Gareth Munden on She’s Missing

April 23, 2019
The crew on She’s Missing

DP Gareth Munden (our New Wave in edition 46 – see HERE), kindly wrote in with details about his work on the thriller, She’s Missing. When her best friend disappears at a rodeo, Heidi goes on a search across the desert, digging up secrets and encountering the violence of life on the road.

She’s Missing was shot on location in New Mexico and California, under the auspices of director Alexandra McGuinness, and stars Lucy Fry, Eiza González and Josh Hartnett.

“This was my second time working with Alexandra, and we shot over the course of five weeks. Alexandra and I had been talking about this film for a few years, and I had even shot the rodeo footage, used in the opening titles, a couple of years before principle photography. We mostly shot in and around the desert landscapes of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Alexandra and I had been looking at the photography of Stephen Shore and William Eggleston, which formed the basis of the look we wanted for the film. It was that style we both really love – mid-century American colour photography. I tried to use as much natural light as possible, at times augmenting the light already at the location with a HMI from outside, often a 6K Par, for night interiors using as many practicals as I could.

I love shooting handheld and we felt that was the right approach for She’s Missing. Using mostly available light through windows gives the actors freedom to explore their space, and the camera would find the action. Something Alexandra loves to do is to work with two cameras at times, and working with as little lighting as possible makes this much the easier.

We shot with ARRI Alexa’s and used The Camera Division’s custom Leica Classicron lenses, recoated to give a softer image. They have a warmth and a patina to the images, and are also beautiful on skin tones.

With 30 different locations and plus 30ºC everyday, it was a pretty gruelling shoot, but it was one I enjoyed very much. I have a very good working relationship with Alexandra. She and I were totally on the same page. The local crew made me feel really welcome and I got to wear my cowboy hats and eat a lot of BBQ.”

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