PS Production Services provided lighting and grip equipment to the production of the new film Fifty Shades of Grey from director Sam Taylor-Johnson and Universal Pictures. The lighting and grip package included more than 100 fixtures supplied through PS’s facility in Vancouver.
Fifty Shades of Grey was shot by veteran cinematographer Seamus McGarvey, ASC, BSC (The Avengers, Atonement, Godzilla). Principal photography was completed in Vancouver with the city’s Gastown District, the University of British Columbia and the Fairmont Hotel among the locations.
Lighting played an important role in establishing mood and tone. Stuart Haggerty, the production’s gaffer, noted that distinct lighting set ups were used to distinguish between the environments of the films’ two main characters, Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan).
“Everything in Christian’s world is neat and orderly,” Haggerty explained. “We used blue lighting in his office and penthouse. Ana’s world is a bit more cluttered. She’s always rushing around, trying to get things done. Her world is very warm. We lit her warm and soft. When you first meet her, we had nice, warm sun coming in. It’s a soft, cozy atmosphere. When you see Christian in his office, it’s cooler, more precise and tidy.”
Lighting Christian’s office was a challenge as the room featured three walls of 12-foot high windows. Haggerty and his crew created exterior light using a set-up of some 30 Mole Maxicoop units, which combined high lighting capacity and a low profile. Another tricky environment was the “Red Room of Pain,” where Ana and Christian have an intense sexual encounter. Haggerty and his crew managed to light that space entirely from above to provide Taylor-Johnson and McGarvey maximum flexibility in shooting.
Haggerty noted that he has worked with PS Production Services on more than a dozen films, from the 2007 release In the Land of Women through the recent titles Planet of the Apes and The A-Team. “PS is a great rental company,” he said. “They got us the equipment we needed quickly. They maintain a huge inventory. That was a huge advantage.”