2 items from 2015
Creating spectacle on the small screen calls for skill and ingenuity.
HBO’s “Game of Thrones” employs up to five cinematographers to capture sprawling action across a vast continent yet maintain visual consistency. Says lenser Jonathan Freeman, “we try to keep the schematic close to the basic principal colors of each region.”
All study each other’s dailies and consult flipbooks that document how recurring sets have previously been treated. “There’s a boldness to the work that comes from all of us exploring,” says Freeman. Michael Snyman sought to showcase Lifetime’s titular “The Red Tent” (pictured above) as “a soft, beautiful, womb-like, protected world … from which men were forbidden.” Assembling the structure in studio, “I cut a very small hole in the top and lit through there, and also used the actual tentpoles as stands.” Feminine control within contrasted with male-dominated turmoil without, the latter captured by handheld cameras. »
- Bob Verini
This review contains spoilers.
1.1 Three Card Trick
Following a PR campaign so inescapable it might give pause even to the self-promoting Tudors themselves, Wolf Hall’s heavy, ornate door has finally been pushed open.
What do we find inside? Proof that the BBC was entirely justified in splashing Damien Lewis’ dishy Henry VIII and Mark Rylance’s inscrutable Thomas Cromwell over countless magazine covers. It’s tremendous stuff; a richly textured brocade compared to the flimsy, titillating chiffon of The White Queen and The Tudors.
Adapted from Hilary Mantel’s revisionist take on Cromwell’s career in the Henrician Court by playwright and screenwriter Peter Straughan (Frank, Tinker Tailor Solider Spy), Wolf Hall is historical drama at its best. It avoids cheesy dramatic irony of the “Anne Boleyn? Pfff, nothing will ever come of her! »
2 items from 2015
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