#1: From interview [ARRI/Camerimage 2016]

 

   


SIMON DUGGAN   ACS

 

Born: 13 May 1959, Wellington, New Zealand.

Career: Worked as c.asst with John Seale, Dean Semler, Peter James, a.o. on commercial projects. Was c.asst & c.op working with doph Graham Lind. Started as doph with Ross Wood Film Studios, Sydney, Australia [1978-89].

Ph 1,500+ commercials dir by Alex Proyas, David Denneen, James Holt [for Nissan], Kinka Usha, Vincent Ward, Bruce Hunt, Les Sharpe, a.o.

Member of the SOC. Member of the ACS since 1989.

Appeared in the doc's 'Day Out of Days: The 'I, Robot' Production Diaries' [2004, Mark Rance; ph: Kwesi Thompson; 116m] & 'Analog Hero in a Digital World: Making of 'Live Free or Die Hard'' [2007; prod: Tara Tremaine; ph: Dan Brockett; 97m].

Awards [selection]: ACS 'Golden Tripod' Award [1987] for Philips commercial 'Definition'; ACS 'Golden Tripod' Award [1994] for McDonald's commercial 'Marilyn Monroe'; ACS 'Gold Award' [1996] for Qantas commercial 'London'; AFI [Aus] 'Best Achievement in Cinematography' nom [1998] & Film Critics Circle of Australia 'Best Cinematography' [1999] for 'The Interview'; ACS 'Gold Award' [2002] for Traffic Accident Commission commercial; ACS 'Silver Award' [2005] for Visa International commercial 'Birds'; ACS 'Golden Tripod' Award [2005] for Australian Tourism Commission commercial 'Les Murray'.

Website: Simon Duggan


'I, Robot' [2003]: Despite the extensive digital wizardry performed on 'I, Robot', DP Simon Duggan says one of his biggest challenges involved the film's high-speed chase sequence through an underground tunnel.

"We had to create the impression of speed for Will Smith's vehicle, simulating travel effects as tunnel lights flash past," says Duggan. "We tested multiple light sources, but nothing was really convincing. My gaffer, Owen Taylor, came up with the idea of using [a mounted system incorporating Vari-Lite VL3000 spot luminaires]."

Filmmakers conducted a practical pre-visualization session in Vancouver before the shoot got underway. Q1 Production Technologies, Vancouver, provided them with 12 Vari-Lite VL3000s, with Q1's Tracey Ploss operating the automated devices to create the strobing effect on a small version of the real set.

"It was easy to program different effects into the lights from the remote control desk," says Duggan. "We were impressed, so we went with it."

For the chase scene, stationary vehicles were mounted on hydraulic gimbals on the tunnel set, built so they could tilt in any direction and spin 360 degrees. Filming green-screen, Duggan used 42 VL3000s to create the strobing speed effect outside the car. The crew mounted the lights to a dual 50ft. run of diffused panels, and Tracey Ploss varied the strobing speeds.

"We had two overhead banks of lights, with small separation between the light fixtures to give it a bit of a shadow effect, and it was very effective creating the movement of light through a tunnel at high speeds," says Duggan. "In the big chase scene, we paced the amount of strobing and contrast to build up to a crescendo. It was almost tactical strobing as the robot attack speeds up, all done in-camera." [From the digitalcontentproducer.com website.]


 

 FILMS

1997

The Interview [Craig Monahan] c

1999

Risk [Alan White] c

2001

Garage Days [Alex Proyas] c; 2uc: Laurie Kirkwood

2003

I, Robot [Alex Proyas] s35/c; 2uc: Karl Herrmann; add action & strike force unit: Brian Pearson; miniatures ph: Bill Neil; see above

2004

Underworld: Evolution [Len Wiseman] s35/c; 2uc: Brian Pearson; miniatures ph (+ ph insert unit): Christopher L. Warren

2005

Restraint/Ravenswood/Guests [David Denneen] s35/c

2006

Live Free or Die Hard/Die Hard 4.0 [Len Wiseman] s35 (+ D-Cinema)/c; 2uc: Gary Capo & David Insley; addph (+ insert ph): Omer Ganai; addph: Michael Pinkey; aph: Hans Bjerno

2007

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor [Rob Cohen] s35 (+ D-Cinema)/c; addph: Sion Michel; 2uc: Jonathan Taylor; aph: Hans Bjerno

2008

Knowing [Alex Proyas] RED-to-35mm scope (+ D-Cinema)/c; 2uc: Ross Emery; aph: Hans Bjerno

2010

Killer Elite [Gary McKendry] s35 (+ D-Cinema)/c; 2uc: Ross Emery; ph Morocco: Alain Duplantier

2011

The Great Gatsby [Baz Luhrmann] RED Epic-to-35mm scope (+ D-Cinema [also 3-D version])/c; 2uc: Damian Wyvill; filmed 2011-12

2012

300: Rise of an Empire/300: Battle of Artemisia [Noam Murro] RED Epic-to-35mm scope (+ D-Cinema [also 3-D version])/c; 2uc: Lorenzo Senatore; uwph: Pete Romano

2014

Warcraft [Duncan Jones] HD (ARRI ALEXA XT Plus)-to-35mm scope (+ D-Cinema [also 3-D version])/c; 2uc: Stewart Whelan; aph: Hans Bjerno; based on the vg 'World of Warcraft' (2004)

2015

Hacksaw Ridge [Mel Gibson] HD (ARRI ALEXA XT Plus)-to-D-Cinema (scope)/c; 2uc: Damian Wyvill

2017

Isn't It Romantic [Todd Strauss-Schulson] c