GOODFELLAS -- Ray Liotta, Robert DeNiro, Paul Sorvino and Joe Pesci
Whenever I am assigned to photograph on a movie set, the first thing I do is to find a place nearby to set up my own little studio. My job is to interpret a film, not to document it. On my first visit on the set of GOODFELLAS, which that night was being shot in a huge Brooklyn restaurant and dance hall, I found a small storeroom, which was filled with red tablecloths. I immediately decided to tape one to a wall for a background. In a way, that first act dictated the shoot. I pay particular attention on film sets to how the director of photography is lighting the film, and I make that mood my starting point for my own lighting. In this case, I placed one large light box, hanging from a boom seven feet over the floor, aimed straight down. During a meal break at midnight, the assistant director was able to get the cast, Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, Ray Liotta and Paul Sorvino, into my little studio. They just naturally fell into this pose, in character. I simply added a white card reflector pointed up at knee level, and showed them the Polaroid. They immediately saw that 'I got it' and provided a wonderful session that became the one-sheet for the movie and countless magazine covers.