Seven Kings Must Die cinematographer Luke Bryant on these epic shots

Life in the 10th century was intense. Look no further than The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die, which recently appeared on Netflix. The standalone feature film marks a fitting finishing touch to the popular British Netflix series. The Last Kingdom, which is based on the captivating novels by Bernard Cornwall. Written by Martha Hillier and directed by Ed Bazalgette, the film takes place eight years after the events of season five and ties into the series to bring back Uhtred (Alexander Dreymon).

He is the intimidating warrior leader of a region of Northumbria now faced with the death of King Edward, to whom Uhtred swore allegiance at the end of season five. The king’s son, Æthelstan (Harry Gilby), seizes power and decides – perhaps with advice – to seize power all of the British kingdoms.

MOVIWEB VIDEO OF THE DAYScroll to continue with the content

Bold step. How will he overthrow eight kings? A prophecy says that seven of these kings will perish and that Uhtred will have to decide where his allegiance lies – with the king or with his homeland. For the Head of Photography Luke Bryant, The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die, was a mammoth company. There was countless camera angles to complete a variety of challenges, including the epic final battle, with multi-camera setups. In this exclusive interview, he told MovieWeb more about the film.

Breakdown of recordings and special cameras

Luke Bryant had a tremendous workload behind him The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die. First, he had to switch to an anamorphic shooting style for the film while maintaining handheld shots to achieve a look similar to the series. But this approach gives this outing a more cinematic look.

“The main difference from what we’ve done in the previous five seasons of the show is the anamorphic style,” Bryant said. “If you’re in your forties, a lot of the movies you saw as a kid were shot anamorphically, whether you know it or not. A viewer will always be aware of this, although they may not be able to tell you that the anamorphic lens has a larger aspect ratio or the depth of field of such things. But they noticed. The audience is smarter than we give them credit for. We just felt that with this story, because it encapsulated five seasons of the show, we wondered how we could stay true to the show’s visual DNA as well.”

Related: The Last Kingdom Cast and Character Guide

There’s a lot of handheld feel, almost documentary these scenes from the Middle Ages. As a matter of fact. “We wanted to up the ante and give you a wider aspect ratio to make everything on screen look a little more epic,” Bryant added. “Second, since anamorphic lenses inherently squeeze the image as it goes toward the center, there’s nice pocketing and quality of action when something’s out of focus.”

The handheld shots and rawness of color also allowed Bryant to create compelling imagery that immerses audiences in the grim reality of the era and makes them feel part of the journey, regardless of whether it’s an intimate shot in between acts the main characters or the amazing final battle involving more than 300 extras and four cameras.

Filming the epic battle was a battle in itself

Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die

Bryant admits that the final fight sequence of the film was definitely the hardest thing he had to shoot. It was also shot with a second unit over 10 days. “We were generally looking for cameras and at the same time we had a drone. So we tried to keep a continuity, especially when we were shooting in the middle of Hungary in winter and the temperature was -8 degrees, it was incredibly cold.”

Related: Best Netflix Original Movies of 2022, Ranked

Snow, wind, sleet and rain also added to the fun. “We tried to set up all four cameras and then have 300 extras on the battlefield to maintain unity. That was kinda crazy. And we were pretty remote too. Basically, every time you watch all these shots, we feel like you have thousands of men in the background. We used very long lenses and stuffed the frame as much as possible. And when we decided to shoot anamorphic lenses, they were huge. They are incredibly heavy. There are cameramen who are just exhausted.”

Bryant’s use of lighting, camera angles and composition is outstanding. For one, they emphasize the important intimacy of human relationships with the characters and even hint at a character’s future and motivations. All this gives the project more depth.

Why were viewers so excited? the last kingdom Bryant chuckles. “They are very tight. There is a huge, loyal fan base. this is what i love The fandom is really reacting to that based on historical accuracy. There are many shows that are shot in a more contemporary way because they are trying to reach a contemporary audience. But they don’t care about historical accuracy. Although I have a feeling that we are doing it the last kingdom one has the feeling of watching a documentary that was filmed in the Middle Ages. It is great.”

The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die will stream exclusively on Netflix.

Related Articles

Back to top button