Richard Rutkowski discusses his work shooting the WGN series, Manhattan, with American Cinematographer magazine’s Jim Hemphill. On the question of how to achieve the show’s sense of scope and period on a limited schedule, the cinematographer says the answer is. “Simplicity. The major source in this part of the world is what it was back in the 1940s: sunlight. The light in New Mexico skies is and always was magic, so that’s your base level. Then we work in period tungsten. There’s an understanding that everything will be lit practically at night, and practical light will look dimmer and cruder than it is today. We try to keep it very simple — single source, not a lot of edge light, not a lot of backlight — and we try to honor the environments as they were. Most of the period look is just dictated by what would have been there at the time.”
Take a taste of the show here.