Movie Clip Of The Week. The Yards. Harris Savides.
The Yards was the first narrative feature I ever worked on. It was directed by James Gray with cinematography by Harris Savides. I was hired as the camera loader and got my ass kicked by the first AC throughout the entire film. It was shot mostly at night in and around Queens and Brooklyn, New York. The scene shown here is a great example of motion photography and interior lighting. Harris Savides is a master at creating tension in a small space with very little lights. He used mostly practicals in China Balls for these interior set ups. This scene is also where I learned about “Reflective Distance” focus pulls. The mirror shot of Mark Wahlberg adds just enough suspense to complete the scene before the shot is fired. The one thing I truly learned on this film from Harris was to let the actors have the entire space for their performance. Light the room, not the actors.
Here is a funny little interview with Harris.