Lizard Brain is a shared blog about Science Fiction and Fantasy from Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck.

Toronto Diary Day Twenty

by Ty Franck

Two heads are better than one.

So today James S.A. Corey needed to do two things. He needed to be on set with the production as we shot some very complex scenes for the last episode of season 2. He also needed to spend the day with our marketing people doing EPK, which means Electronic Press Kit.

James is a clever fellow, and he achieved this by sending one half of himself to set, and the other to the EPK world. So, I spent my day on set with the director, and Daniel spent his day being interviewed and fawned over.

I feel like I got the better end of this deal.

But, there is some nifty stuff the marketing people put together to tell you about the show, and Daniel will feature heavily in that. Also, there is a really cool final episode of season 2, and some of that cool stuff is because of me. So I guess we both did our bit for the show.

We’ve talked a lot about the technical stuff on the show, let’s talk about the camera side a bit.

So you watch a movie or TV show and they credit a director, and then they also credit a Director of Photography. What’s the difference?

The simple version is this: the director picks the shots, the director of photography makes them happen. And it’s of course not as simple as that in practice. The director also works closely with the actors and writers, and is responsible for seeing that the story in the script winds up on screen. But the director of photography is the painter in light.

The DP is the boss of both the lighting department and the camera crews. They light the sets. They pick the camera equipment. They work with the camera operators to deliver the shots that the director is asking for. And they’re the quality assurance piece of the puzzle. The DP watches every shot to make sure it’s well lit, it’s in focus, there isn’t a shadow from the boom mic or a bad piece of set or a grip’s foot in the frame.

I often sit in the DP’s tent, watching the same monitors he watches, and I’m continually astonished at the details he picks up that I totally miss. He’s watching two monitors at the same time, on the radio with two camera operators and two focus pullers, and also talking to the Gaffer (lead lighting electrician) who’s standing next to him. It’s like watching a great symphony conductor work.

Our director of photography is a guy named Jeremy Benning, and he is a superstar. He’s been the look of the show since the first day of the first season, and he’s a huge part of the reason the show is so beautiful to look at. We were lucky to get him.

In other news, our show runner Naren Shankar is promising to give us some still images to start sharing on the blog. So keep an eye out for some cool new stuff to show up here over the next week or so.

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5 Responses »

  1. “our show runner Naren Shankar is promising to give us some still images to start sharing on the blog”

    This is what I live for! Thanks guys.

  2. Looking forward to the pictures of the Roci crew (looking forward Naomi and Holden stills as well)

  3. I am loving your posts. Haven’t been this excited about a TV show in years. Snd that’s because the books are brilliant! Thank you!

  4. You guys are sweet. Thanks for the shout out!