The powerhouse that is Wonder Woman shows no signs of slowing down at the box office any time soon, having recently surpassed Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice domestically. It takes a village of hundreds to make a movie like Wonder Woman. One of the key moving pieces is the director of photography, who works in sync with the director to make their vision come to life. In the case of Wonder Woman, Patty Jenkins chose Matthew Jensen as her DP. I recently spoke with Jensen about the technical aspects of Wonder Woman and things got interesting when I asked about difficult scenes to film.
When I ask Jensen what he thought the trickiest scene to put together was, he laughs for a long time. Of course that means there’s a good story here. What scene is it? Could it be the amazing sequence on the beach where the Amazons take on the Germans? Or perhaps the No Man’s Land scene where Diana finally comes into her own as Wonder Woman? But the story Jensen tells is one you’d never expect: the ballroom dancing.
“I laugh because every day was tough, and great, but we always had a challenge. I’ll tell you that the thing that personally was the trickiest for me, and it might not be one that you would think of, is the ballroom scene where Diana dances with Ludendorff,” he says. I am intrigued. How can this be? A scene with little action and loads of dialogue should be simple enough, right? Turns out no. Especially when you’re filming on location at Hatfield House. Built in 1611 by Robert Cecil, the first Earl of Salisbury, the Grand Jacobean home is not designed for camera rigs and dozens of people.