While dark scenes are usually thanks to the filmmaker’s vision, there are several factors both at movie theaters and when viewing reception that will affect the viewer’s ability to work out what’s happening onscreen.
For home viewers, one culprit can be the viewing environment, in keeping with digital imaging technician Nicholas Kay. When he goes to go to his parent’s house, he’s aghast at the butchered image quality on their television screen, which Kay believes should be as neutral as possible. As someone who spends countless hours on- and off-set perfecting visuals, he finds the settings on his parents’ TV offensive, from motion smoothing to brightness, which Kay claims should not be adjusted.
Kay, a two-decade industry vet who has worked on films like “Joker,” “Venom,” and “Black Panther,” said there are practical and emotional reasons for dark images aside from the viewing environment. Whether “dark” refers to a piece of media’s moodiness or its literal lack of sunlight, the two frequently go hand-in-hand. “The Batman” by Matt Reeves is largely set at night, “The Handmaid’s Tale” is set in a bleak dystopia, and horror films like the “Fear Street” trilogy rely on the blanket of darkness to stay viewers on their toes. Those works and more have all faced criticism for being too shadowy (the wester Drive-In in Las Vegas told patrons that they couldn’t get a refund for “The Batman” if they found it too dark) but the choice may be an unrealistic depiction of the plot.
“I think that plenty of cinematographers once they do certain things like that, they’re trying to form it feel extremely truthful,” Kay said. My job really is to calibrate my eye to what the cinematographer wants it to seem like.”
Adjust Your TV
But, no matter why a picture seems dim, Kay encompasses a few tips for creating sure you have got the most effective shot at seeing a movie the way it had been intended. He suggested Googling the make and model of your tv to find out the way to neutralize the settings, adding, “If a window outside is pointing at your screen, you’re fighting an uphill battle.”
When it involves your local movie, keep an eye fixed out for smudged screens or washed-out picture quality, and alert the stage manager. Make a degree of patronizing cinemas that prioritize the viewer experience, like AMC’s Dolby Cinemas or Alamo Drafthouse. When it involves a lack of control over how someone will watch one among the projects on which he spends months perfecting the imagery, Kay takes the challenges of his add stride.