Looks That Kill: Eleven Horror DPs Reveal the Tricks and Tech Behind the Year’s Scariest Shooting Schemes

Looks That Kill: Eleven Horror DPs Reveal the Tricks and Tech Behind the Year’s Scariest Shooting Schemes

Cinematography

Sayombhu Mekdeeprom on Suspiria

The Approach: Somber darkness, vibrations in the air, naturally supernatural, Berlin in the 1970s

How They Did It: I went not for fantasy, but for realism here. For reality’s sake, I took into account any factors that could arise and affect the set. Both the dance sequences and the violent set pieces were prepared the same way: To shoot them, I prepared in a huge area in which the actors could perform freely, without any obstacles. The difference was that while the dance is a show, the violence isn’t—though from the witches’ point of view, those two things aren’t very different.

The Takeaway: Technical challenges require preparation, but no matter how you’ve planned with cameras, grips and lighting, you need to consider the final puzzle pieces at the last minute before action can begin.

Dakota Johnson as Susie Bannion in a scene from Suspiria. Image courtesy of Amazon Studios

Tech Box

Shooting days: About 30

Camera: Arricam Lite

Lenses: Cooke S3

Lighting: SkyPanels, 6K to 1200-watt HMI Fresnels, 10K to 300-watt tungstens, many practicals

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