Working on Cinecitta’s extraordinary ancient Rome sets, we set about re-staging the drama of the Pompeii eruption. Fire, ash and lightning aside our major challenge was to get the tone right for the day-into-night. The giant ash cloud that covered Pompeii 2000 years ago, plunged the city into near darkness. The solution was found in running the camera at 4300K whilst lighting the ‘dark’ with soft 8000K sources… and tweaking the curve of the camera. A Red Epic provided for A camera duties and a Red Scarlet for B camera. As every set up was over cranked from 50fps to 240fps (with the cameras running at 800 ISO) the light levels had to be fairly substantial.
As counterpoint to the ‘dark’, sun flares were made to dominate the daylight set ups. These were achieved with a set of Zeiss Ultraprimes (still my favourite flares) with the addition of Angenieux Optimo zooms and Nikkor AIS glass on the Scarlet.
A monumental effort by a tremendous team!