“These people are under a log in the supposedly dark, moonlit night, so how far can you go and still allow the viewer to see?” he explained. The DP called it “technically difficult” to balance this lighting scheme with the light from the torches in the scene, but also said: “It was really rewarding because the content of the scene, I think, is the one of the best of the season.”
For all the recent talk surrounding day-to-night filming, little has surrounded the actual tactics the filmmakers used to make a shot lit by the night sky look real. Disenhof speaks candidly about the complex combination of filming techniques used to create the effects of the show’s scenes in the Southlands, saying that some scenes for “The Eye” were shot on location in New Zealand while others involved a burnt reconstruction of the village setting. under studio conditions.
“I tried to create a sourceless moonlight so you don’t feel a big bright backlight on anything,” Disenhof said of the scene between Theo and Galadriel. “We flew the light balloons over the set and surrounded it with a very soft, cool, bluish light, and underexposed the camera a bit. And we were very, very careful about that fine line between dark and too dark.” If you’re a practical effects enthusiast like me, Disenhof’s entire interview is well worth reading, as the cinematographer used a variety of creative methods to bring a scorched Middle-earth to life.
“The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” has new episodes streaming on Prime Video every Friday.