cinematographer eigil bryld on designing a uniform look for ‘house of cards’ with director david fincher:
fincher’s ground rules included “no steadicam, no handheld and no zoom lenses.” […] “to a great extent, moves are on the dolly or the boom. we wanted to use the space more so people would grow larger in the frame or move away and get smaller. we went for a more composed look; even though we had very shallow focus, we tried to create deep compositions all the time to add a sense of drama and power, and the 2:1 aspect ratio really helped with that.”
the entire show was shot on arri/zeiss master primes, mostly the 27mm and 35mm. ”we used longer lenses at times for close-ups, but we never wanted the sense of space to disappear,” says bryld.”
zoe barnes gets three sizes of coverage in the scene above, each inching higher and closer to the eyeline.
also, the A and B cameras are usually kept very close, often stacked one on top of the other. ”we typically had one camera doing a low-angle wide over and the other doing a tight over,” says bryld. continuity is key. ”if you have perfect continuity, i think it almost creates a hypnotic universe, like you’re almost experiencing something in real time. in fincher’s world, you have to respect space and time, and two cameras help with that.”