TORONTO—PS Production Services, a SIM Group company, 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, 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 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 (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.
Haggerty notes 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 says. “They got us the equipment we needed quickly. They maintain a huge inventory; that was a huge advantage.”
About The SIM Group
Backed by Toronto-based investment firm Granite Partners, the SIM Group is a leading supplier of technology to the film and television industry from production through post. Its operating units, PS Production Services, SIM Digital, Bling Digital, Chainsaw and Pixel Underground, maintain offices across the USA, Canada and China. PS Production Services is a rental supplier of lighting, grip, generators and dolly equipment, supplying equipment for projects ranging from small commercials to the largest feature films in the world. SIM Digital is a rental facility specializing in digital production equipment and workflow services. SIM Digital’s inventory includes digital cinematography tools from top manufacturers such as ARRI, Sony, RED, Panasonic, Canon, Fujinon, Angenieux, Zeiss, Cooke and Leica. In tandem with Bling Digital, the company offers the industry’s most comprehensive workflow solutions for feature and television production, encompassing cameras, data, dailies, offline editorial, finishing and archiving. Chainsaw is a full service post-production facility based in Hollywood with award winning artists who provide creative editorial, editorial finishing, color grading, visual effects and related services utilizing AVID, Flame, Baselight and DaVinci Resolve. Pixel Underground is a file-based post-production facility in Toronto that specializes in color grading, visual effects and online finishing, with two associated companies FINI Films and StationEX, which provide physical and file-based media fulfillment and distribution services. For more information, visit simgroup.com