Lighting up Dory's world : lighting artist, Vandana Reddy Sahrawat on the importance of lighting in a 3D animation film
Updated on: 10 Jun 2016
Finding Dory, sequel to Finding Nemo, will chronicle the adventures of Dory as she travels to meet her family. Produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios, the film will release on June 17.
Vandana Reddy Sahrawat, who moved to the US from Hyderabad, is now a part of Pixar's strong behind-the-scenes work force. In an e-mail interview, Vandana discusses her work in the 3D animation film.
Tell us about your work for Finding Dory. What does the work of a Master Lighting Artist entail?
On Finding Dory, I did both Master Lighting and Shot Lighting. At Pixar, consecutive shots from the movie are organised into logical groups called sequences. Typically, a sequence occurs on the same set and around the same time of day. When such a sequence first comes to the Lighting Department, it is like a dark set, with no lights to see what is going on.
A Master Lighting Artist's job involves working closely with the Lighting Director of Photography to add lights to the sequence, taking into account the location, time of day, weather and mood, making sure to draw the viewer's eye to what is relevant to the plot and make it aesthetic. At the Master Lighting stage, the focus is on establishing the lighting for the set and not so much on the characters. It is at the Shot Lighting stage that the characters are then finessed. By the end of it, hopefully, one would not only see what is going on in the movie, but also experience it.
You have been working with Pixar since 2000 and have handled lighting for many films. What were the new challenges with Finding Dory?