Page 6 - Fujifilm Exposure_27 Bride & Prejudice_ok
P. 6

                                         MIKE ELEY
“Apparently someone from the BBC said that Laura Fraser looked ‘like Vivien Leigh’. As far as I was concerned that was as good an endorsement as I could have hoped for.”
continued from previous page
“I went in with very little expecta- tion; just as well perhaps because it meant I was very relaxed. We seemed immediately to get on. Also, Nigel had seen Love Again which I’d shot earlier last year. He said he liked it a lot and it seemed to match up to the way he and Tom were thinking He Knew He Was Right should look.”
Starring Hugh Bonneville, Love Again, directed by Susanna White, vividly dramatised the last 30 years in the life of Hull poet and librarian Philip Larkin. Said Eley: “They appreci- ated the unfussiness of it visually, no unmotivated camera movements, just telling the story straight. I told them that was born more out of expediency than anything else because we had vir- tually no money and it was an 80- minute film shot in just 14 days. What that produced was a film that was quite distinctive in its simplicity.”
For the four-hour Trollope produc- tion, which also features Bill Nighy, Anna Massey, Stephen Campbell-Moore, David Tennant, Christina Cole, Fenella Woolgar, Geraldine James, Joanna David, John Alderton and Ron Cook in juicy roles, there would be 13 weeks of shooting. These included studio, big country houses and West Country cathedral locations, as well as a final Italian week in Orvieto and the Appenines.
Yet despite these obvious ingredi- ents for period sprawl, sweep and swirl, the emphasis, which particularly pleased Eley, was much more on the characters and internal drama. “It’s such a great story – funny on one hand, tragic on the other. Unlike some costume dramas, it’s very intimate, and I liked that. Tom wanted to tell it simply and for it to assume its own quiet elegance.”
Eley had occasionally used Fujifilm motion picture stock on his documen-
taries, notably The Lido for Modern Times, and felt that the stock would perfectly suit Love Again, which was set between the 1950s and 1980s.
“I wanted a stock I knew I could use throughout. We had a tight sched- ule, very little daylight as we were shooting in January and there were lots of sitting room and bedroom scenes. The Fujicolor F-400T gave me that latitude. There had been no time for tests and I just got on with it. Although I couldn’t be around for the grading, I really liked the results.
“When He Knew He Was Right came up, I just continued in the same way. We used a bit of Fujicolor F-500T at the beginning but it was mostly the F-400T again for interiors and exteriors here and in Italy as well as the F-250D for some of the UK exteri- ors. I’ve always thought that Fujifilm had a softer, more pastelly look espe- cially in the slower stocks. Having used it on Love Again, I did like that sort of softer look and when we grad- ed it we knew we could give it a nice muted feel, taking sharp colours out of it if necessary.”
Long before he became a globe- trotting cameraman, Romford-born Eley, a graphic design graduate from Leeds Poly, actually started his career as a trainee film editor for Aspect Films (later Tiger Aspect) above a sex shop in Soho. After a year or so he was desperate to get out on the road, as it were, and so became a junior member of the company’s three-man film crew servicing the BBC and fledg- ling Channel 4.
The 80s were a good time for doc- umentary, he recalled, the 90s even more so and, Eley added, “I seemed to be in the right place at the right time, often working with really good direc- tors who then went on to do drama.”
  4 • Exposure • Fuji Motion Picture And Professional Video

   4   5   6   7   8