"We did several days of testing to establish optimal printer lights, and we had all the dailies printed at those lights with no graded prints," he continues. "They were generally pretty consistent. Of course, there were occasional fluctuations, but there was no doubt about where theyd come from, and adjustments could be made. If the printer lights are changing daily, it takes much longer to get to the bottom of any discrepancies it could just be a low battery in my light meter, or it could be a voltage drop on the stage, or it could be a mistake setting the T-stop. Having one-light prints simplifies things enormously."
Die Another Day required six weeks of pre-rigging and that was just for the first four sets. Much of that time was also devoted to the construction of a massive, hard source that would mimic the effect of the dreaded Icarus weapon. Arch-villain Gustav Graves (Toby Stephens) reveals his brainchild during a party outside his giant ice palace. The night exterior was filmed on Pinewoods backlot and required a source that could illuminate an area "larger than Wembley Stadium," Tattersall says.
After searching for a satisfactory unit and coming up short, gaffer Eddie Knight suggested the production build its own. Tattersall agreed, and Knight set to work joining 1K Dinos into 40 pods of four lamps each. Then, with the special-effects crews help, he erected a frame and began bolting on the pods, testing each one and running it through a master dimmer. A dedicated, 200-kilowatt generator was brought in to power the cluster.
The rig was so large that it hung from its own corner of the soundstage during construction, and so voracious that it could only be powered up in quarters. Knight and his team worked on it piecemeal while rigging the other sets, and it took about a week to complete. When Tattersall dimmed up the whole rig on the scenes cue, 160,000 tungsten watts blasted over the backlot. When asked what the stop was, Knight says "It didnt really matter it was definitely way over the top!"
But the Icarus lamp was not the productions most imposing lighting feat. That distinction belonged to the ice-palace set that was built on the 007 stage. Stretching three stories high and 250' long, the soundstage usually houses two or three large action sets, but for a sequence in which a Jaguar tails an Aston Martin up 360-degree ramps through curtains of melting ice water, the Bond crew needed all the space it could get.
Tattersalls lighting scheme for the monstrous set had to be flexible and simple enough to hand over to Armstrong and Taylors action unit, which would spend a month creating the car chase. In designing it, Tattersall utilized an old-school previsualization method: "The art department made an 8-foot model of the set, and Eddie and I messed around with it with golfball bulbs and a little Dedo kit. We came up with a very simplified system."
Because the walls of the ice palace were made of translucent plastic, the cinematographer decided to light the whole set from the outside. "The simple and expensive solution was to put two complete rings [of lamps] all the way around the set. One ring pointed in and was gelled with 34 blue, and the other ring pointed out and bounced back and was gelled with Rosco 65. That way, if you were in any part of the set looking to an opposite wall, youd probably only need one-half to two-thirds of the set lit. And by fading down the lamps behind the camera, youd get your contrast. We had a ring of Mini- and Maxi-Brutes all sectioned into color-coded quadrants, so anyone on the ground could order the ones behind the camera faded down and the ones behind the actors faded up."
After several weeks of electrical rigging, Knight and his crew had cabled nearly two megawatts of power into the set. "It was a massive exercise," Tamahori recalls. "The lighting plan looked like the map of the London Underground." Both rings were hung from above to minimize safety concerns during the scenes icewater downpour. The 5K and 10K lamps, all gelled with 3/4 CTB, were aimed at 40'x40' white muslin bounces hung behind the translucent walls. The resultant, double-diffused glow illuminated the set to a T4, virtually eliminated the need for fill, and ensured that the flooding water was always backlit. "There were open ceiling sections that also had 5Ks and 10Ks rigged around them, so we could backlight the water clean without going through the walls," Knight adds.
A location even larger than the ice palace set was The Eden Project, a biological conservatory in Cornwall that houses exotic plants inside geodesic domes, each about 500' long by 300' high. "That place is so big Id need about 10 Icarus lamps to light it!" Knight says. "I told David Id love to put some lamps in the air, but the dome was just too tall." For a night scene in which Jinx rappels down from the ceiling of one of the domes, Tattersall and Knight placed uncorrected 18K HMIs on a service road to backlight the gigantic aluminum structure. The early hour contributed to the ambience, according to Tattersall. "We were only allowed to shoot in the short time before the paying public was admitted," he recalls. "It was during the winter months, and we shot on tungsten film at the morning magic hour, which made it look like night." He also dotted the grounds with 1K and 2K Pars to backlight a blanket of mist created by the art department.
Much more manageable, yet no less notable, was Tattersalls lighting scheme for a hand-to-hand combat scene featuring Bond and Mr. Kill, a towering Maori thug. The fight takes place in a mechanical workroom filled with laser cutters running amok. Tattersall wanted the slashing ruby beams to stand out against another moving light pattern; he settled on the deep blue cast by theatrical units called Mac2000s. "Theyre spotlights with two motorized gobos inside and an internal dichroic filter, so you can choose any color of the rainbow from one unit," he says. "We had 16 of them hanging from a ceiling grid and pointing straight down, all projecting a kinetic pattern over the whole set."
The main unit did manage to get out of the house for one scene, in which Bond meets Jinx at a Cuban beach bar. The crew traveled to Cadiz, Spain, which was doubling for Havana, but the expedition turned out to be, well, jinxed. "I think it was the worst weather Cadiz had on record it was sideways rain," Tattersall says. "The one time we got away, we found ourselves desperate to get home!" The filmmakers were lucky enough to receive three hours of sunshine in which to film Berrys angles, which faced toward the sea, in what Tattersall describes as "an homage to Dr. No." After that, however, natures disposition turned decidedly rude. "It was completely blowing a gale," the cinematographer says. "The beach bar had a rattan-bamboo roof just over the area where Jinx and Bond meet. We had to completely tent in the actors with tarpaulin like a mini-stage, and shoot over Halle to Pierce with the bar as the background."
The next morning, the crew discovered another calamity: a coastal squall the previous night had swept away Die Another Days entire beachfront façade. "We werent even able to do pickups," Tattersall says with a sigh. "One medium-wide angle is over Pierce to Halle, so that was that no second-unit reshoots." (However, Tattersall was able to later increase color saturation and tweak contrast levels at Londons Computer Film Company, where the Cuba and North Korea sequences were taken to a digital intermediate.)