We were filming at the Mesquite Civic Center on a rainy Sunday afternoon. The scene was an important one that absolutely could not be cut, nor any part of it edited out; the content was crucial to the movie.
The cinematographer had the idea of filming through a stairwell window, across a gap, and through another window, where the lead detective would be looking out. Thus, there would be two panes of glass to film through, with no way to clean the windows first. To say that I was skeptical is too mild; I even thought of interceding and stopping the idea. I thought the lighting would be wrong and that the dirty windows would make the scene amateurish.
I was completely wrong. Yes, the windows are smudged and the lighting is a bit bright, but I think that the effect of both is just right. It is, artistically, one of my favorite images in the movie. I am glad I said nothing.
On the same day, we filmed two detectives talking to one another during a chance encounter in the hallway. I had spoken to Roger about my enthusiasm for filming in the stairwell, but was worried about angles. I had thought the two actors would be filmed only a few steps apart, so that one would not be too high over the other.
Instead, the scene is filmed with one actor much higher up on the stairs, looking down at the other. I absolutely love how it turned out. The height difference coveys a certain power to the conversation. And it showcases the architectural beauty of the building, which is glass and metal with lots of appealing curves.