Matt Faw: Creative Use of Eyelight

From American Cinematographer, Cleopatra's Cinema of Submission by David E. Williams (September 1998)

In the film, Robert slowly poisons Zack and later seals his weakened foe in a metal-sheathed, coffin-like box hidden beneath the house. A closed-circuit TV system allows the two men to converse.

"Zack is in the box for virtually the last third of the film. To keep that visually interesting, we really worked to create a variety of camera angles, but our lighting had to remain constant."

- Matt Faw

It was determined that the lighting had to be incorporated into the box's structure, so recessed panels were built into the side walls, covered with translucent Plexiglas, and lit from behind with small tungsten fixtures. From the front, Faw utilized a small lamp with a gobo featuring a ring of small holes. This created a circular highlight in actor Boyd Kestner's eyes. As the character weakened, Faw progressively covered successive holes in the gobo pattern, slowly diminishing the reflection and suggesting the character's fate.

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