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  • Cuck - Official Movie

Cuck - BTS

@cuckthefilm - Shot and Scene Breakdown by Nicholas Matthews, Cinematographer (@nmatthewsfilm)

In this scene from @cuckthefilm, I wanted to find a way to use the composition and lighting here to infuse this moment with separation, in spite of it’s intimacy. This sort of thematic contrast is one of the most exciting aspects of filmmaking for me. I recently read this interview with Robert Elswit, ASC and he shared an insight that’s been tumbling around my head ever since.⁠ .⁠ “I think lighting is the only metaphor that works in film. This is advanced secret knowledge! You have all these elements you deal with in organizing images: color, lines, volume, etc. all in 2-dimensional space. In representational art it's about where the light is coming from, how light falls on the objects, and how it tells you what is going on. It's the one visual metaphor and going back to the ideas of this whole tradition, it tells you about the gaining of knowledge, wisdom, understanding, and transcendence.⁠ .⁠ We light the set in a way that supposedly is a correlative for a state of a character, or the nature of the scene, or the mood. It's hopefully more than just the mood of what appears in the theatre, but it becomes a dialectic. There's a sense in movies that things are not standing still the way they are in the theatre. We are recreating a realistic space and trying to make something optically real even if it's not naturalistic. We're trying to create the illusion that time is advancing: it's early morning, late afternoon, midnight. This infuses the story with some kind of meaning.”⁠

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