Photographing Secret Cinema’s Grand Budapest Hotel production in the style of Wes Anderson!

A fortnight ago I attended Secret Cinema's production of Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel. It was absolutely amazing, and after that I left a message in their guest book that my only wish was that their photographer had photographed it in a more Wes Anderson'y way. The photos that were already uploaded looked great, but IMO Wes Anderson is all about the straight horizons, centred subjects either parallel or perpendicular. Within a few seconds I'd received an email inviting me to come and have a crack as such! I rarely get to shoot for the fun of it so of course I said yes! I love trying to invoke a bit of fun whimsical Wes-like style in my wedding photography wherever I can, so this was a nice chance to flex my creative shutter fingers!

Equipment: I used a Nikon d700 and either a 24mm 1.4 or 85 1.8g, mostly using the 24 for set shots and 85 for candids.

Shooting experience: One thing that I found tricky to achieve was Wes Anderson's depth of field. Ideally, everything from the foreground to the background should be in focus. For that you'd need either substantially more light or I guess I could've created it in post afterwards. Secret Cinema love to make their performances atmospheric so there wasn't much light to play with.

Editing: Wes' films tend to have a kind of light yellow haze, matte look and a mix of either low or high sat in different scenes. The Grand Budapest was a bit different, as there were lots of pinky tones, more so than his usual yellow. Trying to edit photos to his look was hard to say the least, I ended up basically going crazy with the white balance sliders! I also cropped my 3:2 shots into 16:9 to create a slightly cinematic look.

The production is still running, so if you like what you see you still have the chance to go this weekend! I won't be able to release all of the photos until the production has run its course (I'll update it when I get the go-ahead), here's a sample of what you can expect approved by Secret Cinema:

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  • Posted April 7, 2014 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    These are so beautiful, gosh – wish to see more next week as to be approved by them! Plus, wished you were there on the time I was there. At least we’d have picturesque photos as a memory. ;D

    • Marianne
      Posted April 8, 2014 at 6:31 am | Permalink

      Haha thank you for reminding me to put some more up!

  • Posted April 8, 2014 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    These are awesome Marianne, must have been so much fun to photograph!

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