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he subject matter of the lat- est collaboration between DP Roger Bonnici and direc- tor Paul Hills is strangely at odds with their own long- standing and harmonious relationship. For Secrets
“It was a tall order,” says Bonnici, “because we had a three day shoot with three main locations. There was quite a lot to do, and quite a lot of story to convey.”
The depth of the story comes after we first witness the seemingly idyllic marriage between Alice (Sarah McGuinness) and Robert (Alex McSweeney). Our view of events becomes hastily reconsidered in a rapid succession of flashbacks.
“Even though you may not notice when you’re watching it,” says Hills, “we have flashbacks within flash- backs. In effect, we flashback to five years earlier, and then to 10 years before that.”
Within the complex structure, and the frenzied activity required to realise it, there is a very simple human tale of sexual relations that a broad audience might respond to.
For Bonnici, the aim was to make a subtle distinction between the periods in the characters’ lives during the flash- back sequences, while giving a consis- tency to the look of the wider film.
“We went with the Fujicolor F- 500T stock on this,” he explains. “We found that we could use it in very low light areas as well as very bright areas, and it held up in both. It’s great because it sees right into the shadow detail, almost like the human eye.
“Some of the scenes were staged at different times in the characters’ lives so we tried to keep a very warm feel in the present day stuff. I shot a lot of it with an 85B filter, and then as we went back in the past I used an 81EF which made it a little bit colder.
“Then further back, I was using fil- ters 80B and 80D to make it colder still and emphasise that this was a time the character wanted to forget.”
Taking on the role of operator as well as DP, Bonnici found himself faced with logistical as well as artistic challenges. His use of a Moviecam Compact camera, and the minimum of crew will presumably have helped, but the glamour of the film business paled
 delves into the dark past of one half of a seemingly happily married couple, with explosive consequences for two people who find they know far less about each other than they thought.
Yet, ironically, it is the frankness, the consistency and the... well, monogamy in Bonnici and Hills’ friendship that enabled them to work enthusiastically on this challenging, densely packed 12 minute film shot in London last year.
Photos: Scenes from Secrets with Sarah McGuinness, Alex McSweeney and Marc Warren
34 • Exposure • Fuji Motion Picture And Professional Video
Teamwork’s the key as Secrets uncovers the dark side of marital discord...

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