copyright, Art Streiber.
If you haven’t seen Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest, get yourself a Netflix account and block out tomorrow night for some old time movie watching (two bowls of popcorn should do the trick). The crop duster scene is riveting. And demonstrates that, in 1959, a master director like Hitchcock could create an action scene comparable to anything possible today. Without the need for those really expensive computer graphics.
On a side note, that’s one sexy mutha of a suit, Cary.
But I digress. On to the lighting. Art Streiber was tapped in 2008 to help shoot Vanity Fair’s 14th annual “Hollywood” issue, an homage to Hitchcock featuring recreations of 11 of his most iconic scenes. Art was assigned this shot (one of my favorites of his) and nailed each and every detail of the original. Right down to having Seth Rogen’s replica suit recreated by the same tailor of the original (oh, and yes, that’s also a real biplane, shot in-camera). Art used 2 lights and some early morning westerly sun to create this jealousy-inducing image.
DSLR, with 85mm f1.2 lens.(revised due to sync-speed comment below from Matt) Medium format, digital, with 150mm lens. Set on a tripod mounted to the back of a flatbed truck. Shot at 1/1000 1/800, f16, ISO 200.
Lighting: This shot’s lighting challenge was to balance the fill flash on the front of Seth’s body with the strong sunlight to camera left. Art uses two generators on the truck to power the two, 2400 watt packs. Two magnum reflectors at f11 (-1 stop) are staggered on one c-stand and set high, just to camera left. The sun is directly to camera left of Seth at f32 (+2 stops) and lends those gorgeous highlights.
Comments: Seth is not – by profession, hobby or genetics – a runner kind of guy. He’s a hilarious actor and that’s where he excels. To ensure Seth gave it his 110% and sprinted away from the plane on every take, Art hired a local dog trainer. She brought three, male Rottweilers, none of which were overly fond of runners, to set. Without any leashes.