Lighting Fifty Shades of Grey


PS Production Services, a SIM Group company, provided lighting and grip equipment
to the production of 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 . 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, notes 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 explains. “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

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 (supplied by PS), 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.


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