The Musketeers

Tim Fleming  


(a) What project are you working on now or have just recently completed?

I’ve recently finished two blocks of The Ark for BBC 1 and am now prepping The Mill for Channel 4.

(b) What format was The Musketeers shot on ?

We captured on two Arri Alexa Plus cameras at 4.4.4. Pro Res on Cooke S4 Primes with two Alura Zooms. I carried a set of hard/ soft edge and full cover ND Filters. All supplied by Vantage.

I shot Episodes 3,4,5 and 7 of this new rendition of The Musketeers, created and written by Adrian Hodges, exec produced by Jessica Pope and Adrian Hodges and produced by Colin Wratten, directed by Saul Metzstein and Richard Clark .

We also ran a full time action unit headed by Steve Griffen.

( c ) What challenges did the project present you with ?

Shooting on location in castles, period mansions and their environs in Prague and far and wide throughout The Czech Republic meant a lot of pre-rigging to allow as much time as possible on camera, day or night. For a couple of weeks we had major flooding throughout the country, which added to the usual challenges! Having a great crew all round meant we could keep on top of any unforeseen schedule changes. Tim F 1

( d ) What was the look you were going for ?

Each script allowed for a different visual response. One script would be set in the Poor Quarter and another in the Palaces. Both were peppered with familiar sets such as The Musketeers Home and their Garrison. We had a studio build, which included some Parisian streets and other exteriors mixed with various interiors. For City Street /Poor Quarter and Pubs we used quite a lot of smoke to suggest the open fire period and a sense of pollution. We also used SFX rain for a moodier approach in this world. For the Palace and Royal World, we created cleaner images and where possible a sunnier world. I tended to use wider more architectural masters here, offsetting the characters in frame to allow a sense of majestic space.

( e ) What did you take away from the project and was there any particular camera technique/lighting effect or design/new concept you felt engendered a more creative approach to the project ?

Using a mix of hand held shots, classical dolly moves, frequent use of jimmy jib and a drone for aerial shots, kept the creative energy always active. Though it wasn’t a VFX show, we occasionally lengthened streets with green screen. For close ups in horse riding sequences, the actors rode a saddle on a barrel pulled by a quad & trailer, a rig inspired by 1930’s Westerns, that was fun. For night interiors we occasionally shot day for night, using colour temperature changes to allow daylight be moonlight.

( f ) If shooting digitally did you use any LUT’s and if so could you describe them.

My standard LUT is Rec 709, which our DIT occasionally tweaked for me. My Focus Pullers usually grab still frames for me from each set-up, so I can play with these in Resolve or Aperture at home. This gives me a chance to try out other ideas for looks that might occur to me during the shoot.

Tim F 2

Tim Fleming ISC