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People in Glass Houses: Shooting the Thriller ‘The Perfect Guy’

Director David M. Rosenthal writes about his experience finding a DP and setting a look for the “modern noir” thriller, The Perfect Guy.  Some highlights:

The Perfect Guy is a story about a woman losing control of her life to a stalker. I wanted her to feel totally exposed in her environments; I wanted the audience to feel this too. I began to imagine her in these glass boxes. I think the structures of Philip Johnson and Mies van der Rohe were certainly rattling around in my head both for her residence and for her work place. In the end we settled on a mid-century modern home and office structures that provided that fishbowl effect. With production designer Bill Arnold’s studied eye and DP Peter Simonite’s photographic guidance, we were able to settle on locations that satisfied both our architectural and lighting desires.”

“Peter and I were both very keen to work with our gaffer and friend, James Planette. I had worked with Jim on my last film, A Single Shot. He gaffed that film for DP Edu Grau, who had really pushed me and the producer of that film to spend a little extra money to get Jim up to Vancouver.”

“Peter and Jim were incredible in their approach to lighting these glass boxes for The Perfect Guy, particularly the night sequences. We had very interesting and dark lighting references, from Todd Hido (whom I’m a huge fan of) to Bill Henson to DPs like Harris Savides, Jeff Cronenweth and Roger Deakins, to name a few. There was a soft touch to how Peter and Jim handled these spaces, and because of the increased latitude of the digital sensors in these modern cameras (the Sony F65 in this case), the images at times feel as if they were photographs taken with existing light. But that could not be further from the case. These were lighting scenarios shaped deftly by masters in their field—simply done on a smaller scale.”