Magazine article Variety

Bright Bulbs Enable Dark Design for 'The Lighthouse'

Magazine article Variety

Bright Bulbs Enable Dark Design for 'The Lighthouse'

Article excerpt

EARLY IN PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY on "The Lighthouse," writer-director Robert Eggers asked cinematographer Jarin Blaschke, who was shooting on black-and-white film stock, if he thought they could capture the look they were going for digitally. Blaschke answered no: Digital wouldn't let them achieve the texture they had in mind - "what we photography nerds would call 'micro-contrast.' [The look] was never going to be a romantic black and white. It was more of a dusty, crusty, rusty, musty black and white."

It's been no secret that the making of "The Lighthouse" was a strenuous undertaking for cast and crew alike. Shot on Cape Forchu on the southern coast of Nova Scotia, the 34-day shoot endured unpredictable weather patterns and little shelter from them.

Eggers' follow-up to "The Witch," which earned him a best director honor and a nomination for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2015, stars Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson as lighthouse keepers on a remote island in 1890s New England, trying to keep their sanity amid difficult and solitary conditions. The movie takes place with mainly just the two men on a tiny island in a tiny house, an 8-footwide lighthouse and no electricity.

Blaschke says he prefers to model his lighting in a real-life way, which was tricky on "The Lighthouse." He and gaffer Ken Leblanc worked with Kodak Double-X stock - Blaschke calls it the only practical black-andwhite film left after Plus-X was discontinued in 2011 - which is much less sensitive to light than even color film stock. …

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