Audioburst Search

Ep. 34 : Creating a Show's Visual Style with David Mullen, ASC


filmmakers money instead. Welcome to the podcast episode thirty four now this week joining us in the studio is David. Mon- air see the acclaimed EP. That's worked on big budget shows like madman and Westworld. But what I didn't know interview is that David is easily the most nonstop Metallica for that. I've met when it comes to the technical side of cameras. Candle light it. Andrew definitely going to hear them. Apart a little bit of that wisdom. This came to over the years on several film productions eating out to latest Emmy Award winning show. The marvelous must miss now. Of course we've also got a video breakdown of the iconic scenes of mishandle on the channel. Sell make sure you head on over to that after but here recovery Buddy episode thirty four out the anymore. Let's do this David. Thanks so much for joining us today so again. I'm just GONNA jump out and say it but I think Ms Mazloum was one of my favourite. Tv shows ever honestly. I can say that it's the one that I've been reading about in. This is the most probably more than any other show out there today. So I'm excited to hear a little bit about the thought process. That went to the shooting of it but before we do that They can we talk a little bit about how you got into making a cinematographer in the first place. Well in when I was a kid I used to make super short films a lot and I wanted to eventually get into filmmaking. I went to went to school and I couldn't get into film school at first so I just made films on the weekends and my spare time eventually got into graduate film school when I was twenty six but by then shooting for about a decade at that point on my own self taught basically by going to library and pulling down old Merican cinematographers textbooks. Just reading and then making films so by the time. I finally got film school We had to start with a beginner. Super Eight class at CAL arts and I'd been doing separate for so long whereas other people's sort of turned in sort of out of Focus hand-held films of their friends in a park I turned into this black and white film. New are in super eight with Dutch angles macro photography and Dolly and Russian. Montage editing and all sorts of just tricks. And I've learned so I instantly got typecast as the Slick Hollywood guy in cal arts but I also got asked to shoot everyone else's projects. Callard so I started being a cinematographer by default being asked shoot other people's stuff basically already before the director duty before that I shot my own stuff. It wasn't until I got to go shop for other people understood. Was the goal always to be a DP was. I just wanted to make movies till I got to film school. It's just easier cal arts to shoot for other people because you have to provide your own materials you're on but money and Fi- shot for other people. I could work all the time absolutely. I think people don't realize that you know you're a director. You only get one project. Every certain number of years is working. Yeah plus because I was shooting. You know three or four graduate thesis films Semester. I could do in black and white. I could do it reverse all I could do. Colored Act Use Agra film or Fujifilm Kodak film or diffusion filters every short film was a chance to try something new experiment. Where does this passion come from the idea of you being a sixteen seventeen eighteen pulling down books by yourself and trying these things out by yourself and shooting by yourself on the weekends I guess what what brought you into this? Was there a particular work in particular? It was it just dental curiosity. I'm not sure why filmmaking I was a huge science fiction fan as a kid so I watched grow up watching a lot of Japanese monster movies and Star Trek and then I saw two thousand one and read a book on the making of two thousand and one and then close encounters came out that year. It was an interesting year. Nineteen seventy seven. Two thousand one played for the first time on television in February. And then that's summer star. Wars came out and that fall close encounters came out and those three films in one year just kind of cemented my interest in filmmaking based on my interest in science fiction just sort of a natural progression for Awhile. I studied a lot about visual effects. I was interested in model work and Matt Painting and stuff like that but I started realizing that it was all to sort of tedious and time consuming. I was Morrison immediate results. I remember reading an article about a shot. I loved an empire. Strikes back low angle shot of the imperial walkers looked extremely realistic because the way the light flared around the the around the low angle shot of looming against the dawn sky and the way they were sort of Semi Sola wet and the light was bleeding around them and it felt very real. Didn't feel like composite or anything like that and it turns out they said. Oh we just shut the models against the sky backing and we put a fog filter on the lens and we overexposed backing and under exposed them all. It was all photography. It wasn't a special effects at that was selling. The shot was just a knowledge of lighting and filtration. So I realized that sort of what I was interested in was creating effects of light and mood more than make more than doing model working and stuff. I did build models as a kid and I did do matte painting work in and I worked with on science fiction short films but eventually sort of segue destroyed cinematography these effects I think it's interesting because you know a lot of the work that you've done in your career has been a lot of. It's very naturalistic. Actually in a lot of ways so was there a turn which found plus film school that He started doing more of this kind of naturalistic work. More a people about city work Is Science fiction and monster movies still the AM? I am dipping at an end result. Here is I still love science fiction and a big fan of going to science fiction movies? I'm not sure. My work is completely naturalistic. Because I love old films I love technicolor movies. But my first interest Scimitar. Gophers came when I saw superman. The movie shot by Geoffrey Unsworth. So I got heavily in the British cinematographer David Watkin John Alcott. Geoffrey unsworth and most of them are. Were on the sort of soft. Light Pastels naturalistic style. I mean I was interested in Geoffrey Unsworth and Ozzy Mars because they represented a transitional approach because they both started in a studio era in ended up in the seventies and the more realistic time but their work was kind of cross. Pollenisation of of old studio lighting and modern soft were larger than life looks the because they couldn't break their kind of studio training to some degree as opposed to someone like David Watkin. Who came out of documentaries? So much more naturalistic approach to his lighting from the very beginning of his career subjects. Not so much the topics. Yeah so in that case I love the science fiction still there then so there's a chance that we could see a David Mullen science fiction someday perhaps So the drive mostly came from science fiction. Movies that came from loving the comics comes from loving the the material Seven days was an era of sort of beginning of science fiction. Budget Science fiction film so when I was a teenager. And saw Superman Alien Empire strikes back They're all big influences. And then I in College. I got into more art films. Second into Kerhsaw Japanese films lean and Kubrick in wells and also classic filmmaking. Absolutely what was the trajectory looked like after film school? I guess so up until I do. You've been playing every year. Then this thing in your twenty s where you were just shooting projects. Who is hiring you to be able to do this kind of work before. I was just shooting my own films. What happened was I got an English degree for UCLA. Because I couldn't get into the film program there and graduated with a degree but I had friends who were in the US film school. And I shot worked on some of their films for them while they're in school and then after school. I took some night classes with UCLA education. The core stuff and teacher like my work so much. He asked me to come back and take the classes for free to more time so I could inspire the other students in the super class with what could be done with a super camera and through that I met. I met some other filmmakers who wanted to borrow equipment or or have me work on their short films and I started shooting some music video work karaoke videos and super eight for someone who went to USC film score you carry keys are just a sort of low budget music video. There are shown karaoke bars but often video. They were easily budgeted. Like two thousand dollars a pop and back. Then there's this producer who went to. Usc was making them in sixteen millimetres but he wanted to do something super rates any saw one of my short films at a local film festival so we asked him to shoot a music video and super for this Karaoke Company and it turned out well so he asked me to shoot a second one and I asked him if I could shoot in sixteen like all his other ones and he said sure you know how to shoot sixteen and I go. Yeah and then. I ran off to the rental house and I asked them to show me how to three six millimeter cameras on the books. Yeah I basically shot on plus x black and white reversal which I'd been shooting and Super Eight so everything. The film stocks were the same. Just was a bigger negative bigger film format so I shot and sixteen for him and that turned out well so I shot several more and then I turned out. Alright yeah no problem so I. I went to film school. So it's about twenty six so I just between finishing college going to school. I was just working in an office path. My student loans and doing these projects on my spare time was the transition like out of film school. Lose a lot of people that also listened. That are possibly delivers. Come out or maybe working. This sort of way What did it look like at the time when people were leaving graduating well for two years after school? I worked at a sound effects. Company called Dane tracks which was run by next CAL. Arts person you know. I just data entry work for them and entering sound effects their library but lots of Friends of mine at Cal Arts went to work there sound editors I just had never gotten the sound work so I just I just got a job doing computer work or anything. Yeah but it was just the pay. The bills and I did that about two years part time and then I was still working on some short films at the same time and then about a year after I graduated. I did Indie film as DP with an X. Cal arts student and that was a non pain kind of project. Yeah but it was thirty five millimeter. He had just gotten donated funds and donated lab. Work donated camera stuff so we did that film and then about a year after that. This is now two years out of film school Another cal arts graduate Had hooked up with a director who wanted to make a film and he introduced me and he was going to do this film for no money at all and video and in the last minute he got like a million dollars budget and so he kept me on the DP and other line producers said Oh you should get more experienced. Dp Now that you've got a bigger budget but he stuck with Maine so I shot. This film was another. It was sort of a to video thriller and thirty five meter and because that turned out well skipping two things you love you. The million dollars just dropped on his. Yeah someone was like. We like this film idea who you go. Yeah he loved you enough to say I want you to come along with me. Do I plan to whole film? What's him I story boarded back than I used to draw story board movies so I started boarded the fell out with them so he wanted to stick with me which was great was budget was his. Renos with some of those interested in the film rose in the studio. I don't know how safe crowd these producers together. But he did and he got a decent budget for it so I did that film and that led to several more kind of straight to video thrillers for production companies. That did this work for like lifetime and nonunion but thirty five millimeter which is good because this producer made these straight to video films had pre sold them to German television and they had strict technical standards so he had to spend the money to shoot thirty five millimeter and post them. Well so yeah they had they were not the most exciting films technically but they had a certain Polish you know they had to be professional looking so but they were shot very quickly on a small budget but I did a number of those at some point after about ten features to my name. I felt like I needed to get away from the straight to video nonunion stuff so I started looking around for more art house type projects that might go to film festivals and I ran into Michael Polish shoes in another X. Cal Arts pursers. And he asked me to shoot a short film for them and then after about two years after the short film he got funding for his first feature which was my thirteenth feature. Twin Falls Idaho so it was made for like we made it in like fifteen days for half a million dollars and got into Sundance and it got us theatrical release and it got me an independent spirit award nomination. You've got me an agent. So one film was sort of helped me a lot and then our third film our second film was called Jackpot. Two thousand was the first twenty four. Phd feature made in the United States. That was released and then our third film North Park which is thirty five anamour film that got me a second spirit award nomination where caused so at this time thirteen features. How old were you at this point? So you come home. Schools Twenty started around twenty-six came at twenty nine twenty nine thirty so it's like forty one forty years of these kind of a homework. Sort of lifetime managers. Okay extend with a few very small indie film that SORTA disappeared after they were made assist. Doing whatever I could to the a living I also for a couple years. One of the editors the editor my second film. He was producing epic as an infomercials and so he hired me as a camera person and I learned to shoot video which was useful in the ninety s because when I did Jackpot which is the first twenty four PhD film. It was just a Beta Cam- camera basically the Sony F nine hundred and after having shot digital Beta and Beta Cam for like three or four years in a row. I had no problem making that transition with jumping video. Everyone else losing their mind really for a while. I was getting a lot of early digital work in the early two. Thousands did far nine hundred films. Backed back ask. Was that because you're the one that was willing to shoot on video or is it the one that knew how to shoot video in the had to shoot video so they were like when we have to find someone that's experienced in this little about? I was getting a lot of calls from people because they knew I shot other videos released. The was there a like a at that. Time cinematographers There was a feeling of like we refuse to go. There refused she projects on video. There's we will stand with them What did that transition look like in the industry commonplace yeah? He was a bit controversial socially for the bigger budget films. I think in the indie world where you're constantly trying to find the money to shoot thirty five millimeter and this was the time in the late. Ninety s where the Daguan ninety five movement was big and people were starting to shoot films and dv which wasn't really an option before so there's lots of hype about transferring video to film and getting the theaters and that's where Jackpot our second film the Polish brothers was shot on hd. Because they were going to make dv film. This is two thousand. But I felt that they were going to be happy with the technical quality of Devi Cameras. I was looking for a high end pal. Dvd Cam equipment of that was that was used for anniversary party by John. Bailey and turned out. There was only one camera on the West Coast available and it wasn't available so I started to look around at HD equipment which was all interlaced scan back then but then the Sony F nine hundred showed up. Just by total coincidence while we're prepping the film Sim Video had bought some to shoot a TV series and Canada called Earth Final Conflict. And they brought him to. La To promote shooting television shows in twenty four peace. They they had rodney charters. Who Shooting Roswell to time in sixteen look at the camera and tested and I saw Rodney's tests and he decided not to switch but I asked him video. What are you doing with this cameron? They said well. It's going back to Canada and a few weeks to said well. If you leave it here. We have a feature replenish shooting fifteen days. Who were you to like at this? Point was Rodney Turner's the person that he was when this happened. Now we still known for me to see these prosecute ready charters by people that don't always kind of cutting edge. Dp You know they always knows the INS and outs of the technology so this time indie projects that you're doing so you reach your intercepted by coincidence. A number of the actors in TV shows. He was shooting or actors in the post brothers films. So so that was our connection and so if you liked this movie there's another one's during people right it'd be the same. Patrick Show John Chrysler. Both in in Twin Falls Idaho. We're acting in one of the shows. That Rodney was shooting. So we got the chance to see his tests for the f nine hundred and seen the test Allowed me to talk to the video people. And that's where we propose that we are about to do this film. We had budgeted about two hundred and fifty thousand dollars but we had budgeted all the way out to film print. Unlike most people. We actually had the money to finish your on film so we told them that if he left the camera with us gave us a deal on renting it we would shoot a whole film and just two weeks or two and a half weeks three weeks and then Then we went to post group and made a deal with them because they wanted to do twenty four. P Post production they had no one had inexperienced twenty-four PhD at the time so oppose houses kind of looking for short films and projects to to get the workflow down basically So they're capable right so between post group and send video. We will make this film and then I think I want to say he founded the film out could be Rahman that up. Matthew's show the movie release will help promote the camera to their articles at the time The film session nine which is also suddenly f. Nine hundred came out two weeks after us. The thing is the first movie shot on the Camera. Was THE STAR. Wars attack of the clones. But it didn't come out till the following. May and we were out in theaters in September of two thousand one. I think zero to your. I didn't come out till May of two thousand and two so so yeah. Our film certified. Everyone was writing and talking about in the indie magazines and stuff. We'll start was looking at your film doubted it was. It was interesting time partly because I came out of Beta Cam epic as and stuff. I was determined to sort of use this camera for that was good for which was a Beta Cam. So I used. Zoom Lenses did a lot of quick setups with it Shot like I would do infomercial. In terms of terms of the workflow on the set in terms of lighting or anything for people that don't know Britain with Beta chemists too so people Beta cameras. The Industry Professional Standard definition video camera and most of the time in the US. It was all analog digital Beta Kim. More took off in Europe and Asia but So many people invested in the analog Beta chem equipment that that was sort of the work of workers for a decade or so here in Los Angeles so if you went into any kind of live video event interviews almost always sunny. Beta Cam being used and menu system switches. Everything we're the same on the Sunny F nine hundred new. The the form factor. Usability you at the time. A lot of people pushing panavision other companies to expand the camera and make it more like a thirty five millimeter camera teams of the View Finding System Lenses. I kind of resisted that because I felt that there was trying to make it into something wasn't was a video camera so I treated like video camera rather than a kind of poor film careful so also it seemed the net result of all. Those improvements was to make the camera twice as heavy. Sorta defeated the purpose of it which was after men. In retrospect it's pretty big bulky camera compared to today's digital cameras but a tiny. Wait so yeah so you see this project from there with a couple of projects with Polish brothers. At the time we did North Park next which was all film very stylized where we've slashed the negative. We skip bleach the prince. We did all this work to decelerate the movie makers feel like a black and white movie in color and then the oil and the actual this is pre so so we finish in film and then the home video master we had to make emulate that look in actual film print itself the color. Yeah this was two thousand and two D is had just come along but they were kind of still being used by big budget films. Rarely oh brother came out in two thousand Pleasantville. I sorta described to Michael Polish. The thirteen ways one could desalinate colors. In a movie and one of them was digital the other twelve for photochemical and DARN ERECTION. So we we did the other twelve. Essentially what do you? What do you mean? By twelve? Ways to December the twelve it's saturated direction. You can decide straight through smoke direction. Does he mean actually choosing the props and things like that picture. The colors are listening in our film. We had A diner scene put great painting. All the ketchup bothers decelerating. We have black and white American flag. Someone has really good crystal clear blue eyes and they're seeing. What do you do that? They'll still have blue eyes. That's some colors creep in there. Still some blue in the sky with all everyone most everything black and white and it was set in winter in. Montana. There was no green anywhere it was. Just just snow in Tacoma Locations Code for centuries into so we did everything in front of the camera we could and then I did everything optically that I could with smoking. Diffusion and the negative and then course flushing a little light onto. It's all the colors. I used Pana Fleischer it. A little light box fit on the backside of panflex Cameron with fog the film as it was rolling through the camera essentially flashing softens colors. Like when you're painting if you add a little white paint and all your colors they become less saturated so but you also lose contrast because you've lifting your blacks white light sharpness right a little well. Sharpness is way to contrast when you're contracts gets lowered your sharpness Lord but then I was skip bleaching the prince which is means. You're leaving black silver in the print. That's normally washed out so with silver attention printing your increasing contrast because you're leaving blacks and all the shadows but you're also softening colors because you leaving black silver and all the colors so it's like again like painting except reading a little bit of black paint and all your colors in darkening them so between the flashing the negative end in the silver retention in the positive end. I end up with a print with normal contrast but very little color see the most things that are direction was desegregated. Look the only other technique which we didn't try with with optical printing where you you basically make a black and white positive and a color positive or negative and then you recombine them into a new duke negative. That's got like fifty fifty or whatever you want to automatically cuts attrition half by Mexican a little bit of like this is something that Sophie's choice did for their flashback scenes. The early scenes in the natural original release prince had a slightly saturated look with a diffusion effect because they printed the color and black and white image over each other but through the color image. Out of focus over the black and white infocus image so they created a fusion effect on top of it so it was slightly dissatisfied with a little kind of glowing colors. Bleed out a little of everything. Yeah How's it feel working today with the new technology of the new tool. They're coming out. I guess what are the the biggest changes that you've noticed in your workflow obviously to switch digital cameras and before the one with its own? Yeah I went back to film as the budgets climbed in the mid two thousands. I SORTA didn't have to shoot digital anymore I went. I went back to thirty five millimeter and then digital had a second set of rebirth in the late. Two thousand I see because the red one it was Alexa from so in the mid in the two thousand since you're hd was all high definition equipment so it was it was I. It was the f nine hundred and the very cam. And then it became the panavision genesis and the F thirty five's and then which was the first thirty five millimeter sensor cameras but still tape based cameras. And then you had these data based cameras with the red one and then the Alexa defense. So it's it's a it's you actually had a career where you shot film because it was the only thing available and he shot video because it time in your career to you were shooting the budget option and then you went back to film. The budgets increased cheating but our projects and then digital help with your back to digital. What did you see them as well on we should at Alexa go to the pilot shot Alexa classic and Alexa Minis for Steady Cam? But when he went to series it didn't seem any reason to have two types of bodies on the set. I just wanted one type so we just got Minnie's for the whole show you did. It was strange reaching back to digital or was it like. Oh this is familiar. I know this because I wanted to change though when dissolved comeback I mean yeah well it was fun to try. I didn't early read one film and then I switched the Alexa and I and I did some other stuff with cameras early on. It was fun to be trying to try the new stuff to play with it. I knew what could do so but I didn't know what these cameras could do. So it was. It was fun. I read one that you really gave it a seriously. Yeah social or something like that was first films. Yeah I I find cheating digital fun from shooting standpoint. I like the way film looks from finishing standpoint. So it's kind of one of these things. If you're process oriented I think digital is good nephew results-oriented Selma's three what that means. What do you mean well filmed? This looks great. You know the end result is people look great it has a richness to the colors. The contrast it says a certain drama to it Organic call comes in right but while you're shooting it there's a certain stress level you know because I mean it's very resilient and to some degree the stress lessons day by day but as soon as he developed a problem on a with a film shot. You know when you have problematic daily shot. It's always a nightmare to figure out where the problem came from. Even if you have just a scratch on the film did the lab scratch it to the Max scratches at the gate. Scratchy constantly backward figuring out what went wrong. Staley's come out blurry or soft or have some other problem again. Is that the Palestinians. The stock is at the lab. Is The camera you now? There's so many spots in which things go wrong and there's so much in the chain all the way out to seeing the image that it can be hard to figure out where the mistake has happened or whether the problem is I don't find out with digital is much of an issue I mean digitally. Do get these weird error messages now and it's almost always the camera at that point because you see these problems right when you're shooting them show up a day later in dailies or something so I find. It's less stressful. Shoot digital in general the ability just to see it immediately to go home at night knowing whether I had turned out. Well it didn't turn out. Well it's not like I'm waiting next day to see how it turned out just thinking. Well it's basically you know if it's day exterior stuff. You tend not to sweat it too much film in fact. Thelma's quite good for shooting day work. It's when you do extremely low light dark stuff in the director has underexposed and underexposed. Now you start worrying that you don't have enough on the negative or maybe. He went too far the other way. And it's going to be too flat and bright and he's just not sure the line you and then when you get the dailies back again if it's too bright as a transfer to pride or did you expose it to brighter. It's too dark. Did it get transmitted. Dr Fixable Bill. That's why like prince because at least with the film print. I could look at the printer lights and know what the density of the negative was. So when you get these problematic shots at generally if I could get them printed and then I got the lab and project them and then I know my job a very least not the loves. I remember there was a day of first. Tv Show Big Love in two thousand six. And I had some alias. Back where the focus was fluctuating. Like like a pulsing blur sharp blur sharp effect and all the footage and data trouble with Preston on the remote focus on the camera. So I was worried the Preston Motor had some sort of Jitter in. It was just turning the lens back and forth something other oppressing people don't know the wheels fall focus of course so so. I could be things that could be going wrong. Like that right swear. The dailies for having this blurring sharp blurring sharp effect. And so I. I basically went to the lab. I looked at it in HD monitors and it looked fine and it turned out all I was seen was DVD compression. It was just the compression. Algorithm overly compressing every other frame so every other frame was getting overly compressed and then there's a sharp frame and in a soft frame it was completed. There was something going to happen and it affects. Yeah that's enough. If you staring at it you know. If you're not looking for it you probably would have just missed it. I was staring at it because I was worried about the Preston problems I was having but it had nothing to do with you. You have no process. Dvd COMPRESSION. Yes and same thing happens with you know a video dailies but generally if you saw it on the set and you go you know. It's a dailies problem. And Not your footage problem. Yeah absolutely and if something if it looks different after the daily than you understand why the timelines must've that's how do you work like that's terrified? League can't even imagine that's the problem with daily. Sisu when things go wrong. It's always a bit of a detective show trying to figure out what's what's going wrong. Can I ask you did choose to eventually go back digital then with Mazloum assuming? Utah's the camera for the show. Well it was sort of inevitable. Nowadays that you choose digital it'd be hard push. This is an Amazon show. They didn't have many shows shot on film. They had I think God. I think there's one there's a couple film based shows but the show was created by. Amy Sherman Palladino. Dan Goldin drills. They did suit. They did Super Sixteen on Gummer. Girls are seen looks for your but then there later show was digital. And then they did. Netflix did a Gilmore Girls reboot most digital and that was very elsa fifty five so they didn't have any issues shooting digitally in fact they because they like to shoot continuously without cutting long takes Digital's was just better suited for the style of directing I think but They were happy to find out that I could choose. The Alexa for Amazon Amazon. Had just gotten rid of a requirement to shoot a four K camera which is the net flicks issue that you can't shoot with an Alexa. Not a foretaste. Yeah so but Amazon was okay with you. Shooting three point. Two K on the election pumping it up to four. K which is three point eight K you. Hd actually don't know that much about that influx issue so you can't share with an Alexa for Netflix. And what's the exact reason? Not Four K camera. They censor has to require for K. Five K. through Alexa and open gate mode records. Three Point Five K. so it's and four K. is really hd which is actually three point eight. K. It's thirty. It's double nineteen twenty ten eighty so it's thirty eight forty by twenty one sixty six so the fact that they won't let you on Netflix. Shoot three point two or four K. And bump it up to three point eight K. Even though tests show that it's completely acceptable in the looks. Looks great but he says that flick said that it's a partly. It's a marketing thing that they can't tell people. This is a four K. production if they actually cheated and shot it in three point something k. Amazon had that role at first but then they they low loosened up. Allowed you to shoot three point. Two K pro res- on the Alexa that way. We see some red being shot for a lot of these shows. That's honorary oh yeah fear Netflix. You know you sh- that's why finally Alexa put out the IRS. You couldn't theory shoot film and and scattered it for K. but fortunately Amazon kind of opens up. They let us choose the Alexa which is great. Because I knew they would want a film. Mish look plus the spirit of period show. It should feel. It shouldn't feel to clean and modern. Should they didn't want it to look faded and Pastel and Sepia toned either though they wanted to have a certain vibrancy and energy so they wanted to feel lively. They just didn't want it to feel digital so but still so I knew that LEX. It'd be the camera and we combine that with a little bit of. Diffusion feels close. It feels very classic in terms of the look it's like vibrant and classic at the same time. Aljic get also he lively. I think the color schemes come a lot from the aesthetic designs. The we looked a lot of fifties advertising movies. They all have kind of what I call aggressive pastels. It's just kind of contradictory but they often have a strong color. Which may be pink. Let's say or or a Siam but it's offset in kind of neutral world of of Grey's basis so the colors really pop because there's offset against a neutral background so you then the advertising's advertisements of the day and things so between that kind of strong use of patterns of color within the frame and kind of soft heike style that back then. There's a lot of hard lighting and advertisers because the slow film stocks. But but it's sort of a look offices environments. I like to call industrial. Optimism is sort of this view. That is modernist. You know that the future was going to be Roy Brian. Clean and offices extremely well lit lots of lights and stuff so certain environments. I I went for this kind of fairly high key. Soft bright colorful look and then but there's other parts of our story which are set in kind of an old world New York before Greenwich Village The bars. They're even today in New York. There's a lot of variety in architectural styles and environments. See You can be in a thirties or forties. Wooden bar one minute. You can be an glassy skyscraper office space across the street. So that's just part of the show is the world's that that Midge goes to from sort of pre war apartments and bars and post-war offices to interact with all these laws so that affects the lighting effects how we approached the color schemes of the of these places very consciously in the pilot. We tried to differentiate between her upper west side world. Her midtown husband's office world. And then the Greenwich Village World of the Gaslight so that was sort of three looks of the show in terms of costume mark direction and lighting in the story. You know our midtown world is very clean and very elegant very well led and beautiful and then of course she goes to this kind of more down under its Catanha Google underneath the ship and everything changes baseman basement space. It's very smokey and it's like old fashioned like gangs of New York type much more browns and warm towns and stuff and I S- partly also because I knew the midtown scenes. We're all going to be office stuff and on Park Avenue and they'd actually switched their streetlights to led's so had a naturally cold modernist feeling at night. There wasn't realistic. Streetlamps in the late fifties raw tungsten village really controversial that up actually the chance to move or no way too. It's like yeah but they changed them from Sodium Vapor which didn't come out until the early eighties And before that was mercury vapor in the seventies but before the seventies tungsten New York was kind of white tungsten. Light Warm White. You know in the in the fifties forties fifties sixties but then transition to this blue-green Mercury Vapor. I didn't even finish. Shows in the fifties and sodium vapor lights are also interested. Yeah we're aren studying vapor shop until late seventies brand. That would be both of them. Were two new for the show. Yes but The streets around Greenwich Village or we shot in the East village. We're still sodium so strong orange casts for those streets and Park Avenue Reshot. The offices gone daylight. Led so I just sort of embraced that difference since Said Okay. You know it goes with clean modernist Cool tones of the office environment. And then the Greenwich Village. It'd be very warm and Golden Ringel. Bro Yeah the same thing happened. In Paris. Paris with their second season is heavily. Sodium Vapor streetlight luck which is again not correct for the period. But it gives the city this golden glow even slowly switching over there streetlamps there but they've been smart they've been switching them into a warm white. Led says reaching seven hundred Kelvin. Something that still has. It's not as quite as our Angie as sodium. Look but it's pretty close. So it's IT'S. It's the newer parks in the streets. Still have a warm quality to them in Paris and it's a nice transition from sodium to led there but most of the other cities here switching to daylight led's because they're probably because cheaper and more cost efficient. I hated it makes everything so ugly. Such a nightmare articles about that and then having because it changes the the look of the city and a lot of ways you know. It's a huge problem. Okay we were talking a lot about Mazel right now And I want to say that a little bit. I kinda jump into the show and talk about that visual style but I guess what I'd like to ask You know before we jump into Mazel coming up and you know if you could go back to when you could see the young David Mon- sitting there in the library with his. Afc book you know maybe perched against one back onto a bookshelf looking at another bookshelf holding the book in between And give some advice or a lot of the aspiring filmmakers out there. The people that are just getting started. Maybe the people out there that You know got turned out for the first time in her trying to learn on their own. Because I know there's a lot of kind of diy do it yourself. Filmmakers out there. What is the advice that you'd give to yourself go back in time? I don't know if I could think of some way to do things differently. Obviously I would have liked to hurry my career along. I don't know what I would say. Now Mazel I love that if if I if I could die after even the smallest part and Mazel I would be happy so I yelled. I stood up on the screen. They yelled at how good things in that shows so seriously. Thank you using work. But I think I've never been good at career advice and much better technical advice but I I generally feel that you can only sort of take care of yourself so you prepare yourself for your when you will get a break you know by studying and learning and working and and being the best you can so that when you do get an opportunity already for that opportunity. I'd also think you have to be brave. I probably have been a little scared about some jobs. When in retrospect I should have just gone for it because ultimately If you're smart you can figure out how to do almost anything if you hire the right people to help you and and work hard enough so I wouldn't be too timid. I would tell people today I would go ahead and dive into things. You should do things that make it a little bit scared. I think it's I was always very methodical and careful I tended to take projects were just slightly harder than the last project. So that's why I've done forty features. You know I just. They're all like incremental learning steps. Maybe in retrospect I've taken bigger risks and bigger jumps and not been looking just to find a job that was just slightly harder than the last job at something that a lot harder but lovers. Did you more difficult. I didn't I don't remember getting offer is but I I was never putting yourself out. There was never super aggressive about looking for work I wasn't I'm not much of a salesman and I probably drive my agent crazy to buy my semi lack of ambition. I suppose but I've always liked to have time between jobs and do a film. I'll take a few months often travel or read or or study and it's probably also another reason why I think sort of progress slowly because I wasn't at workaholic. I didn't shoot nonstop about the many any sixteen year old. That's written books and doing is on studying. Maybe it's not. Maybe it's called study but I don't know sounds sounds like a pretty darn good method to me. So they think so much for joining us the PODCAST WE'RE GONNA BREAK INTO. Mazel of course talk about the visual style and the waiting in the camera choices but thanks so much and this concludes episode thirty four of the PODCAST. I think David for coming out and breaking down the show with us again. The third season of the marvelous as well as airing very soon. So start watching if you haven't already honestly one of the best shows on TV period. Don't forget we've also got a video breaking down the visuals of the show on Youtube so head over to the Mobile Youtube Channel appearance in that that that is for me guys. Hope you guys have an absolutely amazing day and we'll catch you next.

Coming up next