"Troubles" Avoided for Syfy's HAVEN in Nova Scotia

American Cinematographer, April 2014 | Go to article overview

"Troubles" Avoided for Syfy's HAVEN in Nova Scotia


The Syfy series Haven, based on the Stephen King novella The Colorado Kid, takes viewers to the mythical town of Haven, Maine. There the series follows FBI agent Audrey Parker (Emily Rose), who arrives in town to follow a routine case but soon finds herself caught up in the town's many mysteries. Audrey quickly discovers that Haven is a longtime refugee for people affected by a range of supernatural afflictions known as "Troubles," and she herself has a surprising connection to the town.

The series, which just completed its fourth season, is shot entirely in Nova Scotia, Canada, in and around the town of Chester. When the decision was made to shoot in Nova Scotia, Executive Producer Shawn Piller (Stephen King's Dead Zone, Greek) turned to cinematographer Eric Cayla, CSC, whom he had worked with on a previous series.

"When I came on board, Shawn already had a specific look in mind, and he knew he wanted to shoot on film," says Cayla. "There is a mythology on the show that film serves. Although Haven is a contemporary show, we wanted it to have a timeless feel to it. Film images have a painterly quality to them, and as a cinematographer, I like y to reference my work A to painters. I drew ( my references from Winslow Homer, JM Andrew Wyeth and Edward Hopper to get the light and feeling for this series. Shawn and the pilot director, Adam Kane, knew it was the right look for the show."

There was an initial budgetary push to shoot digitally, but the production company Piller/Segan/ Shepherd made it work. "About 70 percent of our show is shot on location," notes Cayla. "We're often outside and usually by the water. We would have spent a lot of money manipulating the image to get the look we wanted using digital. With film, the look and texture we want is right there. We also shoot on 2-perf, and only use 3-perf to get wide shots, crane shots, helicopter shots, and green screens."

Cayla uses KODAK VISION3 500T Color Negative Film 5219 and KODAK VISION3 200T Color Negative Film 5213. …

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