Escape From New York Office Sequence

The ‘Secret Location’ in the script is aimed to be a direct reference of Escape From New York (1981) in terms of visual style. The scene in question is the office where Snake is called up, the timecode 17.16 – 20.07.

The lighting for the scene centralises around the main desk, with a strong spotlight drawing the entire focus to this object. This means the characters surrounding it become partly illuminated whilst the rest of their bodies remain in darkness for a form of high contrast lighting. There are various practical lights scattered amongst the darkness to highlight particular features (i.e. American Flag) adding depth to the entire scene. The nature of the lighting removes any shadows from being cast against the wall, keeping a general wash over faces, using the dark areas to create the tension.

Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 14.50.26

In the sequence you often find the protagonist (Snake) has less light and often resides in the darkness, reflecting his reluctance to be included in the situation. However as the sequence progresses and he becomes further involved he gradually leaks further and further into the light. The other character spends all of his time in the light as he has the power and is fully involved. The high contrast lighting does provide a device in which to visually represent the power balance as the characters shift positions between being fully illuminated and residing mostly in darkness.

Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 14.50.08


Jumping back to the beginning of this sequence when Snake is first introduced he is almost fully in darkness. This adds a sense of mystery to the character along with adding the theory that he is fully distanced from the situation that is about to be discussed.

Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 14.50.15


Applying this idea to the script we can use a desk as the central object in the scene to light around. I can use a fresnel light to focus on the specific desk area causing harsher patterns of illumination to allow the effect of characters cutting in and out of darkness. This then gives the opportunity for Jack to move in and out of the light to reflect his involvement with the plan as the situation is revealed to him.

I can then use a variety of practical lights to illuminate objects around the scene that relate to the mise-en-scene, this will all become dependent on what set design dictates. Any practical lights can be further emphasised with LED panels and preferable Dedo lights due to their portability and slider control.





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