Halloween Kills Leaves Crew Shaken with Its Intense Camera Techniques

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Despite the bright lighting, shooting at night more or less forced the “Halloween Kills” crew to become nocturnal. The film’s assistant director Atilla Salih Ycer (also a second unit director and co-producer), said that the shoot was “relentless.”Ycer noted something that anyone who works late at night will be able to attest; the hours can be brutal and mind-altering. He said “The first five weeks of that film was full nights. Do you know what that does to people? […] Your body and your mind are completely rewired.”

Needing to save time on setting up lighting rigs, likely to spare the crew, cinematographer Simmonds declared his bare-bones, Carpenterian view of getting the shots he needed. Simmonds said he adhered to a “brutal camera logic, not taking into consideration anything else aside from what makes sense for camera and lighting.” He didn’t need his actors to look a certain way in close-up. He just needed to get everyone lit. He would then use digital image correction after the shoot to make the film gloomier and more horror-like. This logical approach, Simmonds admitted, was more practical than artistic.

“[It was] not ideal from a certain perspective, but we needed to favor the light to accomplish all of our ambitions. This movie was a lot more logistically challenging than most because almost every scene is an ensemble scene, you have to cover everybody, every scene has stunts, or visual effects, or special effects, or pyrotechnics. I shot this brighter than [2018’s] ‘Halloween,’ with the intent to make it darker in post. I wanted to make sure the audience could see the things they wanted to see.”

One may criticize the script for “Halloween Kills,” but one cannot deny that the photography is first-rate.

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