Last Man on Earth has been a breakout success for 20th Century Fox Television. Making its debut in 2015, it was just announced that this post-apocalyptic comedy series was recently renewed for a fourth season.
On camera, the central struggle revolves around the survival and existential crises of Will Forte’s “everyman” character. Behind the scenes, the challenge lay in creating sets that authentically depict a world that continues to exist, in spite of the fact that nearly the entire population has been wiped off the face of the earth.
In this fictional disasterscape, electricity is nonexistent. With the sun as the only source of perceived illumination, the lighting used on set could not afford to appear artificial on camera.
A 360° green screen was used to create the abandoned neighborhood, but the replication of these post-apocalyptic conditions presented a unique set of circumstances for the lighting team.
Production Designer, Bruce Robert, and Chief Lighting Technician, Oliver Alling sought out a solution that would produce the most natural-looking light possible. That solution was Cineo Lighting. The balanced, natural-looking spectrum and excellent green screen compatibility of Cineo fixtures made them the obvious solution to their lighting issues.
In an interview with Variety 411, Bruce Robert explained how he was able to make natural light work for him. By incorporating stronger colors into the neutral environment he was able to enhance the natural lighting and use it to its full potential. The ability to repeatedly dial in those stronger colors on Cineo fixtures made them invaluable on the set of Last Man on Earth.
The Cineo Quantum 120 was the workhorse on set. At 75,000 lumens, it is the world’s brightest soft light. With multiple presets, the color temperature of the Quantum 120 is completely variable from 2700K-6000K. This allowed the crew to dial in the desired output and consistently recreate the specific lighting needs.
Its ability to distribute color-correct light over large, diffused surface areas made the Quantum 120 a highly-efficient choice for Last Man on Earth. By using these fixtures, the crew was able to create the sharp natural lighting of the exterior scenes, as well as the shadowy candle-lit scenes that took place indoors.
The Quantum 120 has been used on the set of Last Man on Earth since day one. Chief Lighting Technician, Oliver Alling has worked closely with the units and explained why he has chosen to continue using Cineo products:
“The Quantum was clearly designed by people who understand how we light sets. Honestly, I want to think about the gear as little as possible, and Cineo is making lights that help me forget about the minutiae. The Quantums can roll around on the floor, going through large frames for a day scene, and then quickly get rigged onto a lift for a night exterior. With a few stingers and some wireless DMX receivers, our crew can get the look roughed in a lot quicker, and be ready for those last minute changes that make or break the look of the show.”
The convenience and reliability of Cineo Lighting products are going to ensure that these fixtures continue to gain attention among industry professionals like Alling.
As the fourth season of Last Man on Earth gets ready to film, there will undoubtedly be new plot devices that will dictate the lighting needs on set. Whatever those needs may be, Cineo Lighting will be there to ensure that each episode is shown in the best possible light.