In the latest episode of the
American Cinematographer Podcast
The Love Witch
cinematographer M. David Mullen explains shooting the stylized horror film on 35mm film, and working to create a specific 1960s aesthetic.
Says Mullen, "[Director Anna Biller] showed me a lot of movies. She gave me a big stack of DVDs to watch. The trick with that was they varied quite a bit in look. Some of them were '60s New Wave-ish films where the lighting was a bit more naturalistic, others were more classic Hollywood studio films. Some were American B-movies of the '60s which were trying to emulate the studio films without the money. So they varied quite a bit in production value and lighting style. So my job was partly to figure out what in those movies Anna liked, whether it was just a mood or an actual specific camera angle or lighting element or color scheme. Her preference goes back earlier than '60s/'70s films in terms lighting preferences. They tend to be more '40s/'50s-oriented when it was almost all hard lighting...One of our key references for this film was
by Hitchcock and also
, which are back-to-back films, the last two shot by Robert Burks, ASC. And there's a mix of hard and soft lighting in
. Mostly hard, but you could see Hitchcock experimenting with softer lighting techniques that he would then employ in
right after that."
Listen to the full podcast here.