Denson Baker ACS NZCS
Denson is an award-winning cinematographer of international feature films, music videos, documentaries and commercials. His recent credits include feature film THE COLOUR ROOM, with Phoebe Dynevor and Matthew Goode, OPHELIA starring Daisy Ridley & Naomi Watts, and UK TV series VICTORIA season II. Additionally he was the DP of the reshoots on the Academy Award winning GET OUT which included the tone setting opening scene.
In 2005 Denson was accredited by the Australian Cinematographers Society allowing him the honour of having the letters ACS after his name. In 2015 he was accredited by the New Zealand Cinematographers Society adding the honour of the letters NZCS.
What are the greatest challenges that you face with lighting when working on set?
The greatest challenge that I face with lighting on set, is doing it quickly. Creating the high production value and cinematic quality of light efficiently and with consistency. I love a soft keylight, but to create the look that I want can take time and require a large footprint on the studio floor. However, with the Titan X2 on wheels and with a DoP Choice Octa 5′, I have a softlight that is quick to reposition and very quick to make changes to colour, intensity and dial in the SmartSoft diffusion. It is one thing to be able to craft beautiful light, but it is another thing to be able to do it on a fast paced shooting schedule.
What does lighting mean to you as a cinematographer?
To me, lighting is everything. It is what creates the atmosphere and sets the visual tone of the scene. I have always felt that if you frame up an average looking shot but the lighting is great, it will be a great looking shot. However, no matter how great a frame you line up and no matter how beautiful the composition, if the lighting is average, the shot will only ever be average.
What is your favourite feature of the Titans and why?
I use the SmartSoft on the Titans a lot, I generally like to work with soft light. So usually I start with the diffusion at 100%. But very often I might need a little more punchy light, or a hard back light and I can make the change very quickly and often my gaffer has the iPad control behind camera and away from the cast so I am able to ask for quick adjustments right up to the moment that the camera is about to roll, but not interfere with the actors process or halt the momentum of the set crew.