The Nice Guys

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The Nice Guys, a comedy thriller, was shot between October 2014 and February 2015 in Atlanta and Los Angeles. Directed by Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Ironman 3), starring Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe. 53 days of filming.
De g. à d. : Tom Marvel, opérateur, Philippe Rousselot, aux manivelles, Nilo, assistant mise en scène, et Shane Black, réalisateur
De g. à d. : Tom Marvel, opérateur, Philippe Rousselot, aux manivelles, Nilo, assistant mise en scène, et Shane Black, réalisateur
Photo Daniel McFadden


I was a latecomer to digital cinematography (and was very hesitant to begin). The Nice Guys is the first feature-length film I filmed using a digital camera. Even though I still prefer and am nostalgic for 35mm, I left it behind in order to gain in efficiency. The original 50-day shooting schedule was a wager given the complexity of the screenplay, the number of different sets, the difficulty of making Atlanta pass for Los Angeles (damn tax credits), and the number of special effects. We had to work quickly and within our means. The Alexa’s 1,280 ISO helped me out a lot, especially when shooting at night-time, but so did the fact that we always shot with two cameras. (Operators : Will Arnold and Tom Marvel. Focus-puller : the excellent Valentine Marvel).

As for lighting, I tried to do the minimum possible, by using existing light sources as much as possible while shooting outside (sodium-vapour streetlamps were perfectly within our time period). I worked with a lot of LED panels created by the gaffer, Joshua Stern.
One of the things I found most pleasant and exciting was to film a comedy (practically my first ever) because it presents challenges for cutting, framing, and camera position that are fundamentally different.
It was the first time I worked with Shane Black (and enjoyed the experience very much), whose Kiss Kiss Bang Bang I adored, and the fourth time with Joël Silver, the producer, who is a legendary figure in American cinema.

Équipe

Operators : Will Arnold and Tom Marvel
Focus-puller : Valentine Marvel
Gaffer : Joshua Stern

Technique

Shot with two Arri Alexas, series G anamorphic lenses and an Angénieux Optimo 56-152mm A2S T4 lens
Arri Raw format, 2K rendering
Colour timed in London by Lip Sync
Colour timer : Adam Ingliss, with whom I had already worked on two Sherlock Holmes movies