This is a portrait shot by Martin Schoeller. His signature style is to show a subject’s face in unnerving detail. Also the catch lights. Or the reflections of the lights he uses which are reflected in the eyes. As seen in the this photo there are two large white vertical strips in the subject’s eyes. These are the individual lights that Schoeller chose to light this portrait. Those catch lights are a large part of why his images are so evocative.
This is the lighting setup that allowed us to mimic the Martin Schoeller look for our interviews. The two vertical lights are very close to the subject, only a few feet away. We had to wrap each light with butcher paper so that we could get them close enough to the subject. They had to be close so that the catch light would be the right size in the eye. You can’t see it but the camera is just to the left of those two lights, out of frame.
Here is a somewhat confusing image of Errol Morris demonstrating his “Interrotron.” Most interviews for documentaries are conducted with the interviewer sitting next to the camera. The subject looks at them so it appears that they are looking slightly off camera. Errol Morris wanted something different for his interviews. He took a standard teleprompter and refitted it so that his face was seen in front of the camera lens instead of text. So during his interviews a camera is filming Morris. This signal is sent to the teleprompter on the camera recording the interview with the subject, so that his face is superimposed over the lens of that camera. Essentially, the subject looks directly into the lens of the camera during the interview and instead of the lens they see an image of Errol Morris, the interviewer. We stole this idea and captured some very interesting interviews.
Here is one of the subjects of the film prepping for one of the more impromptu interviews in the film. These we did in practical locations without the Interrotron. This location was interesting as it is a pub that was built in an old church.
We shot this doc on the RED Epic and the Arri Master Primes. These lenses are amazing. It is hard to shoot on anything else now. The way these lenses handled flare is absolutely stunning. I’ve shot with them before, but this was the longest project that I had been able to use them on.
The doc was shot in the midwest and the bay area. Here are a few stills that I grabbed along the way.
On the PCH, North of Big Sur