Robert Richardson, ASC delves into darkness for Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island, which follows a federal investigation at a sinister psychiatric facility.
In a novel, dreams and reality can be melded solely with words, but on a film, that feat requires an army of talents and state-of-the-art technology. On Shutter Island, his adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s best-selling novel, director Martin Scorsese was well stocked on both counts, thanks to a team of familiar collaborators that included director of photography Robert Richardson, ASC and Rob Legato, the show’s visual-effects supervisor and second-unit director/
Set in 1954, Shutter Island establishes a porous line between dreams and reality, presenting a protagonist, Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio), whose mental state is put to the test as the story unfolds. A World War II veteran and U.S. Marshal, Teddy travels to Shutter Island with his new partner, Chuck (Mark Ruffalo), to investigate the mysterious disappearance of an inmate from Ashecliffe Hospital, a psychiatric penitentiary on the island. Though Teddy and Chuck are given a warm welcome by the physician in charge, Dr. Cawley (Ben Kingsley), Teddy becomes increasingly suspicious of the doctor and his staff, and when he begins experiencing fierce migraines and vivid visions of tragedies in his own past, he begins to fear that he has become Cawley’s latest experiment.
Scorsese’s goal was to place viewers directly in Teddy’s shoes, and he wanted to convey the character’s fluctuating mental state with a variety of visual cues, primarily utilizing color and lighting. [...]