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DP Laurie Rose Discusses Lighting the Enormous ‘Free Fire Warehouse Set

Free Fire

DP Laurie Rose write on

MovieMaker Magazine

about lighting the shoot-out movie’s enormous warehouse location, where almost the entirety of the film takes place.

“Lighting was the real challenge on

Free Fire,”

he writes.

The story happens almost entirely within one large space, in real time. [Director Ben Wheatley] wanted to use multiple cameras to cover the action as comprehensively as possible, so there was a sense that everywhere had to be lit from the moment the characters walk into the space, and from any angle…My gaffer, Barry Conroy, and I developed a plan to have wireless control over every light fitting in our ‘arena’ and to always have a motivation for lighting. We threw up a ring of backlights into the metalwork of the warehouse roof, so whatever direction a camera pointed, there was a backlight or a cross-kick available—and with luck, a practical key! We established ‘zones’ with production design throughout the space, so it had variation and interest: the brighter ‘gun-deal’ area, the sodium windows, the darker ‘red’ zone, the offices upstairs. The idea was to maintain some geography, so in the chaos you always had at least some idea where you were in relation to everyone else.”

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