‘Rust’ cinematographer Rhys Thomas on designing and filming the film

The street scenes in “Rust” – the new film by Annapurna – were made of real building, and hand-painted miniatures of its actual 2-and-a-half mile route to cover the missing length. Most of the…

‘Rust’ cinematographer Rhys Thomas on designing and filming the film

The street scenes in “Rust” – the new film by Annapurna – were made of real building, and hand-painted miniatures of its actual 2-and-a-half mile route to cover the missing length. Most of the real streets are completely missing. But the filmmakers knew they’d have to, as the story takes place in a fictitious “Los Angeles.” In a new interview with Fandango, cinematographer Rhys Thomas says this was a major headache for them.

What seemed to make the job easier at first was the dearth of access to the real streets on which the central story takes place. “I mean we knew we needed to shoot on all the buildings we use,” Thomas says. “The only constraint that comes down on you is access. “Because for them, they don’t have that access,” he explains. “So we didn’t have that height. If we were in Los Angeles proper, we would have the permits in place to shoot on real streets. But those are the things that make the job easier.”

Real “streets” aside, the other challenge they faced was training film students to be adequately trained to work on the miniaturized scenes. Thomas says he and director Patrick Hughes set up a “mini-school” at a film school in Los Angeles, the American Cinematography School, and tasked them with making this possible. This required a lot of professional advice, says Thomas.

“It’s like if you want to get into a foreign language and you’re trying to make up all the language and the physical mechanics of any language, this is not a corner you cut,” Thomas says.

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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