On The Set Of Banished With Steve Lawes

The year is 1788, and Governor Arthur Phillip (played by David Wenham) is struggling to establish Sydney as a new British penal colony. The shoreline of Manly Dam was transformed in April and May with tan tents, log cabins, wooden row-boats and even a guillotine forming the set of Australian/ UK co-production Banished. Relaxing on the cabin veranda, cinematographer Steve Lawes sat down with Lemac National Rentals Manager Brett Dwyer to have a chat about the shoot, the equipment package and the importance of testing prior to production.

Lawes’ cinematography credits include Skins, Strike Back, Skellig and perhaps of most note the BBC series Sherlock, for which he won the Royal Television Society Craft Nomination and a BAFTA Cymru Award.

Banished is a seven-part fictional drama series created and written by British screenwriter Jimmy McGovern (story producer of Redfern Now), and produced by See-Saw Films. Location shooting took place in Sydney’s Northern beaches and the studio portion of the production was shot in Manchester, UK.

In the following clip, Lawes explains why he often chooses to carry 12 Cooke lenses for production - including a mixture of Cooke S4 and S5s:

During pre-production, Lawes always carries out specific tests with his camera package – a process he recommends all students practise as well. He tells Brett Dwyer about it in this clip:

More info on Banished:

Hollywood Reporter
BBC News

Stay tuned for part 2 of this article, including more videos.