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‘Mike & Molly’ Relies on Schneider Optics Filters

Keeping a consistent look on a multicamera shoot is always a challenge. Mike & Molly cinematographer Gary Baum has found that shooting four HD cameras simultaneously might not give him the luxury of multiple lighting setups within a scene, but he can get the lighting and lenses to match by using Schneider Optics Classic Soft 1/8 and 1/4 filters.

Mike (Billy Gardell) and Molly (Melissa McCarthy). Photo by Robert Voets/Warner Bros.

For the episode “Molly’s Birthday,” Baum faced two nighttime street scenes. “There was snow, fire and steam, 80 feet of dolly track, a bluescreen and four cameras,” he recalls. “With all of the production expense and time, everything, including special effects, had to be coordinated and planned down to each camera angle.

“I had to fine-tune the filtration to achieve a uniform look for the cameras without imparting any artifacts that could potentially contaminate the bluescreen and falling snow,” he explains. “I was able to achieve this by using slightly different grades of filtration at different focal lengths.

“It’s the Schneider quality control that gives me confidence,” Baum continues. “It is unsurpassed from batch to batch. I can always count on the same level of quality each time. The water-white glass doesn’t impart artifacts, nor any additional color. The overall effect is subtle, while not blossoming the highlights or stepping on the contrast. The incremental strengths that the filters offer allowed me to do the tuning necessary to match the four cameras.”

Cinematographer Gary Baum with Schneider Optics filter on the set of

Mike & Molly