'Riddick,' the long awaited follow-up to 'Chronicles of Riddick' and 'Pitch Black' began principal photography on 23/1/12 in Montreal, Quebec. It is good to be back working with Writer/Director David Twohy and Actor/Producer Vin Diesel after all the success we had with 'Pitch Black.'
In 'Riddick,' Twohy has cleverly created a story using key elements that audiences loved about 'Pitch Black' and still keeping the mythology of the Riddick universe.
The look of the film will be as stylized as 'Pitch Black' but on a bigger scale and with a greater scope. Currently we are shooting in the studio where the blockbuster '300' was shot. We are working on 4 stages with full sets. The biggest challenge is the ceiling height of 32 feet. The Alien landscapes fill all the floor space and we are also shooting 360 degrees. We have 500 feet of Green screen and Black material rigged on rails in just one stage alone.
Similar to Pitch Black, the Alien planet suns are unlike Earth.
I decided to light with large Lame reflectors, a technique I used before to create a moonscape, but this time on a much larger scale. We ended up purchasing 40 Gold/White Lames 20' x 8' and rigging them to the ceiling rafters and bouncing two 10k Fresnel lamps into each. Gold sided with Yellow gels for day and double Chocolate gels for night, and flipping to white side Tungsten for the fill. It is working out great and blends into what is like a single source.
I am shooting with 2 ARRI Alexas, recording Raw data with the Codex on board recorders and using Master Primes and Optimo Zooms lenses. 'Riddick' is only my second feature using a digital system and I have to admit I love the Alexa. Can't wait to use the new Alexa Studio 4:3 chip and optical viewfinder. Sky's the limit. Am rating at the native 800 ASA. Takes a little getting used to but it's all the same math. Just sees into the shadows a little too much. Looking forward to the DI next year, to see if the camera's 14 stops latitude combined with the Codex ARRI Raw file lives up to the expectations.
Thank goodness we are shooting in studio right now. I'm not big on Montreal winters. We are midway through and I am looking forward to getting back home early April.
David Eggby ACS