Shogun’s cinematographer dissects the maritime disaster of the opening of the filming season

Early Hulu Shogunset in 1600s Japan, English sailor John Blackthorne (Cosmo Jarvis) is taken prisoner by local samurai.

While being shipped to Osaka, a storm sends Spanish sailor Vasco Rodrigues overboard and Blackthorne rescues him. The sequence was filmed almost entirely as if it had been captured in a single shot, but in reality, “the shot was divided into four executable elements while maintaining that visceral first-person perspective,” explains the director of the photography Christopher Ross. The cinematographer chose to highlight the sequence because of all the moving parts and departments that came together to recreate the violent maritime storm. The result is a combination of practical and visual effects. A crew actually built the aft upper galley deck, which includes the pilot’s quarters and a staircase leading to the rowers on the lower deck.

“The camera could come down and look through the windows to see real actors rowing,” Ross says. This entire third of the real ship was placed on a gimbal so the whole thing could move. Around the ship, 60-foot-tall containers with inflatable blue screens allowed the ocean to be added offshore, although rigged tanks dumped “1,000 gallons of water on us every 20 seconds,” Ross says , noting, “That’s the kind of filmmaking. , when you are 11 years old and you dream of working in the cinema, you dream of doing it.

This story first appeared in a June standalone issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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