COLM WHELAN director of photography

A Terrible Beauty

A Terrible Beauty

A Terrible Beauty

The big challenge for me on A Terrible Beauty was motivating light without making it feel too artificial.  I walked the streets where the events had taken place at early hours of the morning to see the effect of moonlight on the buildings.  Often the volunteers were not allowed to light candles and had to get by on whatever moonlight was coming through the windows.  So I tried to find a balance between getting enough light in the rooms to see the action unfold but not make it too intrusive.  Reading accounts of those involved, they remarked on the clear moonlit nights.  Taking down the level and just allowing enough into the rooms really helped create the mood I was after and hopefully gave the viewer a better sense of the experiences of the civilians and military personnel involved.