that the shot featuring the two guys in the car was photographed on a different day and in a completely different location from the shots looking toward the movie’s star, Matt Dillon.
The angle favoring his character was staged on a street corner in Woodhaven, Queens. Due to some late-game script revisions, the complimentary frame showing his friends was re-shot weeks later (and some ten miles away) in the parking lot of the Silver Gull Beach Club in Breezy Point (also a part of Queens).
Sharp eyes will notice the near-perfect match in lighting… For Dillon, the sun is coming from screen left and hits the right side of his face. Meanwhile, his buddies are getting the sun (at the exact same moment, movie-wise) from a slightly flatter position – almost directly into their faces as they turn to speak to him. Once again, we see that cinematography has nothing to do with hewing to the exactitudes of nature. Instead, it often seeks to manipulate conditions so as to fool the viewer into thinking what’s onscreen is indeed the genuine item.
The important thing is that the effect works perfectly and calls no attention to itself. Here’s a big salute to cinematographer James A. Contner for pulling it off so well. His control of exposure and color-matching are superb. They also provide a great example of the liberties you can take with your lighting – as long as you’re aware of the rules you might be breaking!