Cinematographers Laurie Rose and Matt Gray shed light on shooting big-budget dramas
Lighting is key to camera work, says cinematographer Laurie Rose. It’s essential to establishing a look or mood for a scene. “The important thing is to tell a story and create mood using light,” he explains.
Between them Laurie and cinematographer Matt Gray have credits on shows as varied as Peaky Blinders, Broadchurch and Riviera.
"More light sources … can slow you down” warns Matt. “Fewer light sources for a scene means you can move quicker."
For Laurie, the three-point lighting framework – which places one light source behind the subject and key and fill lights at 45 degrees to their right and left – is vital for cinematographers. Everything you can learn can be found in classic films, Laurie suggests.
But despite the creativity of the role, being organized and knowing your equipment are key. “You’ve got to find the right tools for the job,” advises Laurie. It is very easy to get left behind, Matt agrees.
“Things come at you which you just can’t anticipate,” warns Matt, listing bad weather and broken cameras as just two threats to a cinematographer. “You have to be able to react accordingly.”
“You’re always working with the other departments throughout,” explains Laurie. “It’s that collaboration really, there’s something magical about it.”