HBO’s series Chernobyl took the world by the storm shortly after it was first aired, and if you ask me, it’s no surprise. With the eerie atmosphere and sound effects, moving true stories, marvelous cinematography and directing – this is a series that leaves no one indifferent. Indy Mogul’s Ted Sim had a chat with Chernobyl’s cinematographer Jakob Ihre. In this fantastic video, they take you behind the scenes of this marvelous TV series and break down some of the iconic scenes.
Jakob notes that it took a lot of time and a lot of research before the team came up with the scenes and lighting. They relied on visual reference found in real footage of the plant and the 1986 disaster. As for the cameras and lenses, they used Alexa Mini cameras and different Cooke Speed Panchro lenses. Jakob explains that they wanted to focus more on people and human stories. So, they used spheric lenses because they’re “more honest” in that sense, more humble and more natural-looking.
In the video, Jakob breaks down several scenes from the series, explaining how they were filmed and lit. I found it particularly interesting how they lit the Control Room of Reactor 4. Jakob explains that they used a massive set of over 2,500 LED lights, all of which were controlled on a giant iPad. What’s even crazier is that they wanted to make sure that the arrangement of lights was historically accurate.
Make sure to watch the entire video for more details, and to learn more about how Chernobyl’s iconic scenes were filmed and lit. Honestly, this video has made me want to watch the series again. I was amazed the first time, and it’s definitely one of those series worth watching more than once. And in case you haven’t seen it yet – well, perhaps this video will get you intrigued.