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LOST SOULS

About The Production

As one of the world's foremost cinematographers, Janusz Kaminski brings his highly developed sense of stark, lyrical imagery to Lost Souls. Kaminski spins his tale in two distinct visual and emotional dimensions: one the psychologically realistic world of writer Peter Kelson, the other the supernaturally charged world of Maya's visions and occult experiences. The idea was to go against the typical grain of Gothic horror films and create a much more surprising view on the line between reality and uncertainty. To do this, Kaminski explored all the senses.

Explains Nina Sadowsky: "Today's film-going audiences are very much inured to violence and gore and to graphic, literal images on screen. So instead, we wanted to create more of a sense of mystery. In fact, in some key scenes, you only hear what's happening because we knew what the mind could visualize would be more frightening than anything we could actually put on film."

"I see the world through light and shadows and nuances," observes Kaminski. "It's a very sensual way of viewing the world so automatically I bring that to this movie. I tried to create something that is close to reality, but is slightly hyper-real, with certain stylized aspects. I wanted to create a sense of claustrophobia, fear and a kind of conspiratorial paranoia through the camera and the lighting."

Kaminski chose to shoot the film with a dark look that heightens anxiety. "The film is dark because it gives you the sense of not knowing what is lurking just beyond the frame," he explains. "This causes the viewer to feel nervous, to feel tension, and then when certain things come into the frame from out of nowhere it is a real shocking surprise."

Although Kaminski was confident about his visual choices, the challenge of being a first-time director remained. Despite having collaborated on some of the world's most popular films with director Steven Spielberg, Kaminski found that he had to learn his own lessons. "You know, you can watch someone playing piano for ten years and still not now how to play piano," he points out. " I've learned a great deal from watching Steven and he has given me a tremendous amount of knowledge and confidence, but I have also learned that you're very much on your own when you direct a movie. All you can do is surround yourself with a great cast, a great story, great producers, a great cameraman and a great crew - but you're still ultimately alone."

To fulfill his vision, Kaminski knew he would have to hire a director of photography he could trust so he called upon his longtime colleague Mauro Fiore, who has worked on six films with Kaminski, including serving as second unit D.P. on Amistad and The Lost World. The filmmakers also selected as production designer Garreth Stover, who previously worked with Kaminski on the Diane Keaton-directed Lifetime film Wildflowers.

Stover's creativity enhanced the filmmakers' commitment to realism, while adding a touch of surrealistic uneasiness. After establishing the exteriors in New York, he designed interiors for Peter's office and apartment, the mental institution, the seminary and Townsend's house, the scene of a terrifying confrontation. Yet, underneath this palpably true world, abysses and mazes abound.

"From the onset," Stover explains, "the whole story is like a countdown, a race, a hunt, so there also have to be obsta

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