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Cinematographer John Bailey’s Icy ‘Big Miracle’ Shoot

Big Miracle cinematographer John Bailey talks to American Cinematographer about the challenges of shooting in the arctic for the film, which depicts a whale rescue mission. He says, “My big concern was that we choose an area where the sun, if it were out, would be available to us most of the time. I figured that shooting west with a southern light would give us less of a sense of light change than if we were shooting frontal light or changing crosslight. The sun rose in the southeast, never exceeded 30 degrees in the sky, and set in the southwest. That made lighting continuity fairly easy to maintain. The only problem was that as the shoot progressed, the sun’s position moved so low that it was intermittently blocked by office buildings in downtown Anchorage. It’s an odd thing to be out in the middle of what is supposed to be the North Slope, above the Arctic Circle, and have a skyscraper shadow fall across your set.”

Read the full interview here.