16 septembre 2007

Les "maladresses calculées" de Bourne Ultimatum

Oliver Wood, le chef op de Bourne Ultimatum, donne une interview intéressante dans l'avant-dernier numéro d'ICG Magazine.

Ce film est presqu'entièrement cadré en caméra portée, ce qui donne des images un poil trop parkinsoniennes à mon goût (je vous déconseille les premiers rangs de la salle de cinéma, ou alors sous Dramamine).
Les éclairages des scènes intimistes et des scènes d'action semblent presque naturalistes (Wood admet ci-dessous que l'essentiel du film a été éclairé avec un Kinoflo 4 tubes et deux mini-flos). D'autres séquences ont requis tous les plus gros projecteurs dispos en Allemagne, et leurs positions respectives sur les immeubles ont été déterminées grâce à Google Earth (!).

Passages choisis:

To prepare for The Bourne Ultimatum, Wood and Greengrass reviewed the first two films, and took cues from French gangster films of the 1960s starring Alain Delon. Wood also cites The Ipcress File, a 1965 British production directed by Sidney J. Furie and photographed by Otto Heller, as a major inspiration.

The Bourne Ultimatum was a globetrotting project, with major shoots in Berlin, London, Madrid, Morocco, Paris and New York City. As in The Bourne Supremacy, most of the decisions about the look and technique grew out of the handheld aesthetic. The operators created a raw spontaneity by fighting the instinct to create images that were smooth and well composed in the traditional sense.


“Working on these movies is sort of an education about how to operate the camera,” says Wood. “Paul told a story about another film he’d been on where they coined a term: ‘reckavic.’ He said they’d collected all the outtakes and material they hadn’t used, and cut it together. Anything that didn’t work or wasn’t quite right, we began to refer to as a reckavic shot, as shorthand for primitive.”

Bref extrait d'un exemple extrême de caméra portée:


Like the operating, Wood’s approach to lighting was against the book. “It became sort of anti-lighting,” he says. “As soon as it looked beautiful, I would probably get a disparaging remark from the director saying, ‘Oh, very BBC drama.’ Sometimes you’d do something that was absolutely beautiful and everyone would love it and that would be all right, but you never quite knew where you were going to go with things. If I started to light things traditionally, the set started to get that feeling of being lit, which is of course not the right feeling.

“So I began a policy of lighting and then turning off one or two of the lights,” he says. “And in some cases that might be all the lights I’d put in. Sometimes it was more a question of getting the courage up not to light.”

Wood says that he went on a dozen or more tech scouts with New York gaffer Rusty Engels, and planned the lighting for huge night exteriors.

“None of that ever materialized,” he says. “Rusty is a brilliant gaffer with a tremendous track record. He basically ended up lighting this movie with two Mini-Flos and a 4Bank Kino Flo. I had this talent on my crew, but in a funny way, I needed very talented people who were able to work that way.”

Nevertheless, some sequences required massive lighting schemes. For one chase sequence photographed over four nights in Berlin, which was standing in for Moscow, “We must have used every 18K HMI in Germany, which is a lot,” recalls Wood. “We lit at least 20 square blocks around a station and a huge housing complex. We laid snow everywhere and there were lights on every rooftop and down every street. It was probably the biggest lighting setup on the whole shoot.”

Wood scouted the Berlin locations over a weekend. The gaffer on the German leg of the shoot was Ronnie Schwarz. They then collaborated remotely on refining the lighting plan using Google Earth, a virtual globe program that maps the earth using superimposed satellite imagery and aerial photography.

“We could zoom in on three-dimensional images of Berlin, and plant little flags everywhere while discussing it over the telephone,” says Wood. “Over the course of three weeks, we were lighting over the Internet.”

The biggest lighting setup on the New York City leg of the shoot involved a hospital sequence at magic hour. The location was actually a courthouse in downtown Manhattan. The sequence ends on the roof as night has fallen.

“There were an awful lot of scenes, and we needed to make them all late evening,” says Wood. “There was too much to accomplish at actual magic hour, so we lit the inside of the lobby with about a dozen balloon lights. That way, whatever the level was outside, I could balance it inside. We lit all the streetlights and the cars had lights on, and in the end it was quite effective.”

But for the most part, Wood says, his lighting setups were “sketchy.” Production designer Peter Wenham’s work was similarly restrained. “The director generally wanted to shoot in public places,” says Wood. “That makes it difficult to do any major art direction. These movies are about what’s there. The art direction was similar to the cinematography in that regard.”

Digital intermediate timing is planned at Technique in Los Angeles. Wood will collaborate with digital film colorist Stephen Nakamura, with whom he worked on Fantastic Four in 2005.

“I generally use the DI to tighten up the look, and to make scenes consistent,” he says. “We approached this film with the ‘reckavic’ aesthetic, but scenes still need to look like they were shot at the same time, even if they were done two weeks apart. On other films, I’ve used the DI to correct the look, and I’ll probably do something with the flashbacks. But I won’t know what it will be until I’ve done it. But generally, I won’t be creating the look of this film in DI.”

texte intégral: http://www.cameraguild.com/magazine/0708/tc.htm

L'affiche du film est assez étonnante. Elle est en Noir et blanc, et très léchée, alors que le film décline diverses teintes vertes, certes désaturées, et joue à fond la carte du look documentaire. Le seul aspect graphique qui trahit le côté hyperréaliste du film, c'est la définition de la photo de Matt: chacun des pores de sa peau apparaît clairement. C'est saisissant sur les grandes affiches. Et assez représentatif d'un nouveau genre de cinéma, où la haute définition révèle les imperfections et met les stars à nu.

1 commentaire:

  1. Anonyme16.9.07

    Mr montjovent,

    Merci pour ce Post-reportage. Dans la profession il se dit... que vous êtes un spécialiste et même un perfectionniste en cadrage "caméra portée". J'espere un jour proche, vous voir dans le rang que vous méritez.