Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Background of White Collar

One of my favorite shows, White Collar had its season finale just over a month ago. Throughout the six incredible seasons, we watched the characters grow and the story unfold. An aspect of this show that I thought was amazing was the beautiful background of New York City. They creatively use the city as a source of visual language. Having a constant city background can get monotonous at times, but this show executes it flawlessly.
There are so many lovely shots within each episode that sometimes you feel like the characters are inside a work of art. I find this ironic since the main character, Neal Caffrey, was originally in jail for art theft and forgery. Many of the shots used throughout the episodes are wide shots that show the beautiful architecture of New York City and it gives off such a powerful dynamic.
White Collar Director of Photography, Russell Lee Fine, explains that "The way I've built White Collar is to be super fast…We match our A and B cameras on set. I know I can set the cameras here and there, and rehearse it once, and know I can correct on the fly. Sometimes we don't rehearse at all." The way that this show is set up makes the setting stand out even more. Since it as set up to be super fast, the dynamic of New York City adds to the chaos of the show. Fine also stated that, "we do absolutely no lighting on exterior streets." This means that they rely on the sunlight and the cameras to film in natural light in the daytime. The cameramen for this show are also always on dollies and move quickly with the pace of the show. Overall, the setting of New York City contributes greatly to the show White Collar and the decisions that Russell Lee Fine decided on really enhance the outcome of the episodes. 

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