Rob Hardy’s brilliance in cinematography made the research lab in Alex Garland’s science fiction series a feast for the eyes.
To achieve this cinematic brilliance, Rob Hardy had to work in conjunction with the production designer Mark Digby to create this high powered, glittering, and evolving high tech world. Digby not only needed to make an artistic geometrical art out of some prosaic scientific principles, but he also needed to keep in mind the camera requirement of Rob Hardy who then had to instill a sense of cinematic liveliness in the structure.
Alex Garland, who also holds the pedigree of directing Alicia Vikander starrer Artificial Intelligence epic Ex-Machina said in an interview with the IndieWire that he does not like to have a written plan for the project. He and Rob Hardy usually first start with actors involved in the project and then they sit down with the cinematographer to plan the shooting day.
It took 49 days to shoot Devs almost identical to Ex-Machina which also took 49 days to shoot.
Rob Hardy expounded his working process in an interview in which he said that he creates a set piece in which things are “organic.” There is no need to ponder in the middle of the scene or compromise in visual aspects because the camera can be kept anywhere and you would still get a nice shot.
The interesting thing about the visual brilliance of the research lab was that the entire light in that bright structure came from the reflection phenomenon of the golden walls. However, getting the precise material required for this phenomenon was crucial, and Mark Digby had to take a lot of time in running some tests, but the final product was staggering and proved to be a crucial plus point in the entire story.
Once the set up was done, now it was Hardy’s job to use it according to the requirement of the scene explained to him by the director. Hardy then had to manipulate a lot of light and create and accentuate the mood and silhouettes according to the variety of scenes that Garland shot in eight episodes. The smart use of spatial gaps and luminosity helped cinematographer Rob Hardy in manipulating a lot of scenes. One particular example would be an intimate scene between Nick Offerman and Alison Pill in which they see a computer-generated cave painting. As we can see in that scene, Hardy had altered the environment and made them sit by a fireplace, and he did all of that without breaking a sweat.
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