Blaschke’s manipulation of natural light and candlelight for Robert Eggers’ debut film, “The Witch,” about a creeping dark force that unravels the religious and familial bonds of a Puritan family in 1630, helped the film earn significant Sundance buzz. The stark lighting was demanded, Blaschke says, by the story’s themes and period.
“We wanted the audience to lose themselves in that world as much as possible including the light that illuminated it. For me, that meant using real flame and natural light whenever possible, which also happens to look very beautiful if placed and shaped just right.”
He made triple-wick candles a primary interior lighting source. “For night interiors, our light sources were strictly the candles and gas flames as the hearth, so the art department and special effects were often my gaffers. For exteriors, we were constantly rearranging the schedule to get gloomy exteriors, because you can’t color-correct real gloom — you get a phony processed look.”