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

Toby Oliver on Wildling

The Approach: The wild, dark, unknown

How They Did It: I wanted to shoot with a sense of mystery, often hiding information in darkness, not giving the audience all the clues too fast. I also wanted to evoke a sense of the woods, of stillness and nature, evoking the wild world from which the heroine Anna (Bel Powley) comes, and its clash with the modern world of school, police, hospitals, and regular people. I shot lots of handheld with vintage lenses—but in the end, director Fritz Böhm, who has a post background, used a lot of elaborate visual effects that placed the film more in a fantasy than an indie realm.

The Takeaway: As on many films, the best takeaway was getting to know and working with my collaborators: the director, the actors, the other heads of department who I just met on this production. Every show is unique in that way, and requires a different approach to work with various personalities and levels of experience you encounter on-set.

Toby Oliver on the set of Wildling in upstate New York. Photograph courtesy of Toby Oliver

Tech Box

Shooting days: 23, plus three days of reshoots and pickups

Camera: Arri Alexa Mini, Arri Amira

Lenses: Bausch and Lomb Super Baltar vintage glass

Lighting: Arri M40 4K HMIs, Kino Celebs (LED)

Picture post/DI: Arri Media, Munich

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