OUT OF SIGHT
Behind The Scenes
Helping to translate his vision onto the screen, director Steven Soderbergh says, "was a hybrid of people who I've worked with before and people Jersey had worked with before
Helping to translate his vision onto the screen, director Steven
Soderbergh says, "was a hybrid of people who I've worked
with before and people Jersey had worked with before."
Among the director's long-time collaborators was cinematographer
Elliot Davis, who was lighting his fourth film for the director.
"We divided up the locations and treated each one differently
in terms of it's time in the movie," recalls Davis. "We
aimed for a high-contrast look for most of the film and went hyper-real
in terms of colors. I used some filtration for early scenes, but
then Detroit became clean. Detroit has monochromatic, cool tones
and a much colder look, a bluish tone where other parts of the
film are more colored."
"In Florida we avoided the pastel colors that people usually
associate with tropical locales because in reality," Davis
continues, "the colors have a hard-edged look. In Miami,
we used saturated greens and yellows and also some coral-reds.
The idea was that the exterior of the location was color-keyed
to the interior, so that when you are disconnected, like in the
lobby of a building, and then you enter into an apartment, it
reflects the lobby."
"We painted the interiors with very saturated colors and
then blew out the outside so it had a very, very hot look,"
adds Davis. "You can just barely see the outdoors. Steven
wanted the film to have a very staccato feel, a sense that things
were just 'caught,' so we hardly used the dolly at all. He wanted
a slightly imperfect look and he didn't want the audience to be
taken out of the picture by unnecessary stylistic intrusions."
"The biggest problem, and it is the same on any film, is
time. I only wish that we could light the words as fast as you
can read or write them," laughs Davis.
In charge of designing the sets for the film was another Soderbergh
collaborator, Gary Frutkoff, who designed the director's film
King of the Hill as well as his episode of the Showtime
Anthology series, Fallen Angels.
"One of the odd aspects of this film," explains Frutkoff,
"is the fact that we were dealing with a main character in
the story who doesn't have a home. Usually you spend time in a
character's house which gives you a feel for that person. In this
case, we have two transients, Jack and Buddy, and then we never
see Karen's house either, only her father's. So we have a character-driven
film, but because the main characters don't have their own environment,
it's not conducive to showing elements of their personalities."
"In Buddy's case," Frutkoff notes, "because he
was going to be staying in Miami for such a short period of time,
his place was somewhere between a hotel room and an apartment-hotel.
Heightening the sense of impermanence was the fact that we had
selected a building in South Beach which mainly rented to retirees."
Say's Soderbergh, "having the scene at the Adams Hotel where
Karen is supposedly assisting the FBI stakeout of Buddy's apartment
take place in what is essentially a senior citizen's apartment
building, was a great juxtaposition, I thought. There's confusion
with people going in doors and coming out of doors, the elevator
going up and down and a guy playing the piano in the lobby. It's
almost like restoration comedy."
"The combination of the SWAT team coming into this and disrupting
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