With movie theaters across the globe shuttering, Universal is making three of its current theatrical releases – Emma, The Hunt, and The Invisible Man – available on demand starting today for $19.99. Here’s an interview I did for Filmmaker Magazine a few weeks ago with Invisible Man cinematographer Stefan Duscio, who talks about using motion control rigs to bring the titular monster to life as well as using a prototype version of the Alexa Mini LF.
Year – 1982
Decade – 1980s
Cinematographer – Oswald Morris (IMDB link)
Director – Jim Henson, Frank Oz
Aspect Ratio – 2.40
Distributor – Universal
Genre – Fantasy
Cameras – Panaflex
Lenses – Anamorphic
Format – 35mm
Schedule – Principal photography began on April 15th, 1981 and wrapped on September 11th, 1981. The film was shot at EMI Elstree Studios near London.
A pair of elf-like creatures on the planet Thra embark on a quest to repair the titular gem – and thus end the reign of a species of revolting reptile/bird hybrids called the Skeksis. Jim Henson’s all-puppet extravaganza was a modest hit during the Christmas season of 1982, but was overshadowed by the blockbuster success of E.T. earlier that year. However, the film became a home video favorite for a generation of kids – myself included – who were equal parts terrified and enthralled by The Dark Crystal, which was significantly more frightening than unsuspecting parents anticipated from the creator of The Muppets.
The film was the swan song of three-time Oscar nominated cinematographer Oswald Morris, who shot the movie back-to-back with Henson’s The Great Muppet Caper and then hung up his light meter.
The rain tower set-up for the opening scene of It Chapter One (2017). Check out more in the Shot Behind the Shot series.
LED screens provide interactive lighting for stage-bound driving shots from Mindhunter Season 2. Pic from the Instagram feed of the show’s cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt.
Also, below you’ll find a breakdown of the often invisible VFX from the David Fincher-created series.
American Cinematographer recently shared an interview with Freddie Francis from its March 1998 issue that included the photo above from the set of David Lynch’s Dune. Francis, a two-time Oscar winner, also shot Lynch’s The Elephant Man and The Straight Story.
It’s an incredible piece that covers the breadth of Francis’ career, from his beginnings as a clapper boy in Britain in the early 1930s to shooting Cape Fear, The Innocents, and Glory.
Here’s one of the many pearls of wisdom from Francis…
“If someone asks me, ‘I loved that shot, how did you light it?’, I’ll think they’ve lost the point. My explanation doesn’t mean a thing because there are 20 ways to light a shot and get the same result. Why you do something is far more important than how.”
With the prequel The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance now out on Netflix, here’s a collection of behind the scenes photos from the 1982 original. Also, check out my interview with Age of Resistance cinematographer Erik Wilson.
The puppeteering magic behind the Gelflings and Skeksis on the original The Dark Crystal (1982). Both were brought to life by puppeteers located below their creations, with monitors used to position the creatures for camera.
New interview up over at Filmmaker Magazine – Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance cinematographer Erik Wilson. The 10-episode prequel to the 1982 film was shot over 180 days using Cooke Anamorphic/i lenses and Red cameras.
Here’s a snippet…
…and some Behind the Scenes shots.