To begin with, I’d like to start talking about early 107 when we opened up about what was going to be officially called Mordor. Red, shady – it really has an impact. How did you approach creating that thread’s interface?
First, we needed to gather references and understand what influences we had as a collective. So I ended up looking for a bunch of wildfire references from the California wildfires in 2018, and also my own experience in Portland, Oregon, where I live very close to a… forest fires and have had my own pictures from there. What struck me in those cases was the color of the sky and the color of the atmosphere – this and studying volcanic events and what or could happen in such an event, we decided that it would be like hell on Earth, like in the middle of a wildfire.
That was our starting point, and from there it’s all about how we get there. We knew we needed to control the atmosphere and color of the light as much as possible for the majority of our scenes. So we rebuilt the now ruined village on stage, and we experimented for weeks with different colored lights and found out which combinations looked good.
What you see in the finished product is a big part of it being real – the color of the camera itself. There’s very little color correction because honestly, it’s so specific about a color that you can’t really push it one way or the other. And the visual effects team added chaotic ash flowing through and sparks, for health and safety reasons on the day, we couldn’t do that.
But a lot of what you see is actually in the camera. We also surrounded the set with muslin instead of a green screen, and with the atmosphere we had, the atmosphere was so heavy, it fell naturally into this ambiguous depth, the effects team The image can then be enhanced using the burned shapes of buildings in the distant background. There is no blue or green screen for any of those sequences.
https://www.slashfilm.com/1042524/the-rings-of-power-cinematographer-on-creating-hell-on-earth-and-making-night-scenes-watchable-exclusive-interview/ The cinematographer’s rings are powerful in ‘making hell on earth’ and making night scenes viewable [Exclusive Interview]