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Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Wallander - inspiring stuff

It isn't often that a TV mini-series delivers not only on storyline and acting but also on cinematography. I found myself quite mesmerised by the BBC's Wallander, which I discovered in it's second series but have since watched from the beginning.

In brief, the first series consists of three single dramas based on the Kurt Wallander Mysteries books and stars Kenneth Branagh. It was shot in in Ystad on Sweden's rural south coast where the books were based. It was produced on the new high resolution RED ONE 4K digital cinema camera. Chosen for its low light, low grain capabilities and a first for the BBC. The Director of Photography on the first two episodes was Anthony Dod Mantle who went on to win a BAFTA for Photography & Lighting.

Why do I include it in my blog? Because it is a beautiful and inspiring piece of work. The use of composition, colour (both intense and desaturated), light and depth of field can be breathtakingly exquisite or stark and harsh in turn. There are many scenes where the content adds little to the story but gives you a strong sense of place and mood. Big skies, strong winds and moody water. In contrast there are many close-ups that utilise harsh directional light to expose the emotional turmoil of Branagh's character.

It absolutely makes you wish you were there with your camera.

Quite unique, wonderfully inspiring. But be warned - there's not a lot of joy.

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