Supernatural Pilot: A Closer Look (Part 2)

If you’re coming in late, click here to see Part 1 of this closer look.

The Supernatural pilot was purposely lit for darkness and shadows. This screenshot occurs as Sam and Dean discuss their unusual childhood. These beautiful shadows are the result of backlighting the actors in front of the beautiful grillwork.


In this close-up, the intricate shadows fall across Dean’s face giving visual interest and it’s spooky, too!


As we head out to meet the Woman in White, the DP went for a haze blue effect that makes the scene feel very cold and ethereal. Here’s an amazing shot of the car’s back-up lights piercing the darkness with our ghost girl in full silhouette.


This shot of Piru Bridge is just plain gorgeous. The blue haze, the slight glow, the ripple of the water. You would never believe that this location is less than an hour outside of downtown Los Angeles. (The pilot was filmed in Los Angeles then the series moved to Vancouver.)


In the DVD commentary, Nutter says he chose to shoot this in silhouette and through the gate to give the scene a dark and eerie feeling even though it was filmed during the day. Think about how brave you have to be as an actor and a director to do scene after scene where you can’t clearly see the actor’s face.


Once we move into the diner we have more shadows but it’s the lack of something that really makes this scene feel isolated and lonely – the lack of patrons in the diner. Yes, they did that on purpose.


How do you make research look creepy? You turn off the lights in the library so the glow of the computer illuminates the boys’ faces. Love Dean’s eyes in this shot.


In addition to backlighting, the DP also made good use of lights placed low and aimed upward. Usually when doing film lighting you set lights so they wash out each other’s edges so the room is evenly lit. But here we see that the light is aimed up from under Sam’s chin giving his face a redish glow in an otherwise dark room.


Stick around for part three.

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