DP Jas Shelton sat down with Band Pro to talk about his new HBO Pilot 'Togetherness' and on using Fill-Lite LEDs on set for the first time. 'Togetherness' stars Amanda Peet, Mark Duplass, Melanie Lynskey and Steve Zissis; and follows two couples living under the same roof who struggle to keep their relationships alive while pursuing their individual dreams.
BP: Recently you used Fill-Lite LEDs on a shoot for HBO. Can you tell us a little about the project, and which lights you used?
JS: We shot the HBO pilot "Togetherness" in and around LA all on practical locations. The schedule was fairly ambitious and we were often in difficult locations. Our approach was to create a very natural look that was broad enough to let the actors move freely within the scenes. Our idea was to bring in big soft sources through windows and then supplement in a low profile way with a Fill-Lite from inside the house.
My gaffer Phil Badger was looking for a low profile and fast solution to facilitate the tight locations. To great effect, we used both the Fill-lite 200 and the Fill-lite Studio. They provided a very controllable and natural source inside the locations.
BP: How did they work for you? Any surprises?
JS: We started out using them sparingly in the beginning and as the show progressed, they quickly became a primary source because of their ease of use and natural quality of light.
BP: How did they compare to other LEDS you’ve used?
JS: Dramatic improvement in color. Also the quality of the Fill-Lite is substantially more flattering. We didn't have to build in layers of diffusion or add soft boxes onto the Fill-Lite, like we often have to do with other LED lighting units. Out of the box, the light is incredibly soft and natural.
BP: Any projects on the horizon we should be on the look out for from Jas Shelton?
JS: The Sundance hit 'C.O.G.,' based on an essay from David Sedaris, is due out in theaters this Fall. I'm currently in pre-production on the Helen Hunt movie 'RIDE,' which I can't imagine shooting without the Fill-Lites.
Check out Jas' website for more information on other recent projects, www.jasshelton.com