The City of Absurdity   TWIN PEAKS FIRE WALK WITH ME
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  Tricks of the Trade

By Ron Garcia, ASC taken from the AMERICAN CINEMATOGRAPHER page.

During the filming of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, we had to shoot a night scene between Laura and Bobby while they were waiting to do a dope deal in the woods. David Lynch did not want to use any movie lights at all! He wanted the kids to use a flashlight (just one). I explained about photographic darkness, but this was David Lynch, King of Blackness in Sprit and Photography – he was adamant about the scene not looking as though it was lit. He asked, if I used motion picture lights, where the light would come from naturally in the middle of the forest? I said the light would come from the same place the music comes from – he didn't laugh!

Ultimately I talked him into using a small handheld Xenon light and instructed the actor (Bobby) to always try to light himself and the other actor while they were talking. Then I told David I'd kill myself if I couldn't at least bounce a 1.2K HMI par into the overhead pine trees (he thought the bead board was to bright). He finally agreed and we shot the scene.

I held the negative back from processing that night and shot two tests of the same night scene: one (Fuji 500 ASA ) was for the lab to push one stop, and one was to develop normally to see if I had to push the main scene. The results came back from the lab and I examined each negative by scanning a frame with a Fovex II 35mm film scanner and digitizing them into my computer (using Photoshop, my Mac IIcx and a digitizing board). The answer was clear as a bell: the film did not have to be pushed and the rest is history. (You can see results of that scene on the laserdisc of the movie.)


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