After receiving significant criticism for its poor lighting, Wagner defended the artistic choices he made for the gruesome battle scenes. When I started out in Vancouver doing documentaries for Greenpeace, training films, marketing films, one very low-budget feature, and a few little dramas, I was putting in my ten thousand hours. It was just a matter of dotting a few lights throughout to give it some depth and mystery. Especially when you can’t afford to do a full 4K or 6K transfer, which film is perfectly capable of doing, it’s just wildly expensive. I had a room full of cinematographers and students, and using fine art as a reference was a completely new concept for them. At that age, there’s a lot of pressure to decide what you want to do, where you want to go to school, what you want to study. In an interview with Wired alongside episode director Miguel Sapochnik, Wagner placed the blame away from the production team onto viewers’ home devices, which he says aren’t fit for the show’s cinematic filming. New, 243 comments. We practiced and chose our times to make maximum use of natural light so it came out as beautiful as possible. You’ve always got leeway, and fortunately creativity is rewarded on Game of Thrones. I’m not sure there’s a huge advantage to shooting on film, other than it looks beautiful and is very forgiving. Their works depict these gloomy interiors with just a little window light coming in. Jaime delivering this information about the changing nature of war to Cersei seemed like the equivalent of witnessing the A-bomb drop in the form of a dragon. When we got the scripts for season seven, we all kind of liked “Eastwatch” best. Regardless, it’s the cinematographer’s job more than anyone’s to keep a visual consistency. A couple months back, I was doing a talk about the photography of Ray Donovan at the ASC clubhouse. But I was able to keep doing it under less-than-ideal circumstances because I really loved it. Variety and the Flying V logos are trademarks of Variety Media, LLC. We didn’t have much equipment—Panavision was basically loaning us a body, one zoom, and a couple mags. After doing one iconic little series called The Beachcombers, I was hired for the second unit, and eventually the first unit, on one of the biggest shows on TV at the time, MacGyver. Want to reading more about filmmaking? Because I put my time in when I got my chance, I not only didn’t blow it, but I did quite well at it. So you really needed someone else to bankroll you, even if it was the local chain of pizza stores. If you have some conflict resolution skills and patience, that’s really useful too. Oil on canvas. On the “Dance of Dragons” episode in Game of Thrones, we had three or four days to shoot so we knew we had to work unbelievably fast. It’s not great for the filmmaking, even with the most disciplined and professional actors and crew. When you’re taking that 6K-capable film and doing 2K transfers, I’m not sure what the advantage is. You’re the problem, and also maybe HBO’s bitrate. By the end of the first union show that I was a camera operator on, I was the show’s DP. In episodic work, I wouldn’t even say directors are craftspeople. © 2020 Ideaform Inc., All Rights On one Game of Thrones sequence in a meadow with a broken-down cart, I said to the camera operator, ‘Dave, I want this establishing shot to be a John Constable.’ I could say that to any camera operator in Hollywood—probably in Vancouver or Toronto too—and they wouldn’t have a clue what I was talking about. John Constable, “The Hay Wain”, 1821. If you watch it, almost every shot is either backlit or under a canopy, which meant that as fast as you could move the camera over and point it, we were ready to go. For the sunset scene in “Eastwatch” where I stuck the light right in the shot, we used some famous J.M.W. For Game of Thrones fans who had a serious case of FOMO because they felt the dim lighting for “The Long Night” was lacking, the cinematographer behind the game … Having done so many big action sequences with large CG components on Game of Thrones, I was really looking forward to the simple scenes in “Eastwatch,” like Tyrion and Jaime in the catacombs. They’ll just keep the camera rolling, tell everybody to go back to first position, and repeat without cutting to save a minute or two. Fans were particularly excited for the show’s tentpole episode over the weekend, but many were left disappointed when multiple scenes were too dark for home-viewers to make out the much anticipated Battle of Winterfell. My dad was a bit of a bohemian, an illustrator, painter, avid home movie-maker, and photographer, so I had access to all that stuff at an early age. I helped it out with a couple of other lights and added enough smoke and atmosphere to disguise the stand that I didn’t have time to hide. That’s something anybody can do. The much-anticipated third episode of “Game of Thrones'” final season aired Sunday night, titled “The Long Night.” And boy, was that an apt call. That was a lot of money. On Game of Thrones normally there are about five DPs. That way, we were able to get the best visual quality with minimal equipment. When I asked myself the question, ‘What do I love and how am I going to make a living doing it?’ choosing was the easy part. Wagner did explain that much of the darkness could be due to the episode’s night-time shoots compared to lighter scenes that were shot on-set. “The showrunners decided that this had to be a dark episode,” Wagner said. If the DP is shooting every episode, he’s prepping the show in that way too. After starting his own production company in Vancouver, McLachlan shot documentaries for Greenpeace, commercials, and corporate videos before landing a job on The Beachcombers in 1988. This time I wanted to add more texture. But Dave said, ‘Ah yes, “The Hay Wain”,’ and he framed it up exactly the way the painting is. I wanted it to feel like the sun was setting on the Lannister Empire, and that fit with time-of-day in the storyline. Doing Westworld, after five years of not shooting film, required much heavier lighting requirements than I’d been working with. I liked making little movies, I liked photography, I liked going into the darkroom, and I loved going to the movies. Even so, he stands by his choices. “Game of Thrones” cinematographer Fabian Wagner isn’t apologizing any time soon for Sunday night’s poorly-lit episode. I was at least thirty years old before I started to reap any real comfort or financial rewards from the work. ‘The Walking Dead’ Director Michael Satrazemis Shoots Zombies With Film The viewer’s sophistication and eye have been so spoiled with CG-enhanced images and cameras that can dig deeper into the shadows, so we had to light Westworld in a way that didn’t look goofy. We were all inspired by that location, which was a 700-year-old former shipyard of the Spanish Armada in Seville, Spain. Filming on the set of Westworld via Art Spirit Village. A lot of episodic directors have gotten lazy because digital is so cheap. “A lot of the problem is that a lot of people don’t know how to tune their TVs properly,” he said. “We’d seen so many battle scenes over the years – to make it truly impactful and to care for the characters, you have to find a unique way of portraying the story.”. From Game of Thrones to Westworld, Canadian cinematographer Robert McLachlan’s crisp imagery brings a colorful, low-key depth to your favorite television shows. We only had about half a million dollars to make it, but we managed to land Christopher Plummer for a fews days to do a small part. “A lot of people also unfortunately watch it on small iPads, which in no way can do justice to a show like that anyway.”, He continued, “Personally I don’t have to always see what’s going on because it’s more about the emotional impact…’Game of Thrones’ is a cinematic show and therefore you have to watch it like you’re at a cinema: in a darkened room.

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