In spite of these difficulties, Primes has managed to carefully maintain the photographic approach that Reeves wants for the show.
"Almost all of the light is soft, and it's very often shining through Chimeras, or frames of 1000H, Chimera cloth, 216, 250 or opal. Those are the diffusion materials we use... One of the nice things about hard light is that you can really shape it. But how do you cut soft light?"
In recent years, the cinematographer has found the answer in Chimera's honeycomb grids, which attach in front of the company's flexible softboxes to concentrate the light, rather than letting it scatter. The grids come in 30-, 60- and 90-degree increments, referring to the angles to which the light is allowed to spread.
"In the past, I was using the 60s most of the time, the 90s some of the time, and the 30s not very much. Marshall [gaffer Marshall Adams] started using the 30-degree grid, which takes a tremendous amount of light. You need 10,000 watts to get anything out of it, and by golly, there it is, just a soft little spotlight. You can have someone in a little glow, and light nowhere else... Our extra smallest Chimeras use 650W tweenies, while our largest use 20Ks."- Robert Primes, ASC