Natasha Braier, cinematographer for The Rover told Movie Maker Magazine how she and Director David Michod sat down for 10 days going through the whole script talking about character, mood and atmosphere.
She also spoke about the problems of shooting in the Australian desert, Eric and Rey’s “moment” and loads more.
Here are some excerpts from the article ………
Before I met with director David Michôd for the first time on set, we sat down and talked for 10 days, going through the whole script and talking about character, mood and atmosphere—concepts underlying the narrative. By the end of these talks we arrived at an emotional landscape, and I came to conceptually understand the world of The Rover that David wanted to portray. The world of The Rover is not a world of beautiful sunsets: it’s the hostile side of the desert. We didn’t want to beautify the place, so we avoided magic-hour moments in the mesmerizing Flinders Ranges, the largest mountain range in South Australia.
The heat and the wind were the biggest challenges. Shooting in 45 degree Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) heat required a lot of precaution. When you’re shooting in so much heat, with so many flies, both the heat and the flies become part of the narrative. All of our faces were full of flies. At least the suffering has the reward of showing up in the film.
Our film stock had to be protected. It could be up to an eight-hour drive to Adelaide, the city from which we could take a plane to Sydney and get our film to the lab. Whenever the driver stopped for coffee or lunch in the middle of the journey, the air conditioning had to be on so the film wouldn’t be ruined.
Corrugated iron was one of the main textures in our palette. We over-exposed the exteriors to accentuate the feeling of heat and desaturate the colors, losing the blue in the sky and making everything feel even drier and hotter. The very specific color palette was inspired by the earth tones of the desert and the green of the bush—browns, yellows, greens. The only touches of red in the movie are either blood, or representational of China, as much of society in this future are Chinese immigrants. Blue represented water—or the lack thereof. There is a small patch of the color in almost every shot, whether a pen or a chair. Guy Pearce even asked us at one point, “Hey, what’s going on with the blue?” He noticed that just as we were about to shoot, we would run and put a blue cushion somewhere. It’s the subliminal presence of water—the desire for water—so that you would feel this need, but not have enough.
Despite not wanting to shoot during magic hour, we did have one scene with very low sun in the late afternoon, which was intentional—when Guy is cleaning Robert [Pattinson’s] wounds. If there is such a thing as a love story between the two characters, then that would have been their moment, when they get closer to each other. That was their romantic scene in the movie.
The train scene, where Guy and Rob’s car stops by railway tracks to let a long train pass, was tricky as well. There was only one train a day and we didn’t have any control over it. They would only slow down their speed 30 percent for us so the train could be captured for a little longer, but that was it. The train could pass by any time between 6:30 and 9 in the morning, and it would take around five minutes if it was fully loaded with containers. In order to capture all the shots we needed, we had to move very fast—with only two cameras and two mornings to get it.
There are many moments in the film when people are at a lower level than usual, sitting or laying on the floor. We were trying to bring everything down, return everything to basics, back to the floor level—to express that humanity had returned to zero, back in survival mode, close to the earth.
Read the rest of the article over at Movie Maker Magazine
And don’t forget The Rover goes nationwide TOMORROW!
Check listings HERE to see if it’s showing near YOU and book your tickets.